Health commissioner reports first confirmed COVID-19 case in Carroll County

Carroll County Health Commissioner Dr. Wendy Gotschall talks about Carroll County’s first COVID-19 case Sunday, March 22, during a press conference as (from left) Director of Nursing and Population Health Kelly Engelhart, board President Dr. Scott Stine and EMA Director Tom Cottis look on.

BY Georgette Huff

& Jordan Miller

FPS Writers

In a press conference broadcast live on Facebook on Sunday, March 22,  Health Commissioner Dr. Wendy Gotschall reported that a patient is being treated for the first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Carroll County.

In the interest of maintaining the patient’s privacy Gotschall said only that the individual is a 65-year-old resident of Harrison Township who did not contract or spread the virus in a workplace environment. She not disclose either the patient’s gender or the hospital where the individual is being treated.

Health Board president, Dr. Scott Stine noted that individuals can become infectious up to two days before symptoms appear and can remain infectious for several days after recovery.

Following is the full text of Gotschall’s remarks:

“The Carroll County General Health District has been notified of a confirmed case for COVID-19 in a Carroll County resident. This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 for Carroll County. We have contacted the patient and the individuals potentially exposed and they have been instructed to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms. The health department will be in daily contact with these individuals for monitoring of temperatures and symptoms.

The Carroll County General Health District has been coordinating with our local healthcare providers and community partners to prepare for our response to potential cases of COVID-19 in our community. As part of our public health management of COVID-19, our goal is to contain and minimize the spread of the virus.

With cases already in surrounding counties and the increasing number of confirmed cases in the state of Ohio, it is not surprising to have a confirmed case in Carroll County. The virus has been here and can affect everyone differently. Some people may experience none, to mild, to more severe symptoms. I need to assure you that public health is using all of our available resources to reduce the impact of this disease. While the situation is concerning, it is important for all citizens to understand and follow the recommendations that have been put in place to reduce the spread of illness. I cannot emphasize enough for all residents to stay home if at all possible.

As part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus, the state of Ohio has implemented multiple preventive measures including closing schools, limiting mass gatherings, closing restaurants and bars to delivery and carryout only, encouraging proper cleaning and handwashing, etc., to help reduce the impact of coronavirus. These are just a few of the preventative measures that have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the impact on our healthcare system. We anticipate more preventive measures to be put in place. The Carroll County General Health District has been working on communicating the orders put out by the Governor and Director of the Ohio Department of Health to all affected entities. These orders and recommendations can also be found on the Carroll County General Health District’s website.

COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms generally appear within two to 14 days of exposure. Most people who become sick do not require hospitalization, but older adults. people with chronic health conditions, and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to require more advanced care.

We encourage the community to support our efforts of reducing the spread of COVID-19 by practicing the following recommendations:

-Stay home when you are sick.

-Avoid contact with people who are sick.

-Wash hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

-Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.

-Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands.

-Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.

-Clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces often.

-Call before visiting your doctor.

-Practice good hygiene habits.

-Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals.

As a reminder, the health department does not conduct COVID-19 testing. Testing of the general public is not available. Current testing procedures through the Ohio Department of Health for COVID-19 includes those who are most severely ill and professionals who are critical to providing care and service to those who are ill.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the Carroll County General Health District is sharing information as it becomes available on the CCGHD Facebook page and on the following websites:,, and

For questions regarding COVID-19, people may call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center, 7 days a week from 9 a,m. to 8 p.m.. at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).”

Gotschall’s remarks and additional follow-up questions made during the broadcast may be viewed on the Health Department and Free Press Standard’s Facebook pages.