Mar. 30, 2020 – Fourth Lab Confirmed Case of COVID-19, School Closure Extended, Call for Help, PPE & Donations, Organizing Social Service Resources, Stay Home Order Impact

According to Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, our social distancing efforts are making a difference. We must continue, each and every one of us, to stay home as much as we can. When we stop moving, so does the virus. We each are making a difference. It is a struggle. But we are making a difference. Keep it going! We are in this together, Union County.

Fourth Lab Confirmed Case in Union County: The Union County Health Department received notice of a fourth lab confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Union County resident. The individual is an adult female. As of March 30, Union County reports three adult females and one adult male have tested positive for COVID-19. A contact investigation is underway to identify and notify close contacts of the individual. Close contacts will be notified by public health. Close contacts will be assessed for symptoms and instructed to self-quarantine (separate themselves from others and not go to any public places) for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms. The Union County Health Department will not release additional personal information regarding the ill individual in compliance with HIPPA and Protected Health Information laws. Those identified as having close contact with the ill individual will be notified by Public Health. Public health will not release a listing of locations visited by the individual unless the contact investigation warrants such an announcement in order to protect the health of the public.

Schools Closure Extended to May 1: Governor DeWine announced schools will remain closed until May 1. This will be re-evaluated as Ohio moves forward.

Working to Prepare for Surge in Seriously Ill: Public health is planning and organizing resources now to respond to the predicted surge in seriously ill patients. The Union County Health Department and the Emergency Operations Center are evaluating every option to provide a community response should we see this surge in our community. More information will come as plans are formalized over the next two weeks.

Questions about COVID-19? Please call the Union County Health Department at 937-642-2053.

We Need Your Help: We need medically trained volunteers who are willing and able to help their Union County neighbors and fellow healthcare workers. We are planning today to mobilize a community response should we see a surge of seriously ill people within our community. If you have healthcare or medical credentials behind your name, sign up through our Medical Reserve Corp today so we can be ready when we’re needed. https://www.uchd.net/medical-reserve-corp.

We are looking for individuals who may be on a leave of absence from their medical profession, retirees, or college students (age 18+) who are working on a medical certification – anyone not already tied to a healthcare system. We’ll take EMTs, nurses of all levels, doctors, respiratory therapists, pharmacists,

physical therapists, athletic trainers, respiratory therapists, dentists, dental hygienists, veterinarians, anyone with a healthcare credential. And if your credential is newly expired, please still sign up as rules may be expanded as we move through this ever-changing situation. Non-medical volunteers are being organized through United Way of Union County. https://unitedwayofunioncounty.org/covidinfo.php

Donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Needed: The Union County Emergency Operations Center is looking for donations of PPE for first responders and healthcare workers. If you have hand sanitizer, N95 masks, surgical-type masks, face shields, disposable gloves, disposable splash gowns, or Tyvek suits, we’ll take them. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, from 9am-5pm. If that doesn’t work for you, then call 937- 645-2097 to arrange a time.

We are not accepting homemade or 3D masks at this time. Per CDC guidance, we may change this stance as we move further into the pandemic.

Union County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund: During this critical time, it is important we collect and distribute resources in efficient and effective ways. To that end the Union County Foundation has launched the Union County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. This fund will

accept tax deductible contributions to be used in Union County in cooperation with the Mass Care Unit of the Emergency Operations Center. In partnership with the United Way of Union County, contributions will be allocated directly to Union County needs of food, shelter, etc. as they relate to the COVID-19

response. Give at: https://www.unioncountyfoundation.org/

Social Services and Volunteers Organizing: On behalf of the Union County Emergency Operations Center, the United Way of Union County is leading the effort to organize our extensive network of social service agencies and faith-based partners. These partners are preparing to respond to the increase in basic needs that is sure to come. The United Way, with help from Union County Neighbor to Neighbor and other agencies, is working to organize volunteers, resources, and develop a referral network to help connect those in need with resources. Check out the website to sign up to help or connect someone to help. https://www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org/covidinfo.php

Questions about COVID-19? Please call the Union County Health Department at 937-642-2053.

CDC Warns Everyone to Not Ingest Aquarium Cleaner: The CDC issued a health alert over the weekend urging people to NOT ingest non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums). The CDC was made aware that 2 individuals have tried to use aquarium cleaner and have died or suffered critical illness. The CDC also learned there are now shortages of these aquarium cleaners. We urge you DO NOT ingest aquarium use products or any other chemicals that contain chloroquine phosphate. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health consequences, including death. These products do NOT prevent or treat COVID-19.

Churches Urged Not Hold Services: Governor DeWine is urging all churches to not hold services at this time. Churches are exempt from Ohio’s Stay Home Order, but public health and the Governor are asking the faith-based community for their partnership in reducing the risk to our older adults and other vulnerable populations. We thank every faith partner for all they’ve done to protect their congregations and carry on the important work of nurturing the spiritual health of our community.

Golf Courses Allowed to be Open: The Ohio Department of Health issued new guidance on Sunday. Golf courses may operate as an outdoor recreation opportunity. They must ensure all of the Ohio Stay Home order’s social distancing and protective measures are being followed.

Essential Businesses and the Stay Home Order: We have spent a great deal of time on following up with businesses and employees regarding the Ohio Stay Home Order. Please know that our staff is doing spot checks of businesses who we have heard are open or received complaints about to ensure they are complying with the checklist of protective measures found on page 8 number 18 of the Stay Home Order. We ask for everyone’s help in complying with the spirit of this order. As we move our focus and health department resources to preparing for a possible surge in seriously ill people, we need everyone’s help in complying with the order to the best of their ability. We are all int this together and we thank every business and employee who is sacrificing for the greater good. We thank those who have closed their businesses for the time being and we thank those businesses and employees who are still working to provide the essential services our community needs.

Testing Capacity Improved but Still Limited: We have worked tirelessly with our partners to find additional testing supplies. Testing for priority tiers as strongly advised by the Ohio Department of Health is occurring. This does not mean widespread testing. It does mean testing for ill persons who are hospitalized, ill healthcare workers, and healthcare workers and first responders with known exposure to a confirmed case. This will continue to be our reality until testing supplies are more readily available.

Public Television Helping with Distance Learning: Check out WOSU and Ohio’s other public broadcasting partners to get help with teaching our preschool-12 grade students at home. They are offering programming and support to teachers and parents helping to keep learning going at home.

Ohio (Mar. 30) / 1,933 cases / 475 hospitalized / 39 deaths / 53 median age / 27,000 tests done

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