First COVID-19 case confirmed in Pontotoc County

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - A positive case of COVD-19 has been confirmed in Pontotoc County, a regional spokesperson from the Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed Monday.

Julie Williamson, Public Information Officer of OSDH District 8, said there will not be any public release of specific demographic information for the patient, and the case is being investigated by a public health nurse who is assessing recent contacts.

"Those at significant risk will be notified, but as we are experiencing community spread in Oklahoma all members of the public should take all reasonable precautions as the CDC has promoted: social distancing, thorough hand washing, and staying home if you do not feel well," Willamson said via email Monday morning. "Testing is not necessary for everyone as test results will not change the course of treatment. Those who are concerned should continue to call the Coronavirus Call Center at 877-215-8336.

Home Care instructions for those experiencing symptoms:

INFORMATION FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT HOSPITALIZED:
1. Stay home. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care, until your healthcare provider says it is OK. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation or taxis.
2. Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, stay in a different room from other people in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you must be in the same
room as other people, wear a facemask to prevent spreading germs to others.
3. Before you visit your doctors, let them know. Call ahead before visiting your doctor so they can prepare for your visit and know that you may have COVID-19.
4. Cover coughs and sneezes. To prevent spreading germs to others, when coughing or sneezing cover
your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can, and immediately wash hands with soap and water.
5. Keep hands clean. Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
6. Avoid sharing household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in the home. These items should be washed
thoroughly after use with soap and warm water.
7. Monitor illness. If illness gets worse (trouble breathing, pain in chest), get medical care right away. Before, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or might have, COVID-19 infection.
This will help your provider to take steps to keep other people from getting infected. These recommendations should be followed until your tests show that you do not have COVID-19, or, 10 days
after your fever goes away if your tests show that you have been infected.

INFORMATION FOR CAREGIVERS AND HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS OF COVID-19 PATIENTS:
People who live with or provide home care for COVID-19 patients should:
1. Limit visitors to only people caring for the patient.
a. As much as possible, anyone who is not caring for the patient should stay in another home or stay in other rooms. They should also use a separate bathroom if possible.
b. Keep elderly people and those who have weak immune systems or chronic health conditions away from the person. This includes people with diabetes, chronic heart or lung or kidney conditions.
2. Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow. Open windows or use an air conditioner if possible.
3. Wash hands. People in the home should wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or after using the bathroom. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Wear disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) e.g, facemask, gown, and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, body fluids and/or secretions, such as sweat, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine, or diarrhea. Throw these away after use and do not reuse. Wash hands thoroughly and immediately after removing your facemask, gown, and gloves.
5. Avoid sharing household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items the patient. Follow the cleaning instructions below.
6. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day using household disinfectants. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, body fluids and/ or secretions or excretions on them.
7. Cleaning Instructions
a. Follow the recommendations provided on cleaning product labels including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves or aprons and making sure you
have good ventilation during use of the product.
b. Use a diluted bleach solution or a household disinfectant with a label that says “EPA-approved.” To make a bleach solution at home, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a
larger supply, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
c. Wash laundry thoroughly.
d. Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them.
e. Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items. Wash your hands immediately after removing your gloves.
f. Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
g. Place all used disposable gloves, gowns, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing them with other household waste. Wash your hands immediately
after handling these items.
8. Monitor the patient’s illness. If they are getting sicker (trouble breathing, pain in chest), call their medical provider and tell the medical staff that the person has, or is being evaluated for, novel
coronavirus infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.
9. It is important to note that caregivers and household members who do not follow these instructions when in close contact with the patient may be considered to be “close contacts” and should monitor
their health. Below is information for close contacts.
a. INFORMATION FOR CLOSE CONTACTS OF COVID-19 PATIENTS:
b. People who have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 should:
10. Monitor your health. Start from the day you first had close contact with the patient and continue for 14 days after you last had close contact with the person. Watch for these signs and symptoms:
a. Fever. Take your temperature twice a day.
b. Coughing.
c. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
d. Other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
11. If you develop fever or any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away and let them know about being a close contact to a patent with COVID-19 so they can prepare for your visit. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.
12. If after 14 days you do not have any symptoms, you can continue with your daily activities, such as going to work, school, or other public areas.

If symptoms become severe or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, people should contact their doctor by phone for further instructions.