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'Did you wash your hands?' Lucas Co. has zero confirmed cases, but your actions will influence our future, health board president says

A Lucas County COVID-19 call line is in effect to answer your questions. Call 419-251-4000 or 419-291-5335 to talk to a Mercy or ProMedica nurse.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Dr. Johnathan Ross, Toledo-Lucas County Health Board president, asks, "Did you wash your hands? And I'm not joking. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands." 

An update was given Friday on the state of Lucas County and Toledo in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

As of Friday's briefing, there are zero cases in Lucas County that have been proven, Ross said. That doesn't mean that there aren't people walking around here who have this, however. 

That's why, he said, it is more important than ever to continue to prevent cases by hand washing, staying home if you're sick and covering your sneezes. 

QUESTIONS? Call the Lucas County COVID-19 call lines at 419-251-4000 or 419-291-5335 to talk to a Mercy or ProMedica nurse 

"This is THE most important time to be careful," Ross said. "The earlier we take these social distancing measures, the better we are with your hygiene, the fewer of our family and neighbors will get sick." 

When should you see a doctor? If you have a high fever and a cough, he said. Those symptoms need assessment. 

"If have a persistent fever with a cough and shortness of breath, that is an indicator," Ross said. "If a person has a fever persistent for 24 hours and a cough, that would be a call to your doctor. They might say to watch and wait, depending on how vulnerable you are." 

He says as many as 100,000 Ohioans are walking around potentially infected, and also noted that 80% of people who get coronavirus get better. 

Testing can only be done on doctor's orders. It is not done at the health department. If you have a chronic illness and are having signs, do not call 911 but instead call your own doctor. 

"We have established a Lucas County COVID-19 call line at 419-251-4000 a second line is established at 419-291-5359. This line is staffed by ProMedica and Mercy nurses," Ross said. 

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Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski urges people to watch out how much information about COVID-19 you consume, in the interest of your mental health. 

He also cautions against spreading rumors and urges good healthy exercise and de-stressing. 

"Now, we're fine. Take a breath. Relax. We are seeking that inner peace we all need," Zgodzinski said. 

If you are sick, stay at home, Zgodzinski said. 

"Remember, social distancing. It's six feet apart. Remember, hand washing. It's 20 seconds and it's not just sloshing water around. Cover your mouth. Use a Kleenex and throw it away. Clean and disinfect as many surfaces as you touch," Zgodzinski said. 

The lobby of job and family services will close to the public, Zgodzinski said. Benefit recipients can call and paper applications will be available. 

Early voting will still be taking place at the job and family services building. 

He also noted that water shutoffs will no longer be taking place in occupied homes. 

When it comes to the weekend, Ross said you don't necessarily have to stay at home, but be mindful of what trips are necessary. If you're having a social get together, as long as it's relatively small and people aren't sick, that's OK. 

"Just make sure everyone's OK, especially if Grandma's there. Always err on the safe but sensible side on this," Ross said. 

"The more we can control this now - now, now, now - the better."

If you need to go the store, go to the store. But take a look at those nonessential gettogethers," Zgodzinski said. 

As far as seniors, Lucas County is also going to see its senior centers closed as of Monday to keep seniors safe. Mobile Meal opportunities will be available for them.   

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