JACKSON — A total of three Jackson County residents have been tested for COVID-19, and all three have tested negative.

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston told The Courier on Thursday, March 19, that the third resident who was under investigation last week for "potential" infection of COVID-19 has tested negative.

"I'd like to note that the disease reporting strategy has changed since last week, and persons under investigation are no longer reported to the local health departments, only lab-confirmed cases," explained Aston. "When there is a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, I will announce that to the whole community."

On Friday, March 13, Aston announced that while there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) identified in Jackson County, there were two residents under investigation for potential infection with pending lab results.

The following day, on March 14, Aston told The Courier that those two residents, mentioned before, had tested negative. He had announced that he was waiting on pending lab results for a third potential case.

Five days later, on March 19, Aston announced that the third case had also tested negative.

Aston has previously explained to The Courier that the three Jackson County residents each were suffering from a severe upper respiratory illness. Other tests or examinations, such as flu swab, had come back negative, so COVID-19 testing was performed. Aston had said that the three cases are not connected or related. The individuals have not traveled out of the country.

As of Thursday, March 19, according to the Ohio Department of Health, there are a total of 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio across 19 counties. A total of 26 people are hospitalized. There are no deaths from the virus in Ohio yet. (Note: This total could change at 2 p.m. today.)

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