Ohio Public Health Advisory System - Oct. 29

New cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Pike County and the State of Ohio.

As of this week, Pike County joins a large portion of the state in continuing its rating at a Red, Level 3 Public Emergency, Very high exposure and spread, according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory updated on Thursday. Pike County, like the vast majority of the state, is also rated as a county with high incidence of the disease.

“Despite only triggering two indicators (1 and 3) out of seven, Pike County will remain in the Red category on the alert system today due to still being classified as high incidence,” the Pike County General Health District posted to its Facebook page on Thursday. “We will stay at Level 3 (Red) until we drop below the high incidence threshold of over 100 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period.”

According to the Pike health district, the following indicators were triggered in Pike County for this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory:

“Indicator 1 — New cases per capita (205.24) cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks

“Indicator 3 — Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting.”

The Pike County General Health District is reminding everyone to continue to take preventative measures by practicing social distancing (at least six feet apart), washing your hands frequently, 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,” the 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 Friday, the Pike County General Health District was reporting a total of 62 active COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the health district reported 13 new cases, 14 more recovered, and one more hospitalized with the disease.

Total COVID-19 cases in Pike County since pandemic tracking began were at 379 as of Friday, including 308 confirmed cases and 62 probable cases (which includes positive antibody tests and rapid tests). Cases have ranged in age from one year old to 91 years old and include 217 females and 162 males. On Friday, the county was reporting 317 recovered cases.

As of Friday, the Pike County General Health District was reporting five current hospitalizations for COVID-19 for Pike County and zero deaths.

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

Numbers of COVID-19 cases in the State of Ohio continued to soar this week with Thursday and Friday both setting records for new cases in the previous 24-hour period. There were 3,590 new cases reported in the state on Thursday and 3,845 new cases in the state reported on Friday. The 21-day average of daily reported cases in the state as of Friday was 2,223. On Friday, the last 24-hour reported averages for deaths, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were all above the 21-day averages.

On Thursday, a total of 194 new hospitalizations in the state for COVID-19 had been reported in the previous 24 hours, the third-highest number of hospitalizations reported in a single day so far. There were 169 new hospitalizations reported on Friday.

“The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “We must face this virus head-on with the tools that we know can beat this virus back: masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and good ventilation when inside.”

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in 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/

On Friday, the state reported a total of 212,782 COVID-19 cases in Ohio since pandemic tracking began, including 200,782 confirmed cases and 12,173 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition. As of Friday, the state was reporting a total of 5,291 total COVID-19 deaths since pandemic tracking began, including 4,979 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 312 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.

On Tuesday, the governor announced that the number of patients treated in Intensive Care Units at hospitals throughout the state was at the highest rate since the beginning of the crisis. He said that based on the indicators we have not yet reached the peak of our hospitalizations, and the ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October. Governor DeWine said on Tuesday that most of Ohio’s cases are a result of community spread.

“As the virus spreads in the community from gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing, it directly impacts our ability to keep our schools open, to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes, and to keep our hospitals from being over-run and exceeding capacity,” said DeWine.

Also on Tuesday, DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus.

• Wear a mask when you are out in public, when you go to a store, and when you are with friends.

• Keep your distance.

• Wash your hands often.

• Keep your building well-ventilated.

He also asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home, when possible; to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus; and require customers to wear masks.

Governor DeWine also called on community leaders to inventory where they are in the battle against COVID-19. He asked them to work together to assess where they are, what they need to do, and set goals in their fight against the virus.

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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