Ohio Public Health Advisory System - Sept. 17, 2020

As of Thursday, Sept. 17, Pike County has again been rated at an Orange Level 2 Public Emergency, Increased exposure and spread, for COVID-19 cases, by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Fourteen new cases COVID-19 cases were added to Pike’s numbers on Friday, twice as many new daily cases as the county has ever had (see more information below).

According to the Pike County General Health District, the county has triggered three of the advisory system’s indicators: new cases per capita; proportion of cases not in a congregate setting; and sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness. (Level 2 means that two to three of seven indicators have been reached in a county.)

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.”

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/

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.

On Friday, in Pike County, 14 new cases were added, while four more were listed as recovered. The county has had 47 cases added to the total case numbers by the health district since Sept. 8. Two individuals are currently hospitalized.

As of Friday, the Pike County General Health District was reporting 40 active cases in Pike County.

There have been 164 COVID-19 cases reported in the county since pandemic tracking began, including 128 confirmed cases and 36 probable cases (which includes positive antibody tests and rapid tests). Pike’s cases have ranged in age from two years old to 86 years old and have included 89 females and 75 males.

The health district released Pike County’s updated township data on Friday, showing where Pike County’s cases are/have been located: Pee Pee Township — 57 cases; Seal Township — 26; Pebble Township — 17; Newton Township — 12; Scioto Township — 7; Union Township — 7; Marion Township — 7; Beaver Township — 6; Perry Township — 6; Benton Township — 6; Jackson Township — 5; Camp Creek Township — 4; Mifflin Township — 2; Sunfish Township — 2.

Ohio’s COVID-19 numbers, as of Friday, Sept. 18, showed 142,596 total cases since pandemic tracking began, including 134,992 confirmed cases and 7,674 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition.

As of Friday, the state was reporting 4,608 total COVID-19 deaths since pandemic tracking began, including 4,312 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 296 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.

On Friday, the state was reporting 120,585 presumed recovered (defined as cases with a symptom onset date more than 21 days prior who are not deceased).

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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