JACKSON — A total of three Jackson County residents have been tested for COVID-19, and all three have tested negative.

In Vinton County, there is one pending test as of Friday morning, but no confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health is no longer reporting people under investigation and people being monitored.

In Athens, the Athens City-County Health Department reported that there are no confirmed cases in the county as well. In fact, most of the southeastern swath of the state has remained without any confirmed cases.

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston told The Courier on Thursday, March 19, that the third resident who was under investigation last week for “potential” infection of COVID-19 has tested negative.

“I’d like to note that the disease reporting strategy has changed since last week, and persons under investigation are no longer reported to the local health departments, only lab-confirmed cases,” explained Aston. “When there is a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, I will announce that to the whole community.”

The following day, on March 14, Aston told The Courier that those two residents, mentioned before, had tested negative. He had announced that he was waiting on pending lab results for a third potential case, which he later confirmed is a negative.

Aston has previously explained that the three Jackson County residents each were suffering from a severe upper respiratory illness. Other tests or examinations, such as flu swab, had come back negative, so COVID-19 testing was performed. Aston had said that the three cases are not connected or related. The individuals have not traveled out of the country.

As of Thursday, March 19, according to the Ohio Department of Health, there are a total of 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio across 27 counties, including one death in Lucas County.

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