A coronavirus test returned positive for a third Noble County resident.
Wednesday morning, the state map of coronavirus cases by county was updated and showed Noble County had three infected residents.
Noble County Health Officer Dr. Terry Gaff confirmed Wednesday morning that the infected person was tested March 24 at Parkview Whitley Hospital.
The person is not hospitalized, Gaff said, but has not been out among the public while sick.
“We can safely say that they’re self-quarantined and have been throughout,” Gaff said.
The person infected is also older.
“This person is beyond retirement age,” Gaff said.
Gaff stressed people should still practice social distancing with every person they come across while the coronavirus pandemic is still growing.
“In every encounter, they should think that the other person has the virus,” Gaff said. “We can’t tell who does or who doesn’t at this point.”
He also pointed out that cases have never been confined to just Kendallville or any specific place in Noble County.
“The three cases that are confirmed that have been positive in Noble County include east side, west side and near Whitley County, so they’re widely distributed over the county,” Gaff said.
Because of the omnipresent virus throughout Noble County, Gaff also issued a statement Wednesday afternoon directing anyone leaving their home to cover their nose and mouth.
“This should NOT be done with hospital-style surgical masks or N95 masks, as those should be reserved for frontline care providers who are more likely to encounter confirmed victims of COVID-19,” Gaff wrote in the statement.
He recommended using a homemade cloth mask, bandana or scarf to cover up.
Although covering up one’s nose and mouth is a way to help prevent spreading coronavirus to others, it doesn’t take the place of staying home, Gaff wrote.
“This is NOT to take the place of staying at home as much as possible and maintaining social distances of 6 feet or more when encountering others,” he said.
Gaff made these recommendations to stay healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- When you are sick, stay home from work, school and social engagements and respectfully ask others to do the same.
- Eliminate handshaking or other personal contact as forms of greeting, as disease pathogens are commonly carried on hands. Certainly, avoid kissing.
- If you become ill, contact your healthcare provider for advice rather than going to an office or urgent care center. Be prepared to stay home until you have recovered and are symptom-free for at least 72 hours (without the use of any fever reducing medication) or at least 7 days since symptoms started, whichever is longer.
- However, if you are having trouble breathing, call 911 for assistance so healthcare providers can come to you wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.