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Ohio couple with COVID-19 unsure what to do with 4-month-old daughter if they are hospitalized

Sara and Nick Seiffert, with their families in different states, turned to Facebook to ask for help.

Too often, COVID-19 is passed off as a virus that skips over the younger generation.

“The first day was like you really feel like you’re hit by a train,” Sara Seiffert said. “I mean, every muscle in your body hurts.”

Seiffert is 23. Her husband Nick is 28. The couple is getting ready to celebrate three years of marriage in August.

“I was somebody who didn’t really think that this would be bad,” she said.

About a week ago is when the symptoms started. Sara experienced nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and a headache so severe she couldn’t open her eyes.

“This is honestly the sickest I have ever been my whole life,” she said.

She says she believes she was exposed to the virus while babysitting a friend’s child who had just gotten out of quarantine. Sara says the day she watched the child, that evening the child had symptoms and was tested the next day for the coronavirus and was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The diagnosis quickly spread to Sara and Nick.

“We cried together,” Sara said. “Not really knowing what to do.”

They cried because the couple has a 4-month-old daughter, Aria. Sara says her pediatrician has told her it’s safe to say Aria probably has COVID, too, especially after she showed symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing and congestion.

Adding to the worry, the Seiffert's have no family in central Ohio. Nick’s family is in Florida, Sara’s mother is in California and her brother and father live closer but both are either sick or considered high risk for COVID.

Sara then turned to Facebook for help.

“My only option was really to reach out on the community page in hopes that someone could help me figure out a solution on what would happen,” Sara said. “There was a point there where I really thought [her and her husband] could need to go to the hospital.”

Sara and Nick began to wonder if they needed to be admitted to the hospital, who would help with Aria? She says a couple friends have offered, but they all have children and Sara didn’t want them to be exposed to the virus.

“It is really just a hard situation to be in,” she said. “There’s no real right answer I feel like.”

It’s a scenario that hasn’t really been discussed.

10TV News contacted the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and in response Director of Communications Bret Crow had this to say:

“If both parents test positive for COVID and are hospitalized or unable to adequately meet the child’s basic needs then the local Public Children Services Agency would assess options. If no relatives or ‘kin’ could be identified, the parents could sign a voluntary temporary agreement while they recovered, or the agency could file a dependency complaint and take temporary custody. Please keep in mind that kin can be anyone with a relationship or bond with the child and/or family, which could mean a neighbor, church member, etc. It’s also worth pointing out that temporary custody would be the absolute last option.”

Sara says that’s not a route she can take because Aria is still breastfeeding. As the couple continues to quarantine at home they’re hoping the chances of being hospitalized get slimmer with each passing day. Still, though, they have a message for the younger generation and parents like them to take COVID-19 seriously.

“Just to be careful and be prepared because it can happen to anyone and just be safe and be prepared in case you do have a baby,” Nick said.