COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Information Update

Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared

 

There has been a lot of information being shared about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. While much of the population will fight off this virus with minor complications, there are those that may experience more severe symptoms. Groups at higher risk for complications include those over the age of 60, with other chronic health conditions, and people with compromised immune systems.

The Auglaize County Health Department strives to keep the residents of Auglaize County informed, healthy, and safe. With this I want to make sure you are all informed of the actions being taken by our staff to achieve this duty. The Health Department is in close contact with businesses, schools, health providers, and other county agencies sharing information and planning for being prepared. As information is rapidly changing, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has two ways of getting you the most up to date information:

  • An informative website at, Coronavirus.ohio.gov .
  • There is also an information hotline at (833) 4-ASK-ODH. Available 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.

I also want to remind Auglaize County residents of precautions and planning that can help protect you from contracting COVID-19 and other seasonal viruses. The best means of prevention is still to practice personal prevention methods such as:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean high-touch areas – counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, nightstands – every day using household cleaning spray or wipes according to label directions.

In the event you or a family member become sick with COVID-19 or are under observation for exposure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ODH recommend a 14 day isolation period. Make sure you are beginning to have conversations with your family, employer, and neighbor/friends of how you would handle daily needs and responsibilities during that time.

Planning: Maybe look at grocery delivery services in the area, ask your employer if there are work-from-home options. Planning ahead so that you are prepared helps to control stress and fear.
Call before you show: If you or a family member begin to feel symptomatic (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), make sure to contact your doctor or hospital before going. Your doctor or hospital will speak with you regarding your symptoms and information to determine if you will need testing and what steps to take. This will also allow the facility to prepare for your arrival if you need to visit the doctor’s office or hospital in an effort to protect others.
Compassion: Please show compassion to those that may be affected by this virus to prevent fear and anxiety that can lead to social stigmas.

On March 10th, Governor DeWine announced recommendations for gatherings and to avoid unnecessary risks regarding travel, meetings, and activities. The guidance is as follows:

  • Higher Education: Governor DeWine has asked all universities and colleges in Ohio to screen students returning to school from international travel or cruises, including, but not limited to, students returning from spring break travel. Governor DeWine also asked that any university-sponsored international travel, non-essential travel, and large gatherings be canceled or postponed. Higher education institutions should also consider offering online/remote learning.
  • K – 12 Schools: Governor DeWine is not currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle, and high schools, however, school administrators should begin planning for that possibility. Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions.
  • Athletics: Governor DeWine has recommended that all indoor high school, college, and professional sports competitions be held without spectators. He asks that events take place only with athletes, parents, sporting officials, and media. Right now, outdoor sporting events can continue as planned.
  • Nursing Homes: Because nursing homes house Ohio’s most high-risk residents, we are recommending that nursing homes screen all visitors, including volunteers and vendors, for symptoms of contagious illnesses.
  • Adult and Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Governor DeWine has ordered that visitations at Ohio’s adult and juvenile corrections facilities be suspended. Contractors who are not critical to the workings of the facility will not be granted entrance. Those who are permitted into these facilities will be screened for symptoms of illness and must submit to a temperature reading.

Auglaize County Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as warranted. If you have any questions, please contact our staff at (419) 738-3410.

 

Date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2020

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