Ohio Public Health Advisory System - Oct. 8

For the third week in a row, Pike County will continue at a Red Level 3 Public Emergency, Very high exposure and spread, for COVID-19 as rated by the Ohio Public Health Advisory, which was updated on Thursday, Oct. 8. In addition, Pike County has been rated as a county with high incidence of the disease.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Pike County General Health District explained some of the numbers in Pike County.

“Despite only triggering three indicators (1,3,5), Pike County will remain in the Red category on the alert system today due to still being classified as high incidence,” the health district stated. “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.”

(Level 3 means that four to five of the health advisory’s indicators have been triggered in a county, or if a county is previously at a Level 3, it will remain at a Level 3 until the county drops below the high incidence threshold mentioned above.)

The Pike Health District stated that the following are the key data points:

Pike County (133.23 cases per 100,000 residents in past two weeks)

We have 3 indicators triggered

• Indicator 1 — New cases per capita

• Indicator 3 — Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting

• Indicator 5 — Sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness

“Although we are still red, our numbers are improving and heading in the right direction – so please keep doing your part,” the health district stated.

Here are some of the improvements, according to the Pike health district:

“Indicator 1 – We went from 212.4 cases per 100k on 9/28 to 133.23 cases on 10/6.

“Indicator 2 – We went from an average of 5.0 new cases per day on 9/24 to an average of 1.71 on 10/6.

“Indicator 4 – Emergency department visits (for COVID-like illness) have gone from an average of 1.43 on 9/25 to 0.0 — from 10/3 to 10/6.”

The Pike County Health District reminded everyone to continue to take preventative measures by practicing social distancing (at least six feet apart), washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and wear 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. Most importantly — if you or your child feel sick, please stay home and seek guidance from a health care professional,” the health district stated.

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

Neighboring Scioto County also continued at Red this week, and neighboring Ross County is at Red for the first time this week.

As of Friday, the Pike County General Health District was reporting that the county had nine new cases of COVID-19 that day as well as four more recovered cases and one more hospitalized case, bringing the current total of hospitalized COVID-19 cases for the county as of Friday to five. State numbers show Pike County has had a total of 24 hospitalizations for the disease since pandemic tracking began. As of Friday, the county was reporting 32 active cases.

Also as of Friday, total reported COVID-19 cases in Pike County since pandemic tracking began were 251, including 201 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 50 probable COVID-19 cases (which includes positive antibody tests and rapid tests). Total cases in Pike have ranged from age two to age 91 and have included 145 females and 106 males.

The county also released cumulative township data as of Oct. 9 showing number of total cases in each township since pandemic tracking began:

Pee Pee Township: 82; Seal Township: 39; Pebble Township: 23; Newton Township: 17; Union Township: 16; Scioto Township: 16; Beaver Township: 13; Marion Township: 12; Camp Creek Township: 8; Benton Township: 8; Perry Township: 7; Jackson Township: 6; Mifflin Township: 2; and Sunfish Township: 2.

The Pike County General Health District also released an update on numbers of current (not cumulative) COVID cases in Pike schools as of Oct. 9:

Waverly — Staff: 0 Students: 1

Piketon — Staff: 0 Students: 0

Pike Career Technology Center (CTC) — Staff: 1 Students: 0

Eastern — Staff: 1 Students: 0

Western — Staff: 0 Students: 0

Miracle City Academy — Staff: 0 Students: 0

Pike Christian Academy — Staff: 0 Students: 0

ECC — Staff: 1 Students: 0

Total — Staff: 3 Students: 1

Number of Contacts Currently Quarantined:

Waverly: 2

Piketon: 4

Pike CTC: 3

Eastern: 14

Western: 0

Miracle City Academy: 0

Pike Christian Academy: 1

ECC: 0

“We have 18 Red counties, which is more than we’ve seen since the week of July 23,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine at a press conference on Thursday. “Additionally, there are 58 Orange (Level 2) counties this week, the highest ever. 96% of Ohioans are living in a Red or Orange county.”

The governor mentioned that the virus continues to spread quickly throughout the state, and he indicated that we need to continue staying at home when sick, wearing a mask when out, and social distancing.

“Talking with local health departments, a lot of the spread we are seeing is being driven by everyday activities that certainly seem benign, seem innocent — having neighbors over for a backyard barbecue, meeting up with friends after a sporting event, or going to a birthday party with family, “ the governor said. “These are some of the leading causes of spread we’re seeing.

“There’s also increased spread among families and households and churches and at after-school activities and sports. We’re seeing these gatherings many times are turning into outbreaks.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, the governor noted that although COVID-19 hospital admissions in Ohio had been declining since peaking in mid-July, hospitalizations are now trending upwards with an increasing number of hospitalizations in rural Ohio.

“The average age of hospitalized patients has also gone up in recent weeks,” according to the governor’s office. “Ohioans 60 and older now account for approximately 70 percent of COVID hospital admissions as compared to 50 percent of hospitalizations in July.”

“As we said earlier in August and September, spread among the young and healthy will eventually impact those who are older and more vulnerable, which is why it is so very important that younger Ohioans do all they can to prevent spread,” said Governor DeWine.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 6, the governor’s office stated that all regions of the state currently have adequate hospital capacity.

As of Friday, Ohio’s numbers, according to the Ohio Department of Health, included a total of 166,102 reported COVID-19 cases since pandemic tracking began, including 156,480 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9,622 probable COVID-19 cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded case definition.

As of Friday, the state had a total of 4,994 total reported COVID-19 deaths since pandemic tracking began, including 4,686 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 308 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition. As of Friday, the state was reporting 141,642 people presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date of more than 21 days prior who are not deceased.)

As of Friday, cases in Ohio have ranged in age from less than one year old to 109 years old with a median age of 40 years old.

The 24-hour reported change in COVID-19 cases in Ohio on Friday was 1,840, which was not only significantly higher than the 21-day reported case average in the state but, according to the Columbus Dispatch, was the highest number of COVID-19 cases the state has ever had in a single day, replacing the old daily record of 1,733 reported on July 30.

Twenty-four-hour changes in reported hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in the state were also above the 21-day reported average for the state as of Friday.

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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