AREA Health Leaders Issue Plea For More COVID Caution

Presented By Classic Brands

(Chillicothe) – The Ross County Health District and Adena Health System are urging for more caution concerning the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Since the original letter, area medical systems have added their names to the community plea. It now includes: Adena Health System, Fairfield Medical Center, Hocking Valley Community Hospital, Holzer Health System, Madison Health, Memorial Health System, OhioHealth and Southern Ohio Medical Center

The following is a letter to the community, sent out by the Ross County Health District on September 10th:

Take a moment and think back to what life in Ross County was like a year ago. What you’ll probably remember is school children doing much of their learning online. You’ll recall cancelations of events that normally add to the quality of life in this community. You may even remember when the Ross County case count of COVID-19 first reached 100 cases in one day. Now, look at the current state of the county. More children are being required to quarantine due to a lack of universal COVID-19 precautions in schools even in light of modified quarantine procedures for schools. More children are testing positive for COVID-19. The vaccine is readily available yet only 47.3% of the county is fully vaccinated. 

There’s a new variant, Delta, which is more transmissible and impacting those who are unvaccinated at an uncontrollable rate. All of this is putting a strain on healthcare facilities across the region. If you need medical attention, you may find yourself waiting longer than before for a room or a bed due to high patient volumes.

After a lull that as recently as July saw the number of pandemic-related hospitalizations within Adena Health System dropped to zero, the pandemic is spiking again. Ross County saw more than 800 cases of COVID-19 in August and presently sits at 713 cases at this point in September. There are more hospital admissions and beds being used for COVID-19 patients than at any previous point since the pandemic began. That means less bed availability to treat other serious conditions and strains on staffing and other valuable resources that are needed to provide both critical and routine care to yourself, your family and your friends. As of this morning, Adena had 64 COVID inpatients – 55 of those are unvaccinated, while only nine are vaccinated. The hospital is also caring for eight COVID ICU patients – six unvaccinated/two vaccinated – and six COVID patients on a ventilator – four unvaccinated/two vaccinated.   

It doesn’t have to be that way. The Ross County Health District and Adena Health System are counting on each member of the community to join the effort to defeat the virus, taking action to both stay safe themselves and protect their loved ones, friends and neighbors. That includes getting vaccinated and staying home if you feel sick – even if you think you have allergies.

“Hospitalizations locally and across the state are increasing at an alarming rate putting strain on healthcare infrastructure and a workforce that has been fighting this virus on the frontlines for over 18 months,” said Adena Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Kirk Tucker. “About 98% of the COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio this year have been among those not fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines continue to be our safest and most reliable means of alleviating pressure on our hospitals and healthcare providers. Vaccination is without any doubt your best bet, regardless of your age, to avoid getting severely ill with COVID-19 and avoid lasting complications. So we urge you to get the vaccine if you have not done so already. The COVID-19 vaccines were thoroughly researched and properly developed. They are safe. They are effective. And they save lives.”

The Delta variant has proven particularly challenging for Ross County schools, which are seeing increases in cases resulting from both classroom and extracurricular activities. There were 206 positive cases among Ross County students and staff as of September 8. Last school year, there were 211 total student cases. 

The spread of the Delta variant is also troublesome as it has shown the ability to infect more individuals in less time than the original strain of COVID-19. As a result, the Ross County Health District is seeing more close contacts becoming positive cases now than in any previous month.

“We are gravely concerned about the ongoing surge of cases within our community,” said Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet. “Our community must come together to help ease the burden on our local health system and to ensure that we are working to protect each other from COVID-19. We know that public health mitigation strategies work, and the vaccines remain effective against the Delta variant.”

Positive cases will be contacted by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) or the Ross County Health District (RCHD) to complete a contact tracing interview. It is important for those in our community to answer these calls and complete the interview so those who may have been exposed to the virus can be notified.

There are several ways you can take action to reduce exposure of COVID-19, including:

– Getting vaccinated. 

– Wearing a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

– Social distancing when possible.

– Staying home if you are sick.

– Completing contact tracing interviews. 

We understand that everyone is tired and is looking forward to getting back to a “normal” life, one with safe attendance at ballgames and birthday parties, festivals and family gatherings. That power rests with each of you. 

For the nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers caring for our community, and on behalf of our public health nurses, health educators, environmental health professionals, and other staff working every day in response to the pandemic, we appreciate each one of you. We’re all tired, but we need to continue to support each other in an effort to end this pandemic.

If you have questions on isolation and quarantine guidelines, testing, contact tracing, or vaccines, please reach out to RCHD or your healthcare provider.

HEAP Deadline September 30th For Summer Energy Help

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

(Chillicothe) — Ross County Community Action is reminding income-eligible residents that there’s still time to apply for this year’s Home Energy Summer Crisis Program.

The Ohio Development Services Agency and Ross County Community Action will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer months. The Home Energy Summer Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioan’s assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air-cooling repairs. The 2021 program began on July 1st and continues through September 30th.

To apply for the program, clients are required to schedule an appointment with Ross County Community Action. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (740) 702-7222.

Clients need to bring copies of the following documents to their appointment:

· Copies of their most recent energy bills.
· A list of all household members and proof of income for the last 30 days or 12 months for each member.
· Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members.
· Proof of disability (if applicable)
· Physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health (if there is not a household member over the age of 60).
Statement documenting that someone in the household had COVID-19.

Last year more than 816 families in Ross County were assisted through the Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program.

The Summer Crisis Program Assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member’s health, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have a disconnect notice, have been shut off, are trying to establish new service on their electric bill, or require air conditioning. Conditions can include such things as lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or asthma.

For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program, contact Ross County Community Action, Kristi Smith at 740-702-7222 ext.124. To be connected to your local Energy Assistance provider call (800)282-0880 (hearing impaired clients may dial 711 for assistance) or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov.

Ross Historical Society To Host Social Event With German Culture Flavor

Presented By Classic Brands

The Ross County Historical Society will host a special day of German food and entertainment on Friday, September 17th between 11am-7pm. The event will be held at the Historical Society at 45 West Fifth Street in Chillicothe.

Schmidt’s Sausage Truck from German Village will be on hand for those attending to enjoy their cuisine, while supplies last.

The Ohio Alphorn Band will also be performing throughout the day, rain or shine.

The public event is a social gathering and is not a fundraiser. Society officials say “no German heritage is necessary” to attend.

A small temporary exhibit on local German culture will also be on display.

For for information, call (740) 772-1936.

Zane Trace Tops Adena In Battle Of SVC Volleyball Unbeaten Teams

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(See the match winning kill from Zane Trace’s Lexi Scott, who Litter Media’s Mike Smith also interviewed along with ZT Coach Cindy Davis after the match)

For the second year in a row, the Zane Trace Pioneers have won a heated volleyball battle at Adena. Only this time, it was between two unbeaten teams coming into Thursday’s match. The (4-0/7-0) Pioneers won against SVC rival (3-1/7-1) Adena by scores of (17-25, 14-25, 27-25, 28-26, 15-13)

Litter Media/Mike Smith

The Warriors won the first two sets rather convincingly at 25-17 and 25-14, but the Pioneers came fighting back to take the next three sets by scores of 27-25, 28-26 and 15-13 to win the match. Adena had match-point a total of four times between Sets #3 and #4, only to see the Pioneers claw back each time for wins.

Lexi Scott paved the way for the Pioneers with 23 kills and was one of seven Zane Trace players with double-digit digs, with 19. Bryn Viney had 20 digs, Kinley May 19, Gracie McCoullough 16, Delaney Berry 14, Emily Allen 13, and Alexis Farley with 11.

Aside from Scott’s 23 kills and 19 digs, Farley had 12 kills and 2 solo blocks along with 4 assisted blocks. Emily Allen had 11 kills, a solo block and 2 block assists and McCullough 7 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists. Kinley May served 6 aces and Delaney Berry had 3 aces and 30 setting assists.

Litter Media/Mike Smith

Adena’s stats saw Jenna Martin with 20 kills, and 9 block assists. Sydney Foglesong had 14 kills, Ellie Harper 13 and Hannah Burns with 12. Camryn Carroll had 28 digs, Brooke Bossert 23, Makenna Lovely 17, Ellie Harper 16, Hope Garrison 15. Makaela Lovely had 37 assists and Garrison with 18. The Warriors had 8 serve aces.

In other SVC Volleyball:

Huntington 3, Westfall 1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-20, 25-21)

Unioto 3, Paint Valley 0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-15)

Southeastern 3, Piketon 0 (25-13, 25-10, 25-16)

Piketon Wins SVC Match #4/Wheelersburg Takes SOC Match Win

Presented By Atomic Speedway

The Piketon Redstreaks are even in the SVC Golf Standings after shooting a 160 to best Unioto by 8 strokes, creating a first place tie of 30 points with four rounds left in the season.

The rest of Match #4 finish was Zane Trace 178, Adena 181, Westfall 182, Southeastern 196, Paint Valley 208 and Huntington 222.

Christian Horn of Piketon took match medalist honors with a score of 37.

The Top 20 scorers in the match were:
1 Christian Horn 37
2 Owen Armstrong 38
3 Aaron Evans 39
4 Jon Grondolsky Jr 40
5 Jace Tucker 40
6 Davis Kerns 41
7 Logan Cummins 41
8 Keegan Snyder 41
9 Henry Zitzelberger 42
10 Braxton Platt 42
11 Jacob Hicks 43
12 Sydney Ater 44
13 Gabe Dettwiller 44
14 Josh Delong 45
15 Charlie Lewis 45
16 Emma Winland 46
17 Jasiah Story 46
18 Dominick Bush 46
19 Brayden Popp 47
20 Bryson Dudgeon 47

Team standing have Piketon and Unioto with 30 points, Zane Trace 24, Westfall 18, Adena 16, Southeastern 14, Paint Valley 7 and Huntington 2.

In SOC Golf:
Wheelersburg 176
South Webster 186
Minford 190
Waverly 208
Oak Hill 226
(Medalist- Owen Mault 36 of Wheelersburg)