Numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to rise significantly in both Pike County and the State of Ohio.
Pike County remains at a Red Level 3 Public Emergency, Very high exposure and spread, according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory updated on Thursday. Pike County and every other county in the state continue to be rated with high incidence of the disease, as well.
Pike County triggered three indicators on the Ohio Public Health Advisory as reported by the Pike County General Health District:
“Indicator 1 — New cases per capita (486.10) per 100,000 over the past two weeks
“Indicator 3 — Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting
“Indicator 5 — Sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness”
“Our rise in cases can be attributed to community spread where individuals are not sure where they were exposed – no real red flag during the interview process,” the Pike County General Health District stated in a post on their Facebook page on Thursday. “We are also seeing household spread and numerous cases tied to private gatherings, Halloween parties, and birthday parties.”
As spread is increasing, the Pike health district is reminding everyone to continue to take preventative measures by practicing social distancing (at least six feet apart), by washing your hands frequently, by avoiding touching your face, and by wearing a facial covering in public settings.
“Please avoid large gatherings and if attending a large gathering, do your best to maintain social distancing and wear a facial covering while indoors — and outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained,” Pike health district stated. “Most importantly — if you or your child feel sick, please stay home and seek guidance from a health care professional.”
As of Thursday, Nov. 12, the Pike County General Health District was reporting 99 current active COVID-19 cases in the county, nine current hospitalizations, and one death. On Thursday, the health district reported 17 new cases in the county, 12 more recoveries, and three more hospitalizations.
As of Thursday, Pike County has reported a total of 535 reported COVID-19 cases, including 459 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 76 probable COVID-19 cases (which includes positive antibody tests and rapid tests) since pandemic tracking began. These cases have included 312 females and 223 males and have ranged in age from one year old to 91 years old. There have been 435 reported recovered in the county.
Also, as of Thursday, the Pike health district reported that they were currently monitoring 329 people and that 1,060 people have completed monitoring.
The indicator overview for the state can be viewed at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/OPHASM/Summary-Alert-Indicators.pdf
More detailed information on the advisory system, its indicators used to establish levels, and guidelines for each level can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/
Detailed information on Ohio Public Health Advisory Levels as well as information on who high-risk individuals are and more is available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/OPHASM/COVID-19-Risk-Level-Guidelines-GP.pdf
Unfortunately, Ohio continues to break records in numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state. In the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday, the state reported another 7,101 cases, a record for the highest number of cases in a 24-hour period in the state. The state then broke that record on Friday, with a reported 8,071 new cases in the previous 24 hours. The reported change in deaths and hospitalizations in the state during the previous 24 hours were also significantly above the 21-day average as of Friday.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans on Wednesday evening and called on citizens to recommit to their individual efforts to prevent coronavirus spread as Ohio moves through its most intense, widespread, and dangerous surge of cases to date.
“Ohio is currently facing a record number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care admissions,” according to the governor’s office. “During the first week of November alone, 104 Ohioans infected with the coronavirus died.”
“With this new wave of COVID-19, the onset of flu season, and an already-exhausted group of healthcare workers, there are serious concerns that there won’t be enough people to fully staff our healthcare facilities in the next few weeks,” said Governor DeWine. “If we don’t change this, Ohio won’t be able to provide appropriate care for COVID patients or for Ohioans who require other emergency care for things like accidents, strokes, and heart attacks. Hospitals will again be forced to postpone important, but less urgent, care.”
Although testing capacity in Ohio has nearly doubled, the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus has increased almost four times. At the end of September, Ohio averaged under 1,000 new cases per day; this week, Ohio hit a record high of more than 8,000 new cases reported in a single 24-hour period.
“As we wait for the vaccine, which could come as soon as December, we have so much to protect,” said Governor DeWine. “What each Ohioan does in his or her own life impacts every citizen and every place we desperately want and need to keep open — our schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and businesses.”
On Wednesday, the governor announced a revised mask order from the Ohio Department of Health.
“Although most people and businesses have properly followed COVID-19 safety guidelines issued in Ohio’s July 23, 2020, mask order, others are not following the order,” the governor’s office stated.
“To protect frontline workers and customers, the Ohio Department of Health will reissue Ohio’s mask order and add the following provisions:
• Each store will be required to post a sign outlining face-covering requirements at all public entrances to the store;
• Each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks; and
• A new Retail Compliance Unit, comprised of agents led by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, will inspect to ensure compliance. A first violation will result in a written warning and a second violation will result in closure of the store for up to 24 hours.”
The governor also announced a new social gathering order from the Ohio Department of Health:
“Ohio’s April order that limits public events and private gatherings of more than 10 people is still in effect, however, there has been rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” the governor’s office stated.
“To address the tragedies that have resulted from such events, the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order that will place significant new restrictions on these social activities. Specifically, open congregate areas will no longer be permitted to open, and everyone will be required to be seated and masked unless they are actively consuming food or drinks.
“Bars, restaurants, and fitness centers may remain open, but this will be reassessed one week from tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 12) for potential closure.”
“If the current trend continues and cases keep increasing, we will be forced to make these closures,” said Governor DeWine. “I am very well aware of the burden this will place on employees and owners, but these are places where it is difficult or impossible to maintain mask-wearing, which we know now is the chief way of slowing this virus.”
As of Friday, the Ohio Department of Health was reporting a total of 282,528 reported COVID-19 cases in the state since pandemic tracking began, including 267,338 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15,190 probable COVID-19 cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded case definition.
As of Friday, the state was reporting a total of 5,700 COVID-19 deaths in Ohio since pandemic tracking began, including 5,354 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 346 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.
As of Nov. 1, the state was reporting 197,674 presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date more than 21 days prior who are not deceased).
According to Thursday’s updated health advisory system, 68 Ohio counties are currently rated as having a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 56 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July.
On Thursday, the governor announced the creation of a new zip code dashboard. Ohioans can now view data from their local communities and filter data by probable or confirmed case status, county, a specific zip code, or a specific time period. Case counts will also be available on a downloadable, filterable chart sorted from the most cases to the least. To protect confidentiality, case counts for zip codes with fewer than five cases or less than 100 total residents will not be displayed.
The new zip code dashboard can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/key-metrics/cases-by-zipcode
For Governor DeWine’s entire address on Wednesday, visit ohiochannel.org or read his prepared remarks at https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/OHOOD/2020/11/12/file_attachments/1599590/For%20Distribution%20As%20Prepared%20Governor%20DeWine%20November%20Address%20to%20Ohio.pdf
Video of the governor’s full updates, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, including tips for prevention of the disease, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.