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Sixth COVID-19 case surfaces in county

David Adlerstein
The Apalach Times
The Apalach Times

An Apalachicola restaurant has confirmed one of its employees has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with an infected person outside of work.

The Florida Department of Health in Franklin County shared Saturday morning that a 34-year-old female Franklin resident had become ill after close contact to a non-resident visiting. The visitor is no longer here.

Franklin County now has a total of six COVID-19 cases, with two no longer required to isolate,

“We are also aware of an additional positive female resident related to rapid antigen 15-minute test,” wrote the county health department. “We are working closely with the individual, healthcare provider and employer to investigate the situation and conduct contact tracing to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus.”

In a Facebook post, Tamara’s Cafe reported that the employee displayed no symptoms and was told by health officials that the coronavirus was caught very early.

“In order to ensure public safety, we closed our restaurants down immediately for cleaning and sanitation and will be conducting rapid COVID-19 tests on all our employees on Monday,” wrote the restaurant. “We will keep the public informed on our re-opening and will continue here forth to provide a safe environment for our customers.

“We appreciate all our costumers’ business and support during this unprecedented times. Please be safe and wear your masks,” read the post.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Health in Franklin County (FDOH-Franklin) has received notification of a new positive case of COVID-19 in Franklin County, bringing a total of five cases, two of which are no longer required to isolate..

It is not clear whether the restaurant’s case is included among the five.

That new case was that of a 65-year-old male county resident with close contact to a previously confirmed positive case inside the county.

The state’s dashboard lists six cases, but after investigating, the additional case is not a county resident and that heave not been in the county. The health department is working with the state to correct the dashboard.

The health department is working closely with the patients, close contacts and healthcare providers to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

Public health efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing the spread of this virus and mitigating the impact of this virus. A technique called contact tracing is frequently used during such efforts. Contact tracing tracks and prevents the spread of disease. Infectious disease specialists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what to do. For more information, please review this Contact Tracing Can Contain COVID-19 flyer.

DOH-Franklin encourages our residents and visitors to continue to take the preventive steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Visitors to Franklin and Gulf are encouraged to get tested for COVID19 prior to coming.

“We will continue providing COVID19 testing for Franklin and Gulf residents as well as individuals from other counties and/or states,” said Sarah Hinds. “That being said, if you suspect you might have COVID19, please do not travel here. Please get a COVID19 test (nasal swab for active infection) in your community and know your results before you arrive. Stay home when you are sick and follow CDC guidelines. Visitors are also responsible for helping to keep our communities safe and healthy.”