Downtown Holiday Open House Filled with Cheer

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

If you missed the Chillicothe Downtown Holiday Open House over the weekend, checkout the Litter Media Facebook Photo Album by clicking the photo below.

While numbers were down because of no Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, there were still a good number of visitors seeing what the shops offered and of course, to see Santa at his new location on Enderlin Circle in Yoctangee Park. He’ll be waiting to greet kids every Friday 5:30p-8p, Saturday 4p-8p and Sunday 1p-4p through December 20th.

Adena to Tighten Visitor Restrictions Monday

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Nov. 20, 2020) – Adena Health System announced today that it will be tightening its visitor restrictions on Monday, November 23, 2020 in an effort to help limit the spread of Coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, as inpatient volumes at its hospitals and COVID-19 positive cases across the region continue to rise.  

“One third of all confirmed positive Coronavirus cases in Ohio since February have occurred in the last two weeks,” said Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD. “That shows you the magnitude of this current surge. It is trends like this that our clinical and operations teams examine closely and make decisions that are in the best interest for our patients, visitors, physicians and staff.”

He added, “This is why Adena is moving back to a tightening of our visitor restrictions. It is important to know that we were unanimous in our plan not to go to a zero visitor policy at this time. Having zero visitors is bad for patient morale, but also creates challenges with staff coordinating patient discharge plans with family members or support persons not present.”

Effective Nov. 23, 2020, at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, Adena Greenfield Medical Center in Greenfield and Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly, visitor access will be limited to:

·        One named visitor on Non-COVID Inpatient Units per day during limited visiting hours;

·        One named visitor in Emergency Departments for non-COVID suspected or confirmed patients;

·        One named visitor for Inpatient Maternity/Labor & Delivery/Pediatrics COVID patients per patient including minor patients and one visitor for non-COVID patient with exception of minor patients who will be allowed one parent in addition to one named visitor;

·        No visitation with the exception of end of life for Confirmed or Suspected Inpatient COVID patients;

·        No visitors in ICU without clinical team approval;  

·        Up to two visitors limited to immediate family for any End-of-Life Situations;

·        One visitor for Elective Surgery patients going home after the procedure;

·        No visitors on the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit;

·        No visitors for Outpatient/Ambulatory Clinic visits and testing unless the following exceptions;

o   Minor patients (under 18) – two visitors, limited to only parents or guardians

o   OB and Pediatric clinics:  new mothers with lifting restrictions

o   OB Clinic: one support person may attend initial ultrasound and 20 week visit with the expectant mother

o   Pulmonary Clinic: one visitor for patients struggling with ambulatory issues

o   One visitor/support person for patients with significant physical or mental disabilities

o   Support person required for care planning or to support of disease management (i.e., cancer diagnosis) – must be approved by provider in advance

o   Patient brought in by transport

·        No visitors under age 18;

·        One named visitor acting in the role of a Caretaker for non-COVID patient will be allowed access if meet requirements set by clinical team;

·        Inpatients may have one in-person Spiritual Support visit by their own clergy for brief spiritual support if requested by patient and family;

·        Due to space limitations in relation to social distancing, waiting room areas are closed to visitors; and 

·        Visitors are not to be loitering in the hospital and must remain in patient room at all times

Hospital visiting hours will be limited to 2 – 7 p.m., seven days a week. Adena’s Visitor Policy is available to view at www.adena.org/VisitorPolicy. To assure a safe environment, all visitors are required to participate in the COVID-19 screening process at entrances, maintain social distancing, follow hand hygiene guidelines, and must wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit including while inside of the patient room.

An Open Letter From the Ross County Health District

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

In an open letter to Ross Countians, Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet and RCHD Medical Director Christopher Brown are urging citizens to “take this phase of the pandemic more seriously than ever.”

The letter cites the amount of new COVID-19 cases reported to the Health District offices (484 since November 1st and over 700 in October) and the deaths of 56 residents due to the coronavirus as a concern for a potential increase in hospitalizations. “We face an uncertain future with a decrease in hospital capacity and limited staffing” the letter notes.

COVID-19 Update: Critical Hospitalization Levels; Franklin County Goes Purple

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Watch the Governor’s News Conference here.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CRITICAL HOSPITALIZATION LEVELS

As of today, there are 3,829 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ohio, with 943 of those individuals in the ICU. These are the highest patient counts Ohio has had during the pandemic and more than double the hospitalizations recorded during previous peaks.

While statewide testing has increased by 43 percent, positive cases have increased by nearly 300 percent in the past month. 

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed today that Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Purple Public Emergency with severe exposure and spread. All 88 counties remain at “high incidence” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, no counties are rated below Level 2. 

“Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way as Franklin County, but make no mistake – almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue,” said Governor DeWine.

Map for 111920

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

SENATE BILL 311

Governor DeWine today announced his intention to veto Senate Bill 311 if passed by the Ohio General Assembly.  The bill, which is currently under consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives, would severely limit the ability of the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases now and in the future.  

“Imagine if a country hostile to the United States smuggles a biological agent into our state and unleashes it in Ohio – our state would need to respond quickly to quarantine the area to stop its spread. This bill would make Ohio slow to respond in a crisis and would put our citizens in severe danger,” said Governor DeWine. “I’ve always listened to the advice of experts, and the experts are telling me this is a dangerous idea. Doctors, nurses, and scientists have all advised me that this bill would do great harm if it became law.”

CHILDCARE DASHBOARDS

Two new COVID-19 dashboards tracking the number of cases at Ohio child care centers are now available. 

The first dashboard tracks the number of children and staff cases in individual centers. Because of the small size of home-based providers, many of which serve six or fewer children, positive COVID cases from children and adults in those facilities will be tracked by county on a separate dashboard.

RETAIL COMPLIANCE UPDATE:

Ohio’s Retail Compliance Unit has visited more than 50 percent of Ohio counties in its first three days. Agents have observed over 90 percent compliance in social distancing and mask-wearing in retail establishments, a noticeable improvement.  

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 326,615 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,890 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 23 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,22 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

OHSAA Moves State Football Championships From Columbus to Massillon This Weekend

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Due to a new health advisory issued by the Franklin County Department of Health and the Columbus Department of Health Wednesday afternoon that recommends the games not be played in Franklin County, the Ohio High School Athletic Association is moving this weekend’s football state championship games to Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, which has offered to host all six games. The games were scheduled to be played at Fortress Obetz in southeast Columbus.

The schedule remains the same as announced Wednesday, with games on Friday and Saturday at 1:15 and 6:15 and then Sunday at 12:15 and 5:15. Of note, in the Division II title game, Akron Archbishop Hoban High School has agreed to play Massillon Washington on Massillon’s home field. The OHSAA has now designated Hoban as the home team in the game.

The decision came Thursday morning after discussions with officials at Obetz and Franklin County. The OHSAA met virtually with the 12 finalist schools at 11:30 a.m. to inform them and answer questions.

“Completing this weekend’s state championship games is very important to the schools, student-athletes and communities, so we felt strongly about finding a place to play,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “These 12 schools just want to play and we thank them for accepting this change. We would also like to especially thank Massillon Washington High School for stepping up to host, and also Hoban for agreeing to play there.”

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium served as a host of the OHSAA football state championships from 1990 through 2013. 

“This is a big change at the 11th hour, but Massillon Washington can accommodate these games and the number of fans that are permitted to attend,” said Beau Rugg, OHSAA Senior Director of Officiating and Sport Management and the OHSAA’s football administrator. “We are pleased to be playing football this weekend and are excited that these 12 schools will be able to finish their seasons.” 

The Franklin County and Columbus health advisory recommends a pause on all extra-curricular activities for schools and asks all persons to be home by 6 p.m.

“Fortress Obetz was excited to host these games and we appreciate all the work that they put into preparations,” Ute said. 

Football State Championship Games

All games at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Home team listed first. 

State Championships Coverage: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Football/Football-2020/2020-OHSAA-Football-Playoffs-Coverage

Division VII

Friday, November 20, 1:15 p.m. – New Bremen (9-2) vs. Warren John F. Kennedy (9-2)

Division II

Friday, November 20, 6:15 p.m. – Akron Archbishop Hoban (10-0) vs. Massillon Washington (10-1)

Division V

Saturday, November 21, 1:15 p.m. – Kirtland (10-0) vs. Ironton (11-0)

Division III

Saturday, November 21, 6:15 p.m. – Columbus St. Francis DeSales (9-1) vs. Chardon (11-0)

Division IV

Sunday, November 22, 12:15 p.m. – Van Wert (10-1) vs. Mentor Lake Catholic (8-2)

Division VI

Sunday, November 22, 5:15 p.m. – New Middletown Springfield (11-0) vs. Coldwater (11-0)

OHSAA Gives Go Ahead for Winter Sports

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

NOTE: This story has been updated to include Friday morning’s release by the OHSAA.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has given the go ahead for schools to participate in their respective Winter Sports Seasons.

In a report by Scott Springer of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com, there will be COVID-19 protocols in place similar to those for the 2020 Volleyball Season in gymnasiums across the state.

According to the report, the OHSAA received approval from Governor Mike DeWine’s office Wednesday.

The Ohio Department of Health Order allows for 300 fans or 15% capacity fo the venue, whichever is less. Just like during the Fall Season, the normal protocols are in place for athletes testing positive for COVID-19.

For Basketball, expect spectators to be limited to parents of participants, which includes teams, cheerleaders and pep band members. 15 players will be permitted on the roster with 18 chairs available for all staff and six feet between those on the bench. It’s also suggested for teams traveling on separate buses for freshmen, junior varsity and varsity games with those buses departing following their contest.

Wrestling will follow similar distancing practices for their benches.

Locally, swimming presents some difficulties with tight spaces at the respective YMCA pools used for area schools, but they should be able to work around the parameters put in place. Only McClain HS has a natatorium among the area schools. However, swimming would likely suffer should the Governor’s office to close fitness centers. The same could be said for area high school Bowling teams should bowling centers receive a shutdown order.

Chillicothe’s Brandon Noel prepares for a dunk in their Cavs’ tournament win last February.

FROM THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (released November 20, 2020)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a memo to its member schools on Wednesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its position that the upcoming winter sports seasons will begin as previously scheduled. While individual school districts can pause sports at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHSAA does not intend to alter the statewide season dates.

The decision came after discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors, OHSAA staff and many school administrators, along with the results of a recent survey of OHSAA member school administrators. Of 1,464 survey responses 826 respondents (56 percent) voted to begin winter sports as previously scheduled.

“Though we are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ohio, the majority of our member schools want the opportunity to move forward with winter sports as planned,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “As always, the decision to play sports is a local school decision and there will certainly be schools that pause sports for periods of time in the months to come, but if the majority of our schools want to move forward, then we want to provide that opportunity. As we have said previously, our member schools provide our student-athletes with the safest possible environment to participate. If we were to delay, students would find opportunities to compete in sports through non-school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education-based.”

The survey results showed 33 percent of school administrators favored delaying winter sports until early January, and 11 percent voted to delay winter sports indefinitely until statewide COVID-19 conditions improve.

Noting the Governor’s Curfew Order

As it relates to school sports, the Governor’s 10:00 p.m. Ohio curfew order does not mean that teams and fans must be home from their competitions by 10:00 p.m., but venues must be vacated by 10:00 p.m. The OHSAA encourages schools and conferences to alter start times, if needed, so that competitions end in time to close the facility by 10:00 p.m.

COVID-19 General Guidance (Including Mandates; Spectator Capacity, and Recommended Best Practices)

All mandates in the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Sports Order must continue to be followed for winter sports. Here is a link to the Health Director’s Sports Order: https://bit.ly/2RWa1jh. In addition, here is a link to the Health Department’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance document for sports: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf, and here is a link to the ODH’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance document for sports venues: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf

It is especially important that requirements for facial coverings, social distancing and frequent hand washing be followed and that facility hosts disinfect and clean competition and high contact areas frequently. Also note that the Order has a limit on spectator capacity, which is the lesser of 15 percent of fixed, permanent seats or 300.

Winter Sports Requirements, Recommendations and Modifications

The OHSAA staff has developed sport-specific requirements, recommendations and modifications for schools when conducting interscholastic competition in winter sports. Links to the sport-specific requirements, recommendations and modifications for winter sports are available here:

Basketball: http://bit.ly/BKRecs                                    

Bowling: http://bit.ly/BORecs

Gymnastics:  http://bit.ly/GYMRecs                             

Ice Hockey: http://bit.ly/IHRecs

Swimming & Diving: http://bit.ly/SDRecs                    

Wrestling: http://bit.ly/WRRecs

Great American Smokeout is Thursday

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

The 45th Great American Smokeout, promoted by the American Cancer Society for 45 years is Thursday, November 19th.

According to a release by Adena Health System, in both their 2016 and 2019 community health needs assessments conducted by Partners for a Healthier Ross County, smoking was linked to three of the top five leading causes of death in the community, including heart disease, lung cancer and other respiratory issues like COPD.

“Not only is smoking and other tobacco use contributing to early death of Ross County citizens, but it also is occurring at higher rates than in other parts of the state and country,” said Kim Jones of Adena Health System and co-chair of Partners for a Healthier Ross County. The 2019 assessment survey determined that more than 25% of Ross County citizens use tobacco, which is almost 10% higher than the rest of the nation.

These statistics enabled the Ross County Health District to obtain a grant from the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, and coordinate BreatheWell Ross, a sub-committee of Partners for a Healthier Ross County that educates the community on the dangers of smoking and vaping, as well as promotes the options smokers have locally to help them quit.

The VA Medical Center is encouraging veterans to take the first step to stop smoking as well.

In addition to counseling, VA provides other services designed to help Veterans stop smoking, including prescription medications, nicotine-replacement products like gum and patches and resources such as Quit VET and SmokefreeVET.

For more information on smoking and vaping cessation, contact Kim Hardesty at the Ross County Health District, at 740-779-9652 or khardesty@rosscountyhealth.org and for more information about tobacco cessation at the VAMC, contact Dr. Kamara McGill at 740-773-1141, extension 6941, or visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco. Veterans not enrolled in the VA healthcare system are encouraged to visit chillicothe.va.gov/enrollment.asp to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.

Chillicothe’s Downtown Holiday Open House – Less Fanfare to Begin Shopping Season

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Chillicothe’s Downtown Holiday Open House is November 20-22, but it will not have the festive kickoff as in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: Watch highlights of the 2018 & 2019 Tree Lighting ceremonies below.

Workers from Bright Solutions at work stringing lights on the City’s Christmas Tree at the south entrance of Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park.

“We tried to wait as long as we could to try to pull off a tree lighting ceremony” said Mike Throne, President and CEO of the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce. “It’s just not wise or in the best interest of public safety to bring a thousand people into downtown in close contact to each other – we can’t guarantee people are wearing masks, we can’t guarantee that people are distancing, so we decided we would scrap the lighting ceremony this year.”

While the usual opening festivities will not be held, the park will be lighted with as in the past. Kids can still see Santa, who’s house has been moved into Yoctangee Park near the Rotary Club Shelter House on Enderlin Circle, however it will be a drive-thru experience each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ivy’s will also have the carriage rides available, but reservations will be required by calling 740-779-9522. Downtown Merchants will still have their doors open to shoppers and the restaurants will be open each day.

Also returning is skating rink in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of South Paint and 4th Streets. Throne says the operating dates will last into mind-January with the potential for extended dates into February.

Shoppers are reminded the statewide Health Order for wearing facial coverings are required in all retail stores.

Watch the interview with Mike Throne by clicking the photo below.

Santa’s House on Enderlin Circle in Yoctangee Park
The skating rink returns to the Municipal Parking Lot at South Paint and 4th Streets and will operate into mid-January with the potential of extended dates into February.

COVID-19 Update: 21-Day Statewide Curfew

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Watch the Governor’s Tuesday COVID-19 News Conference here

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STATEWIDE CURFEW

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, November 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days. 

The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m. 

Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming.

“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” said Governor DeWine. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”

The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause. 

“This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “You have to care about both the economy and health – you can’t just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption.” 

Governor DeWine also encouraged Ohioans to do one thing each day that will decrease the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting the number of daily contacts.  

VACCINE PREPOSITIONING

Governor DeWine today provided details on Ohio’s vaccine prepositioning plan. 

The Ohio Department of Health has identified 10 sites across the state that will receive the pre-positioned vaccine after a COVID-19 vaccine is given emergency-use authorization. Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issues its recommendation on how to use the vaccine, these sites will begin administering the vaccine immediately to those who choose to receive it and are identified as able to receive it in the first stage.

Ohio will first vaccinate those who are most at risk, including those who work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other congregate-care facilities, high-risk health care workers, and first responders.  

The ten pre-positioned sites were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. Other sites will begin receiving shipments of vaccine following final approval, potentially just days after the pre-positioned sites begin administering the vaccine.  

Governor DeWine once again encouraged citizens to remain vigilant in practicing safety measures until a vaccine is available.

Ohio Vaccine Pre-Positioning Locations

HOME AND HEALTHY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

As students at Ohio’s colleges and universities are preparing to head home for the holidays, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Ohio Hospital Association are launching a new campaign to encourage students to keep themselves and family members safe while they’re at home. 

The “Home and Healthy for the Holidays” campaign will provide tips for students to follow before, during, and after holiday travel. The campaign will also share information for students on what they should do if they have no access to testing or if they receive a positive or negative test result. 

College students are encouraged to share how they plan to be safe during the holidays by posting to social media using the hashtags #HomeandHealthyfortheHolidays and #BackOnCampus21.

NEW HOLIDAY GUIDE

Governor DeWine announced the release of a new holiday celebration guide from the Ohio Department of Health to help families celebrate safely during the 2020-2021 holiday season. The guide provides alternatives to large in-person celebrations for a variety of holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Orthodox New Year, and others. “This year’s holidays will look different as we make adjustments to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy, so we can celebrate together in the future,” said Governor DeWine. “Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, please keep the celebration small, and wear as mask and stay socially distanced if you absolutely must celebrate with individuals outside of your household.”The holiday gathering guide is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 312,443 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,772 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 22,846 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,250 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

DeWine Signs Revised Health Order on Mass Gatherings

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a revised health order to limit mass gatherings in Ohio. 

“Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” said Governor DeWine.  “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events.  It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem.  It’s the party afterward.”  

In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles passing between people in close contact, wedding receptions, funeral repasts, and other events at banquet facilities are subject to the following restrictions:

  • No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing. 
  • Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.
  • If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.
  • Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.
  • No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.

This order does not apply to religious observances; First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators, and any activity by media; and to governmental meetings which include meetings that are required to be open to the public.

This order goes into effect November 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.