18 Cases in Union County: The Union County Health Department is reporting 18 cumulative cases in Union County. 16 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. 24. 55.6% of the individuals are male and 44.4% are female. Contact tracing is underway to identify and notify individuals at increased risk for infection due to contact with one of these cases. Per www.coronavirus.ohio.gov, 0 cases have been reported in Union County congregate settings including long-term care and correctional facilities.
Expanding Contact Tracing: The Union County Health Department has significantly
increased our capacity to do contact tracing of COVID-19 cases. We have expanded
our trained staff from 2.5 to 14. We are continuing to expand by training Medical
Reserve Corps volunteers to be ready should the need arise. Contact tracing is a
containment tool used every day in public health to try to quickly identify and limit
the spread of illness. Our disease detectives, led by our epidemiologists, do
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.
Congregate Settings Committee: Last week, with the help of the Union County EMA, a congregate settings committee was formed. This committee will work with long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, mental health and recovery housing providers, and developmental disability residential facility providers within Union County. The committee will remain in frequent communication with local congregate settings and serve as a liaison to needed PPE, infection control resources, and help identify and respond quickly to possible outbreaks.
Communicating with Partners: As we prepared for the Governor’s plan for Ohio, we spent the end of last week talking with partners and businesses. From discussing graduation plans with schools, to sharing considerations for businesses planning to return to work, to convening a conversation with youth and adult sports league representatives, last week was a flurry of communication efforts. As we received details for the reopening of Ohio from Governor DeWine today, we are preparing to continue to answer as many questions as we can from partners, businesses and residents. We will share the Governor’s new orders and plans as soon as they are available. Please remember that the effort we have been making to slow the spread of this disease will need to continue for quite some time. We will each need to continue prevention measures like limiting trips out, staying home if we are sick, keeping 6 feet of distance from others, wearing masks when we go out, washing hands frequently for 20 seconds, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces often.
Summary from Governor DeWine’s Press Conference: Governor DeWine stated Ohio is ramping up testing beginning Apr. 29 and increasing contact tracing capacity across Ohio. The Governor stated the Stay Home Order will be extended. Gatherings of 10 or more are still prohibited. However, the Governor also indicated the following business categories will be reopened:
May 1 Order: Health procedures that can be done that don’t require overnight stay at hospital. Dentists and veterinarians will also be able to return to work at their discretion.
May 4 Order: Manufacturing, distribution and construction may open. Must follow mandatory requirements. May 4 Order: General offices can be open. Continue telework as much as possible.
May 12 Order: Consumer retail and services can be open. Employees must wear face coverings and customers should as well.