CORUNNA — Shiawassee County health officials Wednesday announced a 33-year-old Owosso man has presumptively tested positive for COVID-19 in Shiawassee County and is being treated at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“We knew this day would come, we have been preparing accordingly and will continue to work with federal, state, and local partners to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” Shiawassee County Health Director Larry Johnson said in a press release.
The Shiawassee County Health Department and Memorial Healthcare is asking anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially exposing others. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Kristi Taphouse, who identified herself as the spouse of the victim, Brian Taphouse, posted Wednesday on Facebook that he was in stable condition at U-M.
“My husband is very sick in the ICU and needs all the love and prayers and good vibes he can get right now,” her post said. “Don’t let the ‘official’ numbers give you a false sense of security. Stay home. This is very serious.”
Kristi Taphouse said her husband was tested Saturday, but results take seven to 10 days to return.
Earlier Wednesday, health officials were still saying that although no tests had returned with positive results, they were treating the situation as though cases exist in the county.
“We are aware of the person airlifted to Ann Arbor,” Health Director Larry Johnson said. “We’ve talked to Memorial Healthcare. We do not have confirmation from Ann Arbor, so we can’t say nay or yay. We’re operating under the premise that it’s here.”
Officials reported 272 tests conducted in the county and 100 returned as negative. Results from the rest are pending. Tests can take more than a week to be completed.
As of 10 a.m. today, the state had 2,294 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 43 deaths.
Johnson said his staff is trying to stay ahead of the curve. He said social distancing is a key factor in stopping the virus from spreading.
“That’s how we’re going to win,” he said.
In Wednesday afternoon’s press release, Memorial and county officials said they were tracking all the people in contact with Taphouse.
“With this first presumptive positive case in Shiawassee County we again urge everyone to follow closely the precautions and guidance that has been given,” said Brian Long, president/CEO of Memorial Healthcare. “Over the span of the past week, we’ve added specific screening, care and treatment areas for COVID-19 patients, and our amazing staff has been working tirelessly to mitigate the spread of the virus in our community.”
The Memorial Healthcare Alternate Care Site remains open on a walk-in basis from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week for mild to moderate flu-like symptoms at 826 W. King St. People with severe symptoms, should call 911 or proceed to the emergency department. Call the emergency department at (989) 723-5211 before arrival, if possible.