Knox County Health Department

The Knox County Health Department, located at 11660 Upper Gilchrist Road in Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON – Knox Public Health received word Friday night that a Knox County resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

It was Knox County’s first lab-confirmed COVID-19 case. The health department notified the public minutes later.

But on Saturday, when the Ohio Department of Health updated its daily tally of confirmed cases, Knox County’s case was not included.

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The same thing happened Sunday.

So, what gives?

Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller addressed the discrepancy Monday morning in a Facebook Live Q&A session.

“We’ve had a delay,” Miller said. “There’s a state database that keeps all of the suspected and confirmed cases, and there’s been a delay in getting information into that state database. We are working hard with the places who had tested our two confirmed cases, to make sure they get the information in there.”

Knox Public Health reported its second confirmed case on Monday morning, just hours before the Facebook Live session. The state’s current list, updated Monday afternoon, shows one case from Knox County.

Miller encouraged residents to be patient with local and state health departments as they process the rising number of confirmed cases.

“Hang tight,” she told viewers. “We do have two positive cases, it’s just a delay in the state database getting completed. And a lot of that is due to the number of tests coming in and people not being able to keep up with the volume.”

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton acknowledged this discrepancy in her daily press briefing Monday. She shared a similar message with residents across the state: stay patient.

“Often you’re hearing things in the media at a local level before things are confirmed in our state system, so I just want to acknowledge that,” Acton said. “Even my statistics I give you are shot in time, they’re not what’s happening hour-to-hour.”

For the most up-to-date local statistics, Acton encouraged residents to check their local health department’s website (here's Knox County's).

The Ohio Department of Health reported 442 confirmed cases on Monday, across 46 counties. Acton said the state health department is currently investigating “numerous clusters” of infected individuals, as well as separate cases.

There have been 104 Ohioans hospitalized and six have died as a result of the coronavirus. The age range of those infected is 1-93 years old.

Knox County has two confirmed cases of COVID-19: a 28-year-old female tested positive Friday, and a 71-year-old male tested positive Sunday. The male is currently hospitalized at Knox Community Hospital.

Knox Public Health and Knox Community Hospital have partnered with several other local agencies to organize a local COVID-19 assessment program. It begins with a hotline, where residents can talk to healthcare professionals about their symptoms.

Those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath) should call 740-399-8014 to receive a professional assessment.

Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.