Ohio Public Health Advisory System - Nov. 19

Numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 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 (550.91) 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,” the Pike County General Health District stated in a post on their Facebook page on Thursday. “We are also seeing household spread and cases tied to social gatherings with no masks or social distancing.”

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. 19, the Pike County General Health District was reporting 139 current active COVID-19 cases in the county, four current hospitalizations, and one death. On Thursday, the health district reported 28 new cases in the county, 12 more recoveries, and four hospital discharges.

As of Thursday, Pike County has reported a total of 667 reported COVID-19 cases, including 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 97 probable COVID-19 cases (which includes positive antibody tests and rapid tests), since pandemic tracking began. These cases have included 382 females and 285 males and have ranged in age from six months old to 96 years old. There have been 527 reported recovered in the county.

Also, as of Thursday, the Pike health district reported that they were currently monitoring 425 people and that 1,275 people have completed monitoring.

As of Thursday, the State of Ohio was reporting 3,829 current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, with 943 of these individuals in the intensive care unit (ICU).

“These are the highest patient counts Ohio has had during the pandemic and more than double the hospitalizations recorded during previous peaks,” according to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office.

“While statewide testing has increased by 43 percent, positive cases have increased by nearly 300 percent in the past month.

“New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed (Thursday) that Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Purple Public Emergency with severe exposure and spread (the first Ohio county to reach a Level 4). All 88 counties remain at ‘high incidence’ as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the first time, no counties are rated below Level 2.”

“Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way as Franklin County, but make no mistake — almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue,” said Governor DeWine.

The governor’s office announced this week that two new COVID-19 dashboards tracking the number of cases at Ohio’s child care centers are now available at coronavirus.oh.gov

“The first dashboard tracks the number of children and staff cases in individual centers,” according to the governor’s office. “Because of the small size of home-based providers, many of which serve six or fewer children, positive COVID cases from children and adults in those facilities will be tracked by county on a separate dashboard.”

On Thursday, the governor announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed a health order encouraging people to stay at home during specified hours unless they are working or engaged in an essential activity.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread in Ohio, we need a stronger response to minimize the impact on Ohio’s healthcare and hospital capacity and ensure healthcare is available to those that need it,” said Governor DeWine. “With this order we are discouraging get-togethers and gatherings to minimize the spread of the virus while minimizing the economic impact of a complete shutdown.”

Specifications in this order include:

• Individuals within the state must stay at a place of residence during the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for obtaining necessary food, medical care, or social services or providing care for others.

• This order doesn’t apply to those that are homeless.

• Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are encouraged to leave their homes and stay at a safe, alternative location.

• The order does not apply to religious observances and First Amendment protected speech including activity by the media.

• The order permits travel into or out of the state and permits travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children according to a custody agreement, or to obtain fuel.

Individuals are permitted to leave a place of residence during the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the following essential activities:

• Engaging in activities essential to their health and safety or the health and safety of those in their households or people who are unable to or should not leave their homes, including pets. Activities can include but are not limited to seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional including hospitals, emergency departments, urgent care clinics, and pharmacies.

• To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or members of their household who are unable or should not leave their home, to deliver those services or supplies to others. Examples of those include, but are not limited to, obtaining groceries and food. Food and beverages may be obtained only for consumption off-premises, through such means as delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup and carryout.

• To obtain necessary social services.

• To go to work, including volunteer work.

• To take care of or transport a family member, friend, or pet in their household or another household.

• To perform or obtain government services.

This order will apply for the next 21-days.

For more information on numbers of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, go to coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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.

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

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