The Athens County Food Pantry (ACFP) is the latest local organization to confirm a positive COVID-19 case.

The announcement came on Monday evening from the ACFP’s Facebook page.

“As a pantry we believe in safety and transparency. Because of this, we have worked very hard to follow all health recommendations during the pandemic including masks, gloves, frequent disinfecting, and appropriate social distancing. Unfortunately we have received word that a volunteer has tested positive for COVID 19,” ACFP President Karin Bright said in the announcement.

Upon learning of the positive test result, the ACFP stated that the Ohio Department of Health was contacted for guidance and protocols. All volunteers were notified and given the proper recommendations regarding any necessary quarantines or testing.

The positive test result comes after a weekend of case increases for Athens County. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 248 known active cases and 803 recovered cases, bringing the county total to 1,053 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been two deaths.

This also follows the highest increase of reported cases within a 24-hour period on Friday, when 46 new cases were reported. Saturday, 31 new cases were reported and 28 on Sunday. On Monday, 13 new cases were reported. Tuesday’s data reflects an increase of 11 cases.

In response to the positive test result, the ACFP as increased the cleaning and sanitization of its facility.

“Our location is sanitized to deep clean levels at the end of every business day. Out of an abundance of caution, a second deep cleaning will take place in the morning before opening,” the ACFP’s statement said.

According to the announcement, no client has had close or sustained contact with any volunteer, including the volunteer who tested positive.

Athens County Job and Family Services will be helping the ACFP to serve “Full Bell food” to its clients this week. Clients will need to fill out a paper form for this week, as the ACFP says that its computer program will not be available.

“We know that they will provide the very same high quality service to every client. Many thanks to the staff for their willingness to help keep food available this week,” Bright said.

Bright and the ACFP asks the community to keep its volunteers in their “thoughts and prayers.”

“This dedicated group of people have not missed a day since the pandemic started,” Bright said. “They work extra shifts when needed to make sure that we continue to feed our neighbors in Athens County. We have tried our very hardest, done everything according to health protocols and will continue to do so in the future. Please stay safe and follow the recommendations as we move through this together!”

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