Vinton County Health Department (VCHD) has been investigating an outbreak of the coronavirus linked to Locust Grove Church, located in the Creola area.

To date, there have been 11 COVID-19 positive cases associated with the cluster reported. Individuals reportedly attended services Oct. 7-10, the health department stated.

The COVID-19 positive individuals reportedly reside in Vinton, Jackson and Highland counties, VCHD reported.

"We have contacted the identified close contacts and they have been given instructions to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms," the health department stated in a press release. "VCHD will be in contact daily with these individuals for monitoring of temperatures and symptoms."

VCHD is urging all attendees of services during this time period to conduct daily symptom assessments. If symptoms do develop, please isolate and contact your primary care provider immediately, the health department stated.

The county currently has a total of 85 cases, with 25 active cases.

"This is the highest number of active cases that we have experienced," the health department stated.

VCHD also reports on its website four hospitalizations associated with the virus, as of Oct. 17.

COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or loss of taste or smell, the county's health department stated. Any person who develops new symptoms should stay home, limit their contact with others, and immediately contact their healthcare provider.

People can protect themselves and help prevent further infections in communities by the following actions:

  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Washing hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
  • Covering your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cleaning and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces often
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • Wearing a facial covering that covers your mouth and nose when in public areas

sdawes@vintoncourier.com; @sydneydawes_95

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