17 Cases in Union County: The Union County Health Department is reporting 17 cumulative cases in Union County. 15 cases are lab confirmed cases. 2 cases are probable cases per CDC definition. 2 cases have required hospitalization (1 case currently hospitalized). The illness onset ranges from Mar. 1 to Apr. 15. 56.3% of the individuals are male and 43.8% are female. Contact tracing is underway to identify and notify individuals at increased risk for infection due to contact with one of these cases.
Long-Term Care Data Released: The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is now reporting case counts for long-term care facilities including nursing homes, intermediate care facilities and assisted living facilities. Currently, ODH is reporting 0 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in long-term care or assisted living facilities within Union County. This report will be issued weekly on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.
Union County Prison Reports 0 Cases: The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections reports 0 cases of COVID-19 in the Ohio Reformatory for Women located in Union County. ORW staff and leadership continue to take aggressive steps to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Expanding Contact Tracing: The Union County Health Department has significantly increased its capacity to do necessary contact tracing of COVID-19 cases. Contact tracing is a containment tool used every day in public health to try to quickly identify and contain pockets of illness. Expanding this capacity is crucial as Ohio plans to reopen businesses and works to increase testing capacity. Our disease detectives, led by our epidemiologists, are charged with doing extensive interviews of each confirmed and probable case of COVID-19 to identify close contacts who may be at increased exposure risk. Our team then notifies these close contacts and instructs them to self-quarantine. During the quarantine period, our team does daily check-ins with the individuals to review current health status and monitor for the development of COVID-19 symptoms.
Our team answers any questions the individual may have and assists in connecting the person with resources needed to help them comply with the quarantine requirement to stay home. Our epidemiologists determine when the individual can be released from quarantine per CDC guidance. If the individual develops symptoms, the epidemiologists arrange for COVID-19 testing and instruct the individual to self-isolate until the individual meets the CDC guidance for discontinuing home isolation.
What Does Isolation Look Like: Most individuals with a lab confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 are able to treat their symptoms at home. In these instances, our epidemiology team instructs the individual to self-isolate in their home. This means physically distancing yourself from others in your home. The individual is encouraged to use a separate bedroom and bathroom, avoid family common areas, wear a mask when they must be in the same area with their household contacts. The individual cannot leave the house except to seek medical care. Self- isolation continues until an epidemiologist (or healthcare provider in consultation with public health) determines the individual can be released from self-isolation per CDC guidance (at least 72 hours fever-free without the aid of medication, AND significant improvement in respiratory symptoms, AND at least 7 days since symptoms began).
What Does Quarantine Look Like: Close contacts of a lab confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 are instructed to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from last known exposure. During this time, the individual takes their temperature twice a day and reports their health status daily to the health department. The individual cannot leave the home except to seek medical care. The individual is encouraged to practice social distancing from their household contacts as much as possible. If individuals cannot self-quarantine at home or faces barriers to quarantining, our team works to help overcome these barriers.
FEMA Region 5 Leadership Visits Union County EOC: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 5 Administrator James Joseph and his Chief of Staff, Chad Jones, visited the Union County Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday. Union County Emergency Management Agency Director Brad Gilbert and his team shared about our local COVID-19 response and the Region 5 response.
Communicating with Businesses: Health Commissioner Orcena participates in weekly calls with local businesses organized by our partner at the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Today, Health Commissioner Orcena shared interim considerations businesses should be thinking through as they wait for the Governor’s plan to get businesses back to work. All indications from the Governor and Director Acton indicate there will be a phased approach to reopening businesses. We do not yet have the details on this phased approach. We do know that when we do start to reopen businesses it will be the responsibility of both businesses and customers to practice prevention measures such as continuing to limit trips out, staying home if you are sick, keeping 6 feet of distance from others, wearing masks when you can’t ensure social distance, washing hands frequently for 20 seconds, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces often.
Ohio (Apr. 22) / 13,609 confirmed cases / 2,882 hospitalizations / 584 confirmed deaths / 51 median age