According to numbers provided by Johnson County Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie, confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Johnson County, with 24 new cases confirmed on Nov. 16.

This rise in cases brings Johnson County to a total of approximately 682 cumulative cases since the pandemic began, McKenzie said, 171 currently active cases, 10 people currently hospitalized due to the disease and four total deaths from the virus.

These numbers, when compared to last week’s numbers at the same point during the week, represent an approximately 9.6 percent increase in active cases and a 22-percent increase in cumulative cases. Those numbers, last week, were 156 active cases, 556 cumulative cases and seven concurrent hospitalizations, respectively.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of the reported symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Johnson County Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie urged that Johnson County citizens should follow the CDC’s recommendations as the virus was still impacting our community in a number of ways.

“Johnson County, much like our neighboring counties, are experiencing a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases and this is affecting every one of us in many ways,” McKenzie said. “Some of our citizens are experiencing health issues and even death, there are disruptions with work and school as well as the economic impact.

“Johnson County currently has the designation of a ‘red zone’ county and therefore would like to join with the local health leaders by asking that we as a community consider the red zone reduction recommendations as guidance for personal decision making in the coming months,” McKenzie continued, “Reducing the number of contacts, wearing a face covering, along with frequent hand washing will go a long way in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. 2020 has been challenging for all of us but with good decision-making we can lessen the impact and put this behind us much quicker.”

Anyone of any age can contract the virus. However, older adults and people who are immunocompromised or who have severe underlying medical conditions — including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, COPD, obesity, asthma, hypertension or high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, chronic kidney disease and liver disease — have a higher risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

According to the CDC, the primary ways to protect against contracting or spreading the virus is to do frequent hand washing, maintain social distancing (keeping six feet apart from others) and wearing a face mask or facial covering when around others.

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