On Thursday, a statewide COVID-19 testing initiative for Ohio’s more than 765 assisted living facilities was announced.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced at a press conference that the testing initiative is now underway to offer baseline saliva testing to all staff and residents at no cost to the facilities.
“The tests can be self-performed or performed with assistance, under the observance of licensed medical staff,” according to information from the governor’s office. “Baseline saliva tests are minimally invasive and provide reliable results in approximately 48 hours upon the lab’s receipt.”
An order requiring all assisted living facilities to participate in the testing initiative is posted at coronavirus.ohio.gov
On Thursday, DeWine announced that adult day care centers and senior centers may open at a reduced capacity beginning on September 21 if the facilities can meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order.
“By delaying the opening until September 21, we are providing time for each center to properly prepare based on the order’s guidelines,” said Governor DeWine. “Each center should consider a variety of factors when determining its ability to reopen, including the case status in the surrounding community.”
The Ohio Association of Senior Centers and those representing adult day centers nationally and locally assisted in developing the ResponsibleRestart Ohio plan for adult day care and senior centers, according to the governor’s office.
The full plan and health order will be posted at coronavirus.ohio.gov
The governor also released this week’s Ohio Public Advisory System map for COVID-19.
“Ohio continues to see a shift in virus spread. In urban areas, where residents have been wearing masks longer, we’re seeing spread decline, but rural areas are seeing more spread,” said Governor DeWine. “The best ways to stop the virus continue to be staying home when you can, wearing your mask and social distancing when you go out, and washing your hands often.”
Pike County has remained at a Level 1 (Yellow) Public Emergency, Active exposure and spread, for the second week, after having been a Level 2 (Orange) Public Emergency county (Increased exposure and spread) for one week.
Level 1 counties are to follow all current health orders, including:
• Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.
• Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
• Wear face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
• Increase caution when interacting with others who are not practicing social distancing or wearing face covers.
• Avoid traveling to high-risk areas.
• Follow good hygiene standards, including:
* Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
* Use hand sanitizer frequently. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] says hand sanitizers should contain at least 60 percent alcohol.)
* Avoid touching your face.
* Cover coughs or sneezes (e.g., into a tissue, or your elbow).
* Symptom self-evaluation monitoring.
Households should assume that if one person is sick every person living there is as well and should take appropriate measures to control the spread, which should include self-quarantining and contacting a doctor, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
As of Friday, the Pike County General Health District was reporting a total of 92 COVID-19 cases in the county since pandemic tracking began. As of Friday, they were reporting 13 active cases in the county. The county was reporting zero current hospitalizations for the disease in Pike County.
Cases in Pike County have ranged in age from two years old to 81 years old and have included 45 females and 47 males.
Ohio’s numbers as of Friday, show 113,046 COVID-19 cases since pandemic tracking began, including 107,064 confirmed cases and 5,982 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition.
As of Friday, Ohio was reporting at total of 3,955 COVID-19 deaths since pandemic tracking began, including 3,675 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 280 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.
Ohio cases have ranged in age from less than one year old to 109 years old with a median age of 42 years old.
As of Friday, the state reported that 92,736 people are presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date more than 21 days prior who are not deceased).
Video of all 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.