County confirms 4th COVID-19 case
A Marion County man in his 80s is the county’s fourth confirmed case of COVID-19.
According to county health nurse Diedre Serene, the health department is identifying and contacting people who have had close contact with him.
Close contact is defined as being within six feet for 10 minutes or longer. Close contacts are monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
Serene said no further information about the patient would be released.
The county announced its first case April 2 — a woman between the ages of 20 and 44.
The second was announced April 3 as being a man between the ages of 45 and 54.
The third was announced April 5 as being a woman between the ages of 55 and 64.
The latest case was disclosed Saturday night.
Officials have declined to list hometowns, provide information about the condition of patients, or provide any indication of where and when the patients might have had contact with others.
Emergency medical crews have further been instructed that some information about COVID-19 cases should not be broadcast over public safety radios.
This newspaper has suggested editorially that insufficient information is being provided to the public and has urged patients or their families to come forward and provide information voluntarily. So far, none has responded.
Serene continues to recommend that people practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others and avoiding mass gatherings.
She also continues to urge people to wash their hands frequently, lathering for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used.
Residents are being urged to cough or sneeze into an elbow instead of a hand or open space.
Frequently-touched surfaces should be regularly sanitized, Serene said.