This week has brought significant concern for Ohioans as the first confirmed COVID-19 cases were identified in Cuyahoga and Stark Counties. We understand it is hard to navigate information out there, identify the facts, and stay abreast of the rapidly changing situation. To keep you informed, we have pulled the information below from the CDC, which has a very extensive section on COVID-19. Here are the most important things you need to know.

1. Just like with other infectious diseases, like colds or flu, the best prevention is to wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from mouth, nose and eyes

2. If you are sick, stay home!

3. People most at risk for catching this virus are the elderly or people who have a long-term health condition like heart disease or diabetes.

4. If you're at high-risk, do your best to avoid places where sick people might be. Think about the pharmacy counter, for example. See if a relative not at risk can pick up your medications for you. And tell them to wash their hands before giving you your medications!

5. It's not a bad idea to stock up on some food, medications, and other necessities just in case. This is not because coronavirus is necessarily a horrible disease, but if a store's employees all get sick, they won't be able to stock up as quickly. It's more about how our cities and towns will work with lots of sick people than the virus itself.

6. The main symptoms of this virus are a cough, a fever, and a feeling that you're short of breath. If you feel like you're starting to have these symptoms, call your physician. If you're really having a hard time breathing, call 911 right away.

We will be updating this blog as additional information becomes available. Be sure to bookmark this page and visit it often. We will also be sharing these posts to our social media platforms if you follow us there.

If you have any questions, please call the Ohio Health Department call center at 1-833-427-5634, or contact us at 740-439-8000.