Ohio Public Health Advisory System - Aug. 27

Pike County is back to a Level 2 Public Emergency, Increased exposure and spread (Orange), for COVID-19 according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (released Thursday) after a couple of weeks at Level 1, Active exposure and spread (Yellow).

According to the Pike County General Health District, the county triggered two indicators: New cases per capita (which is flagged if the number is greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks) and over 50 percent of new cases from a non-congregate setting. (Level 2 means that two to three of seven indicators have been reached in a county.)

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 guidance for each level can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/

People in counties at Level 2 are to exercise a high degree of caution in addition to following all current health orders.

Guidelines for all levels include the following:

• Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.

• Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet (some experts are saying much farther) 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.

Guidelines for Level 2 include the following:

• Same guidelines as in Level 1 and in addition:

• Avoid contact with anyone who is considered high-risk.

• High-risk individuals should take extra care to follow precautions.

• Decrease in-person interactions outside household.

• Seek medical care as needed, but limit or avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities to see others as much as possible.

“Over 60% of Ohioans are considered high-risk based on CDC guidance,” according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). “High-risk individuals are at an increased risk of severe illness and should take every precaution to guard against contracting COVID-19, including following higher risk level guidance ... Consult a doctor about your risk.”

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

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 ODH.

Pike County’s numbers provided by the Pike County General Health District, as of Friday, Aug. 28, show a total of 10 active COVID-19 cases in the county. The county has recorded 105 total cases since pandemic tracking began, with 55 females and 50 males and cases ranging in age from two years old to 81 years old. As of Friday, the health district was showing zero current hospitalizations for the disease.

On Friday, the health district posted a map of total COVID-19 cases in the county by township: Pee Pee Township — 29; Seal Township — 17; Newton Township — 9; Pebble Township — 7; Perry Township — 6; Marion Township — 6; Jackson Township — 5; Beaver Township — 5; Union Township — 5; Scioto Township — 5; Benton Township — 5; Camp Creek Township — 3; Mifflin Township — 2; Sunfish Township — 1. The health district stated, as of Friday, that townships with currently active cases include Marion Township (1), Newton Township (2), Pee Pee Township (2), Seal Township (1), Beaver Township (1), Benton Township (1); and Scioto Township(2).

State numbers as of Friday show a total of 120,124 COVID-19 cases since pandemic tracking began, including 113,725 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,399 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition.

As of Friday, the state showed a total of 4,105 COVID-19 deaths since pandemic tracking began, including 3,819 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 286 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition. The state numbers were showing 100,127 presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date more than 21 days prior who are not deceased).

As of Friday, the state was above the 21-day reported average for reported cases, reported deaths, and reported intensive care unit admissions.

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.

Email at mlucas@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @NewsWatchman.

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