Ohio Public Health Advisory - Sept. 3

After spending a week at Level 2 (orange), as of Thursday, Sept. 3, Pike County is at Level 1 Public Emergency, Active Exposure and Spread (yellow), according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for COVID-19.

Detailed information on all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/

As of Friday, Sept. 4, according to the Pike County General Health District Pike County had seven active cases. Pike County has had a total of 114 reported COVID-19 cases since pandemic tracking began, with 100 confirmed cases as well as 14 probable cases as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded case definition. Pike’s cases have included 61 females and 53 males, and ages in the county have ranged from two years old to 81 years old. As of Friday, there were no current hospitalizations for the disease reported for the county.

On Tuesday, rankings of all 88 Ohio counties by highest occurrences of COVID-19 cases (tracked over a 14-day period) showed neighboring Jackson County had the third highest ranking of COVID-19 occurrences in the state. Pike County was at 52nd in the state. On Thursday, the rankings showed Jackson County at fifth in the state and Pike County at 59th in the state.

As for the state, as of Friday, Ohio was reporting a total of 128,444 reported COVID-19 cases since pandemic tracking began, including 121,765 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,679 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition. As of Friday, the state reported a total of 4,248 COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, including 3,962 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 286 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.

On Friday, the state was reporting 107,083 cases presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date more than 21 days prior who are not deceased).

At his press conferences this week, Governor Mike DeWine urged Ohioans to take proper safety precautions over the Labor Day weekend.

The governor said that the White House has been very clear about the dangers faced this Labor Day weekend, and he said that Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, asked DeWine directly to share the message with all Ohio residents “to please, please be careful.”

DeWine stressed that citizens can still have fun, visit family, and travel, but face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing should also be part of your plans.

“It’s not about where we go, but rather, what we do when we get there,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s about how we act when we’re with family and friends and what precautions we take. The decisions we make as we celebrate the unofficial end of summer will play a major role in how we begin the fall.”

“As you consider gathering with family and friends this weekend, please remember that COVID-19 still represents a significant risk to the lives and livelihoods of citizens in Ohio,” the governor stated.

DeWine encourages citizens to continue regular hand-washing, social distancing, and disinfecting. The mask mandate in Ohio remains in effect for all 88 counties.

In the weeks following the Fourth of July, Ohio began to see a significant increase in cases caused, in part, by holiday gatherings, the governor’s office said.

Governor DeWine also reminded young Ohioans of their responsibility to follow safety precautions, especially students attending a college or university.

Case data shows that those aged 18-22 currently make up 35-40 percent of all young Ohioans who have tested positive for the virus, which is a significant increase from previous months, according to the governor’s office.

“In Cincinnati, multiple off-campus parties with students attending from several universities on August 17 have resulted in at least 78 confirmed cases,” said Governor DeWine. “Although college students might not get seriously ill, they could spread the virus to others who could. The responsibility falls on all of us to protect each other.”

During Thursday’s press conference, the governor also announced that information from Ohio’s new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network is now available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/wastewater

According to the governor’s office, the network was developed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the study of wastewater samples.

“The presence of coronavirus gene copies/fragments can be found in the waste of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and can be detected in wastewater as many as three to seven days before those infections lead to increases in case counts or hospitalizations in a community,” the governor’s office stated.

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.

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

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