Aurora football player tests positive for COVID-19

Friday, July 24, 2020

Lawrence County cases up to 132 total

Lawrence County has announced 15 news cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus), including an Aurora High School football player.

The count is now at 132 total cases: 54 active, 76 recovered and 2 deaths.

All positive cases have been told to isolate at home from all others and their close contacts have been notified and told to quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

The football player is in isolation at home, as well as the individual’s family members. All players have been notified, and administration will be contacting parent/guardians.

“Since football and other types of activities don’t meet the classic ‘close contact’ definition because of short bursts of contact that aren’t long in duration, it can create challenges on how to move forward,” said Janella Spencer, administrator of the Lawrence County Health department.

Spencer said after multiple conversations with school administration and coaching staff, the Department of Health and Senior Services and other partners, we have decided to allow practice to continue under the following conditions:

• Players and coaches may continue to practice, but must monitor for symptoms until July 30, as well as limit social contact with others.

• If another player tests positive, all practice will cease immediately, and all players and coaches will begin quarantine.

“As the school year approaches and extra-curricular activities start to ramp up, we will all be faced with many unique challenges that may not have clear-cut guidance on how to proceed,” Spencer said. “Each circumstance may have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. We ask our communities to please support each other and exhibit kindness so that we can get through this time of uncertainty.

“By doing this we can hopefully reduce the stress and worry that many students, children, families, and school staff may be feeling as they wade through a different type of school life.”

The health department has released some definitions that may help residents understand terms it uses frequently.

Self-isolation requires that a positive person remain separate from others in the home, staying in a specific room away from other people and pets, and ideally with access to a separate bathroom.

For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.

A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending duration of isolation and precautions for up to 20 days after symptom onset.

For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive test.

A close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

People in quarantine should stay home for 14 days from last exposure to positive person, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their state or local health department.

“Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus,” Spencer said.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately: Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Everyone is urged to take preventive actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These actions include:

• Wear a mask out in public and/or at work. “You protect me, I protect you”.

• Avoid large, crowded social gatherings where social distancing is difficult to achieve.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with the crook of your arm, or in a tissue, then wash hands.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

• Stay home if you are sick.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

If anyone believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call a health care provider for medical advice before showing up, or use the CoxHealth virtual visit at https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/, or the Mercy screening tool at www.mercy.net/covid19-screening.

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