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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN BAY COUNTY PROVIDES COVID-19 UPDATE, ANNOUNCES TWO NEW COVID-19 CASES

April 26, 2020

Panama City, Fla.— Bay County received confirmation of two additional cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The persons ill with the virus are a 53-year-old female and a male. This brings Bay County’s total COVID-19 cases to 65, including 64 residents and one non-resident.

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) is now conducting its contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County is committed to being transparent and we strive to keep information as up to date as possible. Data on cases cannot be entered into our surveillance system, Merlin, until DOH-Bay confirms positives through lab results provided by the lab, provider, or health care facility. All data is entered within the State guidelines that require confirmed COVID-19 cases to be entered into Merlin within 24 hours (including weekends and holidays).

While Bay County’s testing is increasing, the percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 overall is 5%. Of the 1,236 tests processed, there are 1,169 negative results. There are two deaths in Bay County from COVID-19. The total hospitalizations count is at ten including nine residents and one non-resident.

There are currently two long-term care facilities in Bay County that have or have had positive cases of COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health has published the list at FloridaHealthCOVID19.gov. The twice daily COVID-19 report also includes information by county about cases and deaths related to staff or residents in long-term care facilities. There have been two residents or staff in long-term care facilities that have tested positive for COVID-19.

The addresses of the 64 positive Bay County residents include; 39 in Panama City, 12 in Panama City Beach, one in Southport, five in Lynn Haven, one in Parker, three in Youngstown, one in Tyndall Air Force Base, and two in Callaway. The non-resident case is from Texas.

Age, gender, race, and ethnicity data is available on the dashboard. Zip code level case numbers are also available. The dashboard is updated twice daily around 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. For more detail on Florida resident cases, please visit the live DOH Dashboard here. More information on a case-by-case basis can also be found in the Daily Report at FloridaHealthCOVID19.gov. We encourage all Floridians to take the COVID-19 Community Action Survey by visiting www.StrongerThanC19.com

COVID-19 symptoms and treatment

The symptoms of COVID-19 can mirror illnesses such as influenza. Patients with COVID-19 typically display symptoms such as fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, and/or shortness of breath within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus. Approximately 80% of those affected with COVID-19 report mild to moderate illness and experience a complete recovery. Some experience more severe illness. People who are more vulnerable to the illness include individuals who are over age 65 with underlying health conditions, immunocompromised, ill or have underlying chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Many cases of COVID-19 can be managed at home by treating symptoms, and this is encouraged. However, if you develop worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or inability to drink fluids, contact 911 and advise them of your symptoms as you may need treatment at a hospital.

COVID-19 overview, symptoms, and general prevention

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus; coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Other coronaviruses include the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is believed to have emerged from an animal source and is now capable of spreading from person-to-person. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

For more Information on COVID-19

For text alert updates from the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, text bayhealth to 888-777. For additional information specific to Bay County, visit BayHealthCOVID19.com. You may also contact the Citizens Information Center 7 days a week from 10 am – 6 pm at (850) 248-6090 or email ask@baycountyfl.gov.

For state level text alerts in the fight against COVID-19, text FLCOVID19 to 888-777.

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 website. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

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About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov .

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