IRONTON Health officials today announced the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Lawrence County, Ohio.

The patient has not been hospitalized and has no recent history of travel, county health commissioner Georgia Dillon said.

The patient also has no known exposure to any other confirmed cases, Dillon said.

Dillon would not identify the patient because of privacy concerns.

The health department will contact anyone who needs knowledge of the case, and is working to identify any contact the patient has made with others, she said.

It will advise those people to self-quarantine, she said.

County authorities have been preparing for a month for the virus to reach the area, said commissioner Colton Copley, who is an emergency room physician.

The virus may have been in the region undetected for some time, he said.

For maximum safety, people should stay home, unless venturing out is necessary, Sheriff Jeff Lawless said.

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