Nine Lab Confirmed Cases in Union County: The Union County Health Department is now reporting nine lab confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of 2 p.m. on April 09, Union County reports five adult females and four adult males have tested positive for COVID-19. The age-range of cases is 31-83 years old with a median age of 45 and an average age of 50.7 years old. None of the individuals have required hospitalization. Six of the individuals have recovered.
Thus far, all lab confirmed cases have either been healthcare workers, individuals with travel history, or connected with a known case of COVID-19. Similar to our case counts, we share this piece of information with caution as this is likely more of a reflection of testing shortages and subsequent targeted testing rather than a true representation of the virus within our community.
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. If you are not notified by public health, you are not considered a close contact with increased risk.
Close contacts of an ill person are typically:
- individuals living in the same home,
- intimate partners,
- individuals providing home care for an ill person without using recommended infection control
- individuals who have had close contact (within 6 feet of the ill person) for a prolonged period of
time (definitions for prolonged time vary from 10 minutes or more to 30 minutes when speaking in terms outside of providing medical care)
The Union County Health Department will not release additional personal information regarding the ill individual in compliance with HIPAA and Protected Health Information laws. 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.
Guidance for Easter Celebrations: The Union County Health Department has shared guidance with local churches regarding Easter Sunday services. The Stay at Home Order exempts religious settings from the order. However, public health and Governor DeWine strongly urge all churches to consider the risk a large gathering poses to their congregation. Public health advises all churches to hold online services whenever possible. If a church feels it must hold a service on its property, it must follow measures to ensure social distancing and the required prevention measures listed in the Stay at Home Order. Attached is the guidance for drive thru services if a church feels this is necessary.
Preparing for Medical Surge: The Union County Health Department continues to work closely with the Union County Emergency Operations Center and our healthcare system to develop plans for the possibility of a surge of critically ill patients. A Union County “Ask a Medical Professional” phone triage line has been developed and can be operational as early as next week if needed. A drive thru sick bay is also close to being operational. The goal of both of these strategies is to support our existing healthcare system should they need support in reducing the strain on the system. They will be operationalized if a community response is needed to support our health system.
Offer Help & Encourage Older Adults: We are asking for your help in connecting with our older adults. We have heard from our businesses providing basic needs and law enforcement partners that many older adults are still making trips out. Please encourage everyone to reach out to their older adult loved ones and see if they can help in getting supplies and virtually run errands. If you know of an older adult who may need help, please encourage them to call 2-1-1 or 855-833-3696. 2-1-1 can help direct the senior to local agencies who can provide support or connect them with a volunteer agency.
If you know an older adult who would benefit from a regular phone chat to help overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, please encourage them to call Union County Senior Services at (937) 644-1010. Seniors can enroll in the free local MyHelloLine. The Union County Mental Health & Recovery Board is financially supporting the MyHelloLine program through LifeBio. Once a week, the enrolled senior will receive a 15-30 minute phone call from a trained LifeBio staff member just to check-in and share some good conversation.
Long-Term Care & Corrections Facilities: The Emergency Operations Center and the Union County Health Department have been communicating closely with the Ohio Department of Health and local long-term care facilities and correctional facilities regarding COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health has issued detailed guidance for long-term care facilities and correctional facilities as they serve at-risk populations. UCHD is checking in frequently with these locations and supporting as much as possible.
Dispute Resolution Commission for Essential / Non-Essential: Governor DeWine has established a Dispute Resolution Commission to handle disagreements across the state in regards to determining essential / non-essential businesses. Disputes can be sent to the commission by impacted businesses or local health departments. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid- 19/resources/Guidance/Dispute/Dispute-Resolution
Protect Workers Providing Basic Needs: The Union County Health Department talked last week with some of our local business owners helping to meet all of our basic needs. They have asked for our helping in urging everyone to take the necessary steps to protect not just our families, but the employees who are providing groceries, supplies, gas, banking, etc.
Please stay home as much as possible. If you have to run out for supplies:
– Only one person should go. Do not take children if at all possible.
– Have someone else make your supply run if you’re an older adult and individuals with underlying medical conditions. Now is the time to ask for help. All of us with a loved one or neighbor that falls into this category, please ask if you can pick up supplies for them. Or, see if you can help them learn how to use a curbside pickup feature at their favorite store.
– Keep 6 feet from other shoppers and the employees helping you. The families and employers of these employees need all of us to do our part to keep them healthy.
– Get in and out quickly. Make a list and stick to it. Touch as few surfaces as possible.
Ohio (Apr. 09) / 5,512 cases / 1,612 hospitalizations / 213 deaths / 54 median age / 497 ICU Admissions