COVID-19 confirmed in Carter County
Officials from the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced the first positive test for COVID-19 in Carter County on Wednesday morning. Carter County Health Department Regional Director Mendy Spohn said this confirms the virus is definitely in the area and there are likely already other cases that have yet to be confirmed.
“It’s very important to say that we now have community spread in Oklahoma, and we should assume that we have cases in our community that we do know about without laboratory confirmation,” Spohn said. “It’s here in our community so it is absolutely necessary to start taking this seriously if you haven’t already. That’s why the precautions are very important.”
These precautions include: Not congregating in groups of more than 10 people, staying at home unless it is necessary to go to work or buy essentials, frequently washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding touching your face.
Spohn said the health department is reaching out to those who are at a high risk of exposure from the confirmed case.
“We are very busy conducting case investigations on any positive cases,” Spohn said. “We’re also working with the nurses and health care provider who worked on the case to look at possible exposures and make recommendations for those contacts.”
Spohn said the health department is currently looking into possibly opening a testing site in the area.
“As community planners, we are working on plans to see what it would take to open a testing site,” Spohn said. “We’re getting plans together to see if the available supplies will allow for us to have a testing site.”
Even with a potential testing site in the area, the health department issued a statement on Wednesday stating most people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will not need to be tested because a positive test result will not change the treatment recommendations.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath. The symptoms may last 7-12 days, and the CDC advises anyone experiencing these symptoms to stay quarantined for 14 days.
The Oklahoma Department of Health is asking that anyone concerned about possible exposure or symptoms should contact the Coronavirus Call Center at 877-215-8336 or 2-1-1. If symptoms become severe or you do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, people should contact their doctor by phone for further instructions.
More information on COVID-19 within the state of Oklahoma can be found at coronavirus.health.ok.gov. The site is updated daily with the latest facts and statistics.