Starke County’s COVID-19 patient continues self-isolating at home, according to Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch. “I’m not getting into as far as who or anything else,” he says. “But as far as any contacts or anything like that, they’ve already been addressed, and they’re also self-isolating at this time.”
Lynch says testing supplies are still very limited, and he recommends that anyone who thinks they may have come in contact with someone with COVID-19 self-isolate for 14 days and let their health care provider know if they develop symptoms. “If you were caring for someone elderly at home that you were worried about contaminating or anything of that nature, that would be the only time that, as far as what I would say, you should get tested so you know what’s going on,” he explains. “But at the same time, you’ve already been at home while you’re symptomatic. So . . . if you can manage the symptoms, manage the symptoms. There’s no point in contacting the doctor to see about getting tested, just to see if you’ve got COVID or not.”
Meanwhile, Starke County officials have been distributing personal protective equipment to those who need them, including the county’s fire departments and law enforcement agencies. “I’ve distributed some N95 masks,” Lynch says. “I’ve been distributing to health care providers that are low. The long-term care facilities, they have a small supply, and they are not in need at this time. I received one shipment from the Strategic National Stockpile that was very minimal.”
Lynch stresses that he doesn’t want people to panic, but he does want them to pay attention. “Stay home if you’re sick. Wash your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes,” he says. “My theory is it’s already been in the community. We’ve already got it. It’s already here. Don’t panic about because we get a new case.”
Lynch hopes that the disease will pass shortly, but he also says he wouldn’t be surprised if it takes another four to six weeks before it starts to decline.