MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio — The Medina County Health Department said it is now seeing cases primarily through community spread, with an average of 85 cases a week in the county.
Earlier in the pandemic, many of Ohio's COVID-19 cases came out of congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes. In Medina County, Krista Wasowski, the health commissioner, said there have only been 17 cases in congregate settings since early June.
Wasowski said the community spread the health department is seeing appears to be inadvertent, and that many younger people may be experiencing mild illness that they believe to be a summer cold or allergies.
"It's been hard for folks," Wasowski said. "It's been hard for us to try to get people to be willing to stay home a little bit of extra, just to make sure what's going on with them before going back out into the public."
That's also led to difficulties with contact tracing, according to Wasowski.
"There's one piece of really not wanting to inconvenience your friends or other people that you've come into contact with," Wasowski said. "I think it's also hard. I don't know about you, but [on] any given day, to really think back about everybody that you've been in contact with is kind of hard, especially if you're not thinking that you're sick."
She added, "I believe most people do try to give complete lists [of contacts] that they can. It's just not necessarily what we're seeing all the time."
Wasowski said the advice she is giving to people includes limiting their social groups.
"If you have those couple of people that you come into contact with regularly and it's a smaller group, it's a lot easier to know who you were with the other night if your group is very, very small," Wasowski said.
She noted that it's not about trying to figure out where exactly someone became sick, but rather "to find out if there's anyone else who might be likely to become sick so that we can prevent them from making other people ill."
If you've gone for a COVID-19 test and think you may have the virus, Wasowski said, "We really want you to stay home and stay away from other people, even within your own home, to try to prevent transmission."
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