Category Archives: Health News

Ohio COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Election Update

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(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.

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine today announced that 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now considered high incidence counties as defined by the federal government. This means that the county has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks.

all 88
High incidence counties are highlighted blue. The six remaining counties include Ashtabula, Belmont, Harrison, Hocking, Huron and Meigs.

Governor DeWine also announced that number of patients treated in Intensive Care Units at hospitals throughout the state are at the highest rate since the beginning of the crisis. He said that based on the indicators we have not yet reached the peak of our hospitalizations, and the ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October. Governor DeWine explained that most of Ohio’s cases are a result of community spread.

“As the virus spreads in the community from gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing, it directly impacts our ability to keep our schools open, to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes, and to keep our hospitals from being over-run and exceeding capacity,” said Governor DeWine. 

current

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Wear a mask when you are out in public, when you go to a store, and when you are with friends.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Keep your building well-ventilated. 

He also asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home, when possible; to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus; and require customers to wear masks.

Governor DeWine also called on community leaders to inventory where they are in the battle against COVID-19. He asked them to work together to assess where they are, what they need to do, and set goals in their fight against the virus. The Governor and Lt. Governor will begin calls with the community leaders to develop strategies forward, starting with the three counties on the watch list.

ELECTION UPDATE

Governor DeWine was joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose today for an update on the election on November 2, 2020. Secretary LaRose outlined the precautions that the Board of Election offices are taking to keep Ohioans safe while voting. Secretary LaRose also reminded Ohioans that they can cast their vote early in person, by mail or on election day.

Additional information about the election, such as hours of polling locations, can be found at VoteOhio.gov

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 202,740 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,239 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,433 people have been hospitalized, including 3,771 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.

RCHD Guidance for a Safe Beggar’s Night

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With Trick-or-Treat events happening this week, the Ross County Health District has provided guidelines for making it a safe experience during the pandemic.

Most Beggar’s Night activities will be taking place Thursday from 6:30pm-7:30pm in Ross County. The RCHD notes aligning the event at the same time in each community will reduce the commingling of communities, which could potentially cause an increase of COVID-19 cases. In addition, the RCHD recommends:

  • Participants stay in small family groups (no more than 10 people)
  • Children be accompanied by an adult
  • All participants wear a face covering (or mask for those dressing up) in accordance with the current face covering order (NOTE: Face covering should never be placed on children younger than 2 or anyone who cannot easily remove them)
  • All candy be handed out by an adult (do not grab candy directly from bowl), preferably while remaining outside
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy

In addition, RCHD asks that Ross Countians:

  • Stay home if they feel sick
  • Do not pass out candy if you feel sick
  • Wash hands (or sanitize) often
  • Observe social distancing and do not gather with other family groups
  • Be respectful of homes/families who choose not to participate
  • Not congregate in groups larger than 10 people
  • Wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes when you arrive home. (NOTE: Never wipe unpackaged food with wipes)

For more details or questions regarding a safe Beggar’s Night, contact the RCHD at 740-779-9667.

Partnership Assists in Free Access to COVID-19 Testing

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CHILLICOTHE, OH (Oct. 26, 2020) – Adena Health System, the Ross County Commissioners, the City of Chillicothe, Ross County Health District and Chillicothe City School District have joined forces to assist qualified Ross County residents in gaining free access to COVID-19 testing. Qualifications for this testing include: the person must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if asymptomatic, must have been in contact with a person identified as carrying the Novel Coronavirus.

The Ross County Commissioners have allocated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to cover the cost of testing for any qualified resident of Ross County who needs a test. Adena Health System will execute the testing program through its multiple COVID-19 testing facilities, after the person contacts the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233).

“Ross County was fortunate to be awarded funds from the CARES Act,” said Commissioner Steve Neal. “The costs associated with COVID-19 testing is forcing some families to make a decision to forgo or delay testing when experiencing symptoms of the virus. This collaboration with Adena, the City of Chillicothe, and the Ross County Health District gives us an opportunity to provide testing for qualified Ross County residents at no cost to them, and saving lives.”

If a resident of Ross County – or any county in the south central and southern Ohio region – believes they have symptoms of Coronavirus; or if they are not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, they should call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline before seeking care. Once callers access the COVID-19 Hotline, a screener will conduct a brief interview to determine if testing is needed. An appointment will then be set up for the caller at one of Adena’s Urgent Care testing facilities throughout the region.

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will:

·        Be scheduled for a required exam at the testing location; and

·        Testing will be administered and sent to Adena’s lab for processing.

Patients not showing symptoms but who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person will:

·        Be scheduled for a curbside nasal swab at their nearest testing facility;

·        The patient will NOT exit their vehicle; and

·        Receive a COVID PCR Test with results provided in two to five days, depending on statewide testing volume.

Because of the virus’ high risk to others, COVID-19 testing is NOT a walk-in service at Adena Urgent Care locations or physician offices. For anyone in need of a test, the first act is to CALL Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 542-SAFE to begin the process of setting up an appointment.

Expanding community-wide testing also includes the addition of in-school testing for any Chillicothe City Schools student. This in-school testing is being provided with CARES Act funding that has been awarded to the City of Chillicothe.

“Any Chillicothe City Schools student with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been identified by the Ross County Health District as being in contact with a COVID-19 positive person can be tested at school, and at no cost to their family,” said Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney. “By having in-school access to testing, school personnel can quickly identify and separate students who may be carrying the virus or exposed to it faster and more effectively.”

To be tested at school, a child’s parent or guardian must approve the use of in-school testing. Parents may also request testing for their child if they are symptomatic or if they have been exposed to a person confirmed to have the Novel Coronavirus.

With Chillicothe’s in-school testing program, the Ross County Health District is providing the testing swabs, with samples being collected by the school nurse. Once complete, the swab is taken by courier to Adena’s laboratory for processing and results. Non-symptomatic students will have the COVID PCR Test, which could take several days for processing, depending on statewide volumes. Symptomatic and asymptomatic students will be dismissed from school to quarantine or isolate – if showing symptoms – at home until they receive Health District clearance to return.

“Thanks to Mayor Feeney and the City of Chillicothe for identifying CARES Act funds to launch this needed testing protocol in our city schools,” said Debbie Swinehart, Superintendent, Chillicothe City Schools. “This assistance will enable us to identify and separate infected students, reducing risk to other students, faculty and staff.”

Testing costs for students attending Ross County area schools will be covered by the Ross County Commissioners CARES Act dollars. Testing is not currently being performed within county schools, but parents/guardians with a symptomatic child/children or a non-symptomatic child should begin the testing process for their child/children by first calling Adena’s COVID-19 HOTLINE at 740-542-SAFE and following the steps outlined above.

“The commitment of our community partners in supporting this specific health care need of individuals, families and children comes at a time when we are seeing more cases of the virus in our hometowns and region,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By making sure no family has to decide if or when to come forward for COVID-19 testing is nothing short of a blessing for many people, and the overall safety of our communities and region.”

To meet growing community need, Adena has doubled the number of staff serving patients through its COVID-19 Hotline, cutting down on-hold time. The Health System has also increased staff in its Urgent Care/Testing locations to meet the increasing number of people in need of COVID-19 testing, as well as treating the patients expected as we enter influenza season. Adena has begun similar talks with other communities in its nine-county service region.

Graham assured, “Despite this long span of providing intense care for patients with COVID-19, and the growing volumes of people entering the testing process, Adena’s dedicated caregivers continue to stand ready to navigate the current spike in cases, and to meet the health care needs of people in our communities.”

DeWine on COVID-19: “Sadly, our situation continues to worsen”

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“Sadly our situation continues in Ohio to worsen” Governor Mike DeWine said in the opening to his Thursday COVID-19 Update News Conference.

Governor DeWine today released Ohio’s updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 38 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 29 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July. As of today, 92.8 percent of Ohioans are living in a county that is Red Level 3 and/or high incidence. Only 1 percent of Ohioans live in a Yellow Level 1 county.

“For my fellow Ohioans who have felt that until now this virus really did not impact their lives or their families and that they would react when the situation got really serious – I say to them that the time is now. Now is the time to take this seriously,” said Governor DeWine. “We need you. We need you to be fully engaged in this battle. The virus is spreading fast and has penetrated deeply into virtually every county in the state. We all must fight back.”

Updated Map

Three counties are currently on Ohio’s Watch List, meaning that they are approaching Purple Level 4: Clark, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties.

In the past 24 hours, an additional 2,425 new COVID-19 cases have been reported, the highest number of new cases in any 24-day reporting period since the start of the pandemic. Of the top 10 days with the most newly reported cases, eight have occurred in the past nine days, and nine have occurred in October.

According to local health departments across the state, spread is primarily occurring during social and family gatherings. Many counties are also seeing a sustained increase in hospitalizations.

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.

Hospitalizations

DON’T LET UP

Governor DeWine unveiled a new advertisement that will begin airing across the state to serve as a visual reminder of how quickly COVID-19 can domino out of control. 

FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking remotely on his experience of being treated for COVID-19 during Governor DeWine’s Thursday COVID-19 News Conference on The Ohio Channel.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie virtually joined today’s public briefing to discuss his recent diagnosis with COVID-19. Governor Christie spent a week in ICU fighting the disease.

Governor Christie said, in part:  

“I thought I was safe, and I was wrong. I took my mask off, and I left it off, but only for the time that I was inside the White House gates. Three days later I began to feel what I call the freight train of symptoms that happen with COVID-19 – fever, headaches, incredible body aches, chills, sweats, and it overcame me in a period of 24 hours. I had gone from feeling fine and doing my work on a Friday afternoon to by Saturday at 1:00 being admitted to the hospital and taken immediately to the intensive care unit where I stayed for the next six and a half days.

“I want everyone to understand that this is one of the most unpredictable, random, and brutal viruses you’ll ever see. My message to the people of Ohio and the people of this country is that there is no place to hide from this virus if you are not going to take the common-sense steps recommended to us: wear a mask when you’re outside, remain socially distant from people, no big crowds, and wash your hands frequently.

“I just want to urge as many people as I can, don’t let your guard down. It’s not worth it. I made a huge mistake by taking that mask off. It’s something I hope no other Americans have to go through. 

“One of the things I think people don’t understand about this disease – because it’s so random and because so little is understood – is that when you’re there and going through it, the psychological effect it has on you is significant. You start to think about life and death. It’s like getting beaten up from the inside out, and that combination of physical and psychological stress – it’s unique in my life and pretty extraordinary.

“I know how tired everyone is of this, I felt it myself, but as tired as you are of strapping that mask on or going to the sink and washing those hands again – you will take those days in a heartbeat compared to getting this disease.”

Watch DeWine’s October 22nd News Conference from The Ohio Channel here.

ACTIVE CASES IN THE REGION: Some area health departments report an active case county for their county daily, others up to three times per week on their social media platforms or department websites. (Note: Ross County does not report a count of active cases.) These are the active cases as of the date reported, which total 1,074 an increase of 47 since our report on 10/19/20.

FAIRFIELD: 423 (10/22) +29

FAYETTE: 85 (10/21)-22

HIGHLAND: 93 (1021) -15

HOCKING: 15 (10/22) +7

JACKSON: 86 (10/22) +1

PICKAWAY: 67 (10/22) -13

PIKE: 31 (10/21) -8

ROSS: No report

SCIOTO: 252 (10/22) +65

VINTON: 22 (10/21) +3

CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:

Statewide as of 2pm ET Thursday, October 22, 2020 (difference since Wednesday at 2pm ET): Ohio has 190,430 (+2,425) total COVID-19 cases with 155,181 (+1,412) presumed recoveries, 17,682 (+159) hospitalizations and 5,161 (+12) virus related deaths.

Cases by county in the Scioto Valley Region since the count began in March 2020: (Data compares Wednesday’s Report with Thursday’s from the State’s COVID-19 dashboard which show 150 new cases (9,739 since March) in the 10 county region over the last 24 hours, the most being in Ross County (+33), Fairfield County (+28), Scioto County (+22), Pickaway County (+17), Highland County (+13), Jackson County (+12) and Pike (+10) with 0 new deaths reported. There have been 4 new hospitalizations (787 total since March). See the updated Ohio Public Health Advisory System Code map here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system)

FAIRFIELD, (ORANGE/Level 2): 2,644 cases (+28), 2,209 recoveries (+21), 196 Hospitalizations (+0), 57 deaths (+0).

FAYETTE, (RED/Level 3): 449 cases (+9), 289 recoveries (+13), 54 Hospitalizations (+0), 8 deaths (+0).

HIGHLAND, (RED/Level 3): 430 cases (+13), 245 recoveries (+7), 38 Hospitalizations (+0), 4 deaths (+0).

HOCKING, (YELLOW/Level 1): 197 cases (+3), 167 recoveries (+2), 31 Hospitalizations (+0), 9 deaths (+0).

JACKSON, (ORANGE/Level 2): 459 cases (+12), 289 recoveries (+9), 41 Hospitalizations (+0), 8 deaths (+0).

PICKAWAY, (ORANGE/Level 2): 3,011 cases (+17), 2,679 recoveries (+19), 123 Hospitalizations (+0), 46 deaths (+0).

PIKE, (RED/Level 3): 300 cases (+10), 226 recoveries (+9), 31 Hospitalizations (+1), 0 deaths.

ROSS, (RED/Level 3): 1,394 cases (+33), 972 recoveries (+28), 171 Hospitalizations (+2), 36 deaths (+0).

SCIOTO, (RED/Level 3): 859 cases (+22), 569 recoveries (+15), 88 Hospitalizations (+1), 9 deaths (+0).

VINTON, (ORANGE/Level 2): 96 cases (+3), 53 recoveries (+3), 15 Hospitalizations (+0), 3 deaths (+0) 

OHIO CORONAVIRUS DASHBOARD

COVID-19 Update: Record-Breaking Hospitalizations, $1.3 Billion for Ohio Businesses, Spread from Social Gatherings

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(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. 

RECORD-BREAKING HOSPITALIZATIONS

Governor DeWine announced today that hospitals across Ohio are currently treating 1,221 COVID-19 patients which is the most hospitalized patients at one time since the start of the pandemic. A total of 216 of these hospitalizations were reported in the past 24 hours which is the highest number of hospitalizations reported in a single day and more than 50 hospitalizations more than the previous high in mid-July. 

Ohio is also recording an increase in ICU admissions and ventilator utilization. 

Hospitalization Chart

“So far, Ohio’s hospitals still have adequate remaining capacity to care for everyone who is sick, but our hospitalizations are already breaking records, and we are not seeing any signs of Ohio’s case numbers slowing down,” said Governor DeWine. “If we don’t buckle down, wear our masks, and take care of each other, I am very concerned that our hospitals will begin to fill up. We pushed this virus down before, and it’s up to all of us to do it again.”

Ohio also reported 2,015 new COVID-19 cases since yesterday. Sixty-nine of Ohio’s 88 counties have a high incidence of COVID-19 spread, meaning their rate of cases is more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks. 

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

The White House Coronavirus Task Force strongly recommends that Ohioans limit gatherings with family and friends to prevent the virus from spreading to those most at risk of complications. The recommendation follows the increase in community spread in Ohio initiated by small social gatherings.

“It’s the same thing I’m hearing when I speak with county health commissioners. They are seeing the most spread in Ohio from informal gatherings,” said Governor DeWine. “We can’t let our guard down; we must keep our masks on.”

Governor DeWine also urged caution for sports fans who gather this weekend to watch the Ohio State, Browns, and Bengals football games. 

$1.3 BILLION GOING TO OHIO BUSINESSES

Dividend checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will be mailed to employers beginning this week.  The dividend amount totals approximately $1.3 billion.

The money is being given back to employers in response to Governor DeWine’s request in August that the Ohio BWC Board of Directors approve a second dividend to provide financial support for public and private employers impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

These checks will be mailed to employers throughout the end of October. 

A wide-ranging program to address the needs of struggling Ohioans, including funding for rent, mortgages, and water and sewer utility bills, as well as funding for small businesses and nonprofits, will be announced in the near future. 

OHSAA UPDATE

Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided an update from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) on the status of high school fall sports.

OHSAA Observers have attended 458 sites, including 600 football games, at least 50 volleyball matches, and at least 50 soccer matches over the course of eight weeks.

The OHSAA provides reports to the schools following the competitions to serve as an educational opportunity for the school to improve.

LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY DASHBOARD

Ohio’s new long-term care facility dashboard is now available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The new dashboard outlines visitation information at nursing facilities across the state. Those with loved ones in a nursing facility can search for information by county or facility to find information on the types of visits that are offered and when they are permitted. Nursing facilities were permitted to allow indoor visitations beginning October 12. 

Details regarding the visitation guidelines for Ohio’s intermediate care facilities can be found in a public health order issued on September 24. Visitation at intermediate care facilities was permitted to resume on September 28.

VACCINE PROVIDER REGISTRATION

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has submitted its Interim Draft COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan is a framework on how Ohio will proceed once a vaccine is available. The plan will be available tomorrow at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Department of Health will also be launching a new registration tool for health care providers who would like to eventually administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Providers, such as local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and nursing facilities, will be notified soon with instructions about how they can register.

TEST RESULT REPORTING

The Ohio Department of Health has developed a technology solution to allow their systems to track negative test results. In response, Interim Director of Health Lance Himes today amended a directive that now requires all labs to start sharing all positive, negative, inconclusive, and invalid test results related to COVID-19 tests with the Ohio Department of Health.

Previously, labs were reporting positive COVID-19 results at the individual level and as an aggregate count for all other test results.  

“Adding these categories will allow us to gather additional data for a more complete picture of how COVID is spreading in our communities,” said Governor DeWine. This will also allow us to provide positivity data by county in the coming weeks.”

FLU SHOTS
Governor DeWine once again urged Ohio citizens to get their flu shots this year.  A person can become infected with both the flu virus and coronavirus at the same time.

If you become ill this season, many healthcare providers will test for both flu and COVID-19 to get a proper diagnosis. While the symptoms can be similar, COVID-19 is more serious, its symptoms last longer, those hospitalized tend to have longer hospital stays, and the virus has a higher mortality rate. 

Flu vs. COVID

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 185,639 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,083 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 17,388 people have been hospitalized, including 3,597 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.

Adena’s New Family Viewing Area Encourages Safe Baby Introductions

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Nobody wants to see Grandpa Joe climbing a ladder or Aunt Helen perched atop a wobbly chair outside the windows of Adena Regional Medical Center’s Women & Children’s Center trying to get a glimpse of the latest addition to their family.

A version of those scenarios is what has played out, however, outside the windows of patient rooms where mothers have been bonding with their newborns since precautionary visitor restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to Coronavirus, an expectant mother could have up to five visitors at a time while in labor and delivery and an unlimited number of visitors once moved into the mother/infant rooms after giving birth. Once the virus became a factor, expectant mothers were permitted one support person – a spouse, significant other or another family member, for instance – during labor and delivery and for the remainder of their hospital stay for safety measures.

The change in protocols produced a considerable and concerning change in the behavior of some families.

“We were seeing that families were attempting to view babies through the (patient room) windows in maybe not the safest manner because the windows on the outside aren’t level with what’s on the inside – so they would have a chair or a ladder or some other type of item that they would just have in their car and they were trying to stand on it and look in the window,” said Tasha Turner, nurse manager of pediatrics and the nursery. “We were really concerned someone was going to get hurt. (It was happening) almost every day.”

While safety was a critical part of the problem, it wasn’t the only concern.

“They were usually trying to look into a patient room, which also could lead to its own issues if they went to the wrong window and looked in on somebody else’s family, and we definitely don’t want those kind of things either,” Turner said.

The challenge was to find a way for families to safely view their newest loved one without having to enter the ward to do so.

“We discussed how we can allow families to see the new baby because we know that’s important to families, so we started thinking about is there any area that is easily accessible?” Turner explained. “Because of infant safety, there just aren’t a whole lot of places where it’s safe for somebody to view a baby. We have some doors, but if you get a baby too close to one of our doors, it will set off our alarms because that’s how we keep them safe so somebody’s not taking a baby.

“So we really just walked around our unit and thought where’s a good place where you could look at a baby and then we found this one area out in Mother/Infant — it’s a large window facing out toward the parking lot, and we thought if we could do something to make the outside area (leveled) up to the inside area, then we would easily be able to have the family look in at the baby.”

The result is a newly constructed wooden ramp leading to a platform outside that window just off the northeast corner of the hospital. With signage and guidelines posted, families are able to schedule a time to stand on the platform and look at the new baby resting in a crib by the window. Times will be arranged between the new mothers and their family members, then ward staff will be informed when times are confirmed.

“We want to make sure, especially at the beginning, that we’re keeping an eye on that area to make sure they’re doing it in a safe manner,” Turner said. “We don’t want moms picking up the baby to show them because we’re a little bit worried about babies being dropped. We made the viewing area in a manner that somebody can come up to the window and see the baby in a crib, they don’t have to pick the baby up out of there.”

Keeping ward staff in the loop on scheduled times also will help prevent a backlog of families from congregating outside the viewing area during periods in which the ward is handling a large number of births. When multiple families are awaiting a turn on the platform, social distancing will be observed between families and a time limit of 15 minutes at the window will be in place.

With the platform now in use, security will be asked to monitor activity around it “just so they can check and make sure people are using it safely and that people are not going back to the old ways because we have this new way for them to do it that’s safe for everyone,” Turner said.

The platform is the latest example of the type of out-of-the-box thinking about patient-centered care – in this case going beyond patients themselves to include their extended families – that helped earn Adena a spot this summer on Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. Only 231 hospitals across 36 states were selected to receive the honor.

COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Increased Spread in Cases

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(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.

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine today released Ohio’s updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 29 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3):

Adams, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, Scioto, Union, and Warren

“We have 70 counties that are either red or high incidence. That’s 10 million Ohioans or 85% of the population, living in an area with a high risk of community transmission,” Governor DeWine said.

Governor DeWine reviewed the seven indicators of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, which assess the degree of the virus’ spread in each county. The seven indicators are:

  1. Indicator: New cases per capita
  2. Indicator: Sustained increase in new cases
  3. Indicator: Proportion of cases not in congregate setting
  4. Indicator: Sustained increase in Emergency Department visits for COVID-like illness
  5. Indicator: Sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness
  6. Indicator: Sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions
  7. Indicator: Intensive Care Unit bed occupancy
Updated Advisory

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.

INCREASED SPREAD IN CASES

Governor DeWine also announced the state’s positivity rate was 5.4% and the seven-day average was 4.2%. This is up from September when the positivity rate was 2.7%. He reported that today Ohio has 1,042 COVID inpatients in hospitals, which is a significant increase from the 563 patients on September 20, 2020.

Governor DeWine spoke with Dr. Nick Dreher, medical director of the Population Health Innovation Institute at MetroHealth System, and Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at MetroHealth System about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Ohio.

Dr. Margolius told Ohioans that if they are planning to spend time with family and friends, they need to do it safely, by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.  Dr. Dreher reminded Ohioans that they know how to fight the spread of COVID-19 and need to continue following the proper prevention methods to avoid stress on Ohio’s hospital systems.

“The only way, the only way we can beat this virus back is to follow the prevention methods we have been talking about since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. “Stay home when you are sick. Social distance. Wear a mask. Always.”

CENSUS REMINDER

 Lt. Governor Husted also reminded Ohioans that today is the last day to respond to the 2020 Census. The Census determines the spending of $675 Billion in federal funds and what portion of that funding comes back to Ohio for schools, hospitals, public safety, roads, and bridges.

 Individuals can respond online at 2020Census.gov or by phone: In English – 844-330-2020or in Spanish – 844-468-2020.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 175,843 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,038 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,824 people have been hospitalized, including 3,507 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.

Watch Governor Mike DeWine’s October 15, 2020 COVID-19 News Conference

Safely Celebrating Halloween in 2020

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The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC have prepared recommended best practices for those wishes to celebrate Halloween this month.

While some communities will host beggar’s night activities, some will host trunk-or-treating.

The ODH strongly recommends canceling hayrides, haunted houses and trunk-or-treating  events. Of course, seek guidance for your local health department. 

SEE THE ODH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HALLOWEEN

City of Chillicothe and Ross County villages/townships will conduct trick or treat on Thursday, October 29th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 🎃🎃🎃

Posted by Chillicothe Police Department on Friday, October 9, 2020

DeWine: Praises Ohioans’ Efforts As COVID-19 Continues to Spread

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

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

INCREASING CASES

Governor DeWine today cautioned that the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases indicates that significant numbers of infections are likely this winter unless citizens take steps to mitigate and control the spread of the virus. 

“Although a vaccine is on the way in the future, we can’t control the timetable of the development of a vaccine – but we can control how much this flares up until then,” said Governor DeWine. “We have avoided the large outbreaks that other countries and other states have seen, and so far, the combined efforts of Ohioans have kept the virus in check. We can’t let our guards down now. We need to continue taking basic safety measures of wearing masks, keeping distance, and avoiding large gatherings.”

In the last seven days, Ohio COVID-19 cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day by report date as compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. Ohio’s current positivity rate is 4.1 percent as compared to 2.7 percent on September 23 and 24. A total of 51 counties are considered high incidence and/or Alert Level 3 on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System. 

A new public service announcement featuring former Ohio State coaches Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer encourages everyone to stay in the game and to stick to the game plan. 

OSU PSA

CHILDHOOD VACCINES

In Ohio and across the country, there has been a decrease in vaccinations administered to protect against diseases like measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, and polio, and today Governor DeWine today encouraged parents not to delay their children’s well-visit vaccinations. 

“While we do not have a vaccine yet for COVID-19, we can prevent more than a dozen other diseases from harming our children and our communities,” said Governor DeWine. “It is critical that Ohioans and providers remain vigilant about keeping children up to date on these vaccines.”

In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Medicaid will launch several initiatives to encourage childhood immunizations among its members.  These efforts will be aimed at increasing safe, convenient access to vaccinations by providing mobile vaccination clinics and reducing administrative barriers for providers.

Governor DeWine also unveiled a new public service announcement that stresses the importance of childhood vaccines.

Childhood Vaccinations

LAB CAPACITY DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine today announced the creation of a new Lab Capacity Dashboard to help pharmacists, nursing homes, colleges and universities, employers, and others administering COVID-19 tests find a lab to run their samples. This new resource will help connect groups that are testing with available labs in order to ease turnaround times and inform Ohioans of their COVID-19 status.

The new dashboard provides self-reported information about labs that can run tests, including hours of operation, types of tests they accept, estimated turn-around time, and locations. Labs with available capacity can sign up on the website to be included in this dashboard.

BINAX-NOW TESTING PLAN

Governor DeWine today discussed plans for Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen screening tests that the federal government is providing to Ohio.

This week, Ohio is deploying thousands of these screening tests to colleges and universities to help them implement proactive screening plans. Next week, Ohio will begin sending tens of thousands of screening tests to nursing homes for both routine and outbreak testing requirements. 

Governor DeWine emphasized that lab-based PCR tests are still considered the “gold standard” test that provides the most accurate results, and antigen tests can have false positives and false negatives.

“The opportunity to test more broadly and more often make this an important step forward in our fight against COVID-19 spread, even with the lower sensitivity and specificity of these tests,” said Governor DeWine. “We do have protocols to follow up on results that are most likely to be false, but we need to be aware that this is part of testing at this scale.”  

Governor DeWine also cautioned that testing should not be considered a substitute for precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.  

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 161,678 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,017 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,565 people have been hospitalized, including 3,447 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.

Adena Now Offering Flu Shot Clinics

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CHILLICOTHE, OH (Oct. 13, 2020) – Avoiding the flu this season takes one simple step, getting an influenza vaccine. Adena Health System offers many flu shot clinics, making it easy for you and your family to get vaccinated.

Adena is offering flu shots at all of its Urgent Care and Walk-In locations across its nine county service region. Flu vaccinations are also offered by appointment at any of Adena’s Family Medicine, Primary Care and Pediatric locations.

“This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for the public to get their flu shot,” said Kirk Tucker, MD, Adena Chief Clinical Officer. “We recommend getting your flu shot as soon as possible in order to prevent strains of the flu which could leave people more susceptible to additional Coronavirus infection and serious illness. A flu shot not only protects the individual, but it protects others by limiting the chances of flu virus contraction and spread. Especially in light of the pandemic if a person were to get the flu and then contract Coronavirus, the combination could be potentially fatal. By pulling together, we can beat this cold and flu season.”

For children over six months and adults, the flu shot can prevent them from getting sick, prevent flu-related hospitalizations and potentially lessen symptoms or length of illness should they get a strain of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older, including the elderly and pregnant women, receive an annual flu shot. Flu shots taken by pregnant women can protect their babies from the flu after birth. Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, but patients may want to check with their insurance provider if they are unsure.

Together, we can protect ourselves and each other against the flu by getting a flu shot today. To schedule a flu shot with Adena, call (740) 779-7500, or skip the wait and reserve your appointment time online at one of Adena’s Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinics. To learn more, visit Adena.org/FluShots.