Community Spread of COVID-19

According to the CDC, community spread, "means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected." In other words, the source of an individual's infection cannot be traced to a particular person who is positive for the disease.

As of 3/25/20, Hamilton County has gone from having 8 people testing positive to 15 individuals testing positive for COVID-19. According to the news, the majority of these contacts have had no known contact with people who are positive for the COVID-19 virus; thus, the spread indicates that community spread is occurring in our town. While we know that the primary source of infection for COVID-19 is person-to-person transmission, this rise in cases where no known positive contact with a positive individual indicates that the source of infection are either asymptomatic people (people who do not show symptoms) and objects and surfaces in the environment that are contaminated with the virus. The virus is transmitted when someone touches the infected surface, then touches his/her face. 

To combat community spread, I encourage you to check out this link to look at ways you can stop the spread of germs and practice stricter social distancing by:
  • Limit supply runs to groceries, medicine, or essential items. 
  • When in public places, such as the grocery store or public parks, keep at least 6 feet distance from people. 
  • Businesses should heed the executive orders issued by state and local governments. 
  • Continue to use the everyday actions to protect yourself:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick to protect others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve, elbow, or tissue. Discard the tissue immediately after use. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.

All age groups are at risk for COVID-19 infection. According to the most recent information from the CDC, those most at risk for severe illness include:

  • People aged 65 years and older.
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
  • People who have serious heart conditions;
  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment;
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk;
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk.
  • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
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