With the arrival of summer and all of the activities that go along with the season, people are beginning to move about more and more.
Part of Thursday’s press conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted featured discussion on an increase in cases in five counties in southwest Ohio, including Montgomery County, Greene County, Clark County, Warren County, and Hamilton County. Case counts in these counties by zip code can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/slides/Press-Conference-Slides.pdf
DeWine said there was a big jump in cases for the whole state of Ohio in a 24-hour span, but that deaths, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are under the 21-day average.
“We are starting to see some trend lines that are worrisome. People are moving around a lot more,” said DeWine.
“We have community spread virtually everywhere. None of this should come as a real shock. We will see hotspots and increases in cases in different parts of the state.”
When there are increases in certain areas, DeWine said there will be a plan to address the uptick in cases.
“The action that we are taking in regard to Southwest Ohio and those five counties will be what we will do when this occurs in other counties. We did a conference call with the mayors, county officials and health officials and talked about what the plan was,” he said.
“You will see us move in more heavily with the National Guard to do testing in different sites. We will work very closely with the hospitals in the region with the testing. We will also be doing testing locations that we will be announcing through local media.”
Along with pop-up testing sites in the five southwest Ohio counties mentioned, there will be an opportunity to be tested in nearby Portsmouth next week. That pop-up testing site will be at the Compass Community Health Center at 1634 11th Street in Portsmouth from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24.
In response to this increase in cases, Governor DeWine announced that pop-up testing sites will surge into the zip codes with the highest number of cases. Testing at pop-up sites is free, and citizens are not required to live in the community where the pop-up site is located to receive a test.
New pop-up testing sites will also be scheduled in other locations to ensure testing accessibility throughout the state. A list of sites currently scheduled in Ohio is available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/families-and-individuals/mhsf/covid-19-minority-health-strike-force on the COVID-19 Minority Health Testing page.
During the press conference, Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease doctor and associate medical director for infection control at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, provided information on an increase in the percentage of children testing positive for COVID-19 at Rainbow Babies.
“What we’ve really been seeing recently is an increase of the percent of tests that are coming back positive, particularly in symptomatic children — meaning that for kids who have symptoms of a respiratory viral disease, a larger percent of them are coronavirus than earlier in the pandemic,” Dr. Edwards said. “It’s to be expected as the state opens that we’re going to start to see more positive kids, but that rate has been going up, and it is something we’re keeping our eye on. It hasn’t gone up dramatically, about five to six percent or so, but it has been a steady increase, and it has not stopped increasing as of yet.”
Dr. Edwards said that hospital admissions for COVID-19 in children at Rainbow Babies have also increased.
Symptoms of COVID-19 in kids are similar to symptoms in adults. If your child seems to be having trouble breathing or is not eating or drinking, Dr. Edwards recommends calling your pediatrician to get your child tested.
“For coronavirus in general in children, the vast majority of children are going to do great. Children are nowhere near as affected as the older groups,” said Edwards.
“It is a respiratory virus. You are looking for respiratory symptoms like cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and fever. Any parent or grandparent knows that kids are always running around with a little bit of a stuffy nose. If it is mild, you may not do anything differently at all. If your child is having a little more trouble breathing or not eating and drinking like they should, you might want to talk to your pediatrician.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 symptoms may include the following:
• Fever or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
“This list does not include all possible symptoms,” the CDC states on its website. “CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. (cdc.gov)
The CDC also stated the following concerning seeking medical attention:
“When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
• Trouble breathing
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion
• Inability to wake or stay awake
• Bluish lips or face
“*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
“Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO),
“COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.
“Most common symptoms:
• dry cough
“Less common symptoms:
• aches and pains
• sore throat
• loss of taste or smell
• a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
• difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• chest pain or pressure
• loss of speech or movement
“Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.”
Other symptoms of COVID-19 in some patients have also been reported in recent weeks including GI (gastrointestinal) upset, vomiting, anorexia (a loss of appetite or aversion to food), and abdominal pain.
Among the other symptoms in some COVID-19 patients reported by the media recently are a symptom that produces a strange buzzing sensation throughout the body, dizziness, lesions on the feet or toes (sometimes referred to as “COVID toes”), skin rashes, and more.
On Thursday, Dr. Edwards also reported that cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have also increased at Rainbow Babies. Symptoms include high fever, rash, red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. This disease is COVID-19 related. More information on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is available at uhhospitals.org.
As of Friday, June 19, the Ohio Department of Health was reporting a total of 43,731 cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, including 40, 549 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,182 probable COVID-19 cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded case definition. As of June 19, the state was reporting 2,667 total deaths from COVID-19, including 2,430 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 237 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov
Full videos of DeWine’s press conferences each day can be found on the Ohio Channel website at http://www.ohiochannel.org/collections/governor-mike-dewine?collections=109410&dir=DESC&keywords=Search+Collection&pageSize=12&sort=BestMatch&start=1
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, including tips for prevention of the disease and slowing its spread, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
More detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio