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Case of COVID-19 confirmed in county

By Staff, 03/30/20 2:20 PM

PRESCOTT – There is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nevada County.

Dr. Mike Young, the county health officer (CHO), said this information came from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) out of Little Rock.

According to the ADH, there are 449 confirmed cases in the state as of 10 a.m. Monday. There are six negative cases in Nevada County. The ADH’s figures show 3,536 people tested in the state, with 29 people recovering from the virus and six dead. Of the confirmed cases, 43 have been hospitalized, 43 cases are in nursing homes and 67 of the infected are healthcare workers, along with 15 children. Sixteen people are on ventilators because of this virus.

Dr. Young, who’s been the county health officer more than 20 years, said the position isn’t independent from the ADH and the CHOs primary job is to consult with public health nurses and act as a conduit for what comes out of the ADH.

Dr. Young said Nate Smith, Arkansas health secretary, is saying the COVID-19 virus could peak in the state by late April or early May. Dr. Young pointed out there’s no specific treatment for the coronavirus, nor is there any medicine for it.

One of the biggest problems, he said, is people don’t realize how serious the virus is. Dr. Young said the coronavirus attacks the lungs and is related to the SARS virus, though it has a lower mortality rate than SARS. The mortality rate for COVID-19, at this time, is 1.5-2 percent. But, he continued, the major problem is how this virus is overwhelming the medical system as it’s getting to the point where there’s more sick people than there are beds in the US, along with there being more sick people than there are ventilators.

Dr. Young said the best thing people can do is follow common sense advice: stay home if they’re sick; stay home if they aren’t sick, wash hands and don’t touch the eyes, nose and mouth.

There are still a lot of typical respiratory problems in Nevada County that are annual, he said, with allergies from pollen and the flu.