Canton Public Health Officials Provide Updates on COVID-19 Case in Stark County

CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams spoke outside of the city offices this afternoon to make comments on the confirmed case of the coronavirus in Stark County.

Adams opened the press conference by confirming that a 53 year old male patient who lives in Stark County has indeed tested positive for the coronavirus. The patient is the fourth person in the state of Ohio to test positive for COVID-19.

Few details were available on the patient. Adams said he was unable to reveal information such as what part of the county the man lived in, when he was asked. He did say that the patient, who is being treated at Mercy Medical Center, is doing well.

“We are aware of his close contacts, the people who have been exposed to him during his infectious period,” Adams said. “We are contacting those people as we speak. They are being followed up using appropriate public health procedures and policies.”

Adams said that the number of people contacted was less than a dozen.

While earlier in the afternoon, Dr. Amy Acton of the Ohio Department of Health said that the man contracted the virus through community spreading, due to his lack of international travel, Adams says that statement is not confirmed as of now.

“We are still investigating the complete travel history of the patient,” said Adams. “Until that timeline is complete, it is difficult to say.”

The patient was tested for the coronavirus on Monday, March 9 and the results came back in the late evening the following day. The original day the man started experiencing symptoms on November 25.

Despite the virus making an appearance in Stark County without being sure how it arrived, Adams claimed multiple times that little has changed as far as worries within the Canton Health Department.

“We do not think that the risk in our community is much elevated than it was yesterday,” said Adams.

You can view the full press conference from earlier today by clicking the video below.