(Columbia County) Public health officials in Columbia County say the coronavirus activity level has seen a significant increase. In a press release, Health Officer Susan Lorenz says Columbia County had a total of 47 positive cases at the beginning of June. As of Thursday, the county has seen 63 new positive cases since June. That accounts for 57-percent of the 110 total cases experienced since March. Thirty-four (34) people are being actively monitored by local health officials.
Younger people comprise the largest group of new cases with those in their 20s making up the largest single age grouping of positive cases at 22-percent. People in their 30s are in the second largest group of new cases at 20-percent. Lorenz says the majority of the cases are being transmitted from unknown sources, meaning they are not close contacts of a household member or a known case investigation, they are acquired in the general community.
When someone tests positive for coronavirus, the county health department interviews them to ask about places they have been and who may have had close contact with them. Columbia County health officials are in contact with them daily to monitor their symptoms and ensure they are following isolation instructions.
Health officials also monitor people who may have come in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus, through a method called contact monitoring or contact tracing. The standard contact investigation for any communicable disease includes letting them know they may have been exposed, giving them information about symptoms to watch for, and making sure they quarantine themselves if they meet certain criteria.
Lorenz says the best protection against COVID-19 is to continue to maintaining a six-foot social distance, wearing face coverings when you cannot maintain that distance, avoiding large gatherings, washing hands and disinfecting surfaces regularly, and staying home when you are sick.