Tag Archives: COVID-19

Fully Vaccinated Need To Be Tested (If) They Are Exposed To Positive COVID Individuals

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To say the least, there has been some confusion with people concerning the use of proper protocol concerning COVID-19, even among the fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control says even for those who are fully vaccinated, there is a need to be tested (if) they come into “close contact” with someone who tests positive for COVID. The definition of close contact is “being within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes (total) over a 24 hour period.”

If this did occur, you should wear a mask for 14 days and be tested between days 3-5 following your exposure and continue to wear a mask until you receive a negative test. If you test positive, you should isolate for 10 days.

For more information, go to our link to the CDC website- CLICK HERE:

AREA Health Leaders Issue Plea For More COVID Caution

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(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.

COVID-19 Shares Some Of Same Symptoms As Season Allergies

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It’s allergy season. COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share some symptoms, but not others.

Use this chart to compare the common symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies so you can tell the difference.

(Image Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)

If you’re sick, you may need a COVID-19 test to confirm your diagnosis. Contact your physician for more details.

Big 10 Adds Forfeit Policy For Teams Not Playing Due to COVID

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The Big 10 Conference has come out with a policy that will be none too kind for teams unable to play a scheduled game for the 2021-22 season, due to COVID.

While the vaccination rates among Big 10 teams is high, variants still are spreading through the country. If a program is incapable of fielding a team for a game, the canceling team will have to forfeit that contest, according to the Big 10.

The Big Ten released its COVID-19 policy on Monday morning, and if a team cannot play, it will receive a loss and the other team will get the win. If both teams have to cancel, then it’s considered a no-contest.

“In collaboration and communication with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee – effective today – the conference has determined that if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled. That contest shall be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19 and a win for its opponent in the conference standings. If both of the two competing teams are unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition shall be considered a “no contest.”

VA Makes Adjustments Due To Increased COVID Cases In Ohio

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(Chillicothe) – The Chillicothe VA Medical Center and its Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are making adjustments due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Ohio.  These changes are in an effort to protect the Veterans we serve and minimize the risk of the virus.  

As part of this effort, visitation to the Community Living Centers (CLCs) has been ceased until further notice. 

Those entering the VA’s facilities will continue to be screened at the entrances.  Masks are required inside buildings and outside when social distancing is not possible.  Children under the age of 18 are not permitted inside buildings. To speed up this screening process, Veterans and caregivers are encouraged to utilize

The following COVID screening options:

  • Text “Screen” to 53079.
  • Use your cell phone camera to scan the following QR code.
  • Visit the screening tool website at: www.va.gov/covid19screen 

Once the screening questions are completed, show your cell phone screen at the screening station on the VA campus.

What can you do to protect yourself and others?  Take everyday preventive actions to avoid being exposed to the virus:  

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick or becoming sick.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

If you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with symptoms, call your healthcare provider.  Veterans can call the VA, 740-773-1141, extension 15575, for guidance.   

For information regarding what to know, what to do, and how VA is responding: https://go.usa.gov/xdMYt

Ohio University Requiring Students/Staff/Visitors To Mask Indoors

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Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to all OHIO campuses are required to wear a mask indoors in public/shared spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

Additionally, all residential students will be required to participate in asymptomatic testing upon arrival regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, because testing all students upon arrival is our best opportunity to identify infected individuals and curb a potential outbreak.

These decisions have been made based on developing science, local epidemiology, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health, and our local health departments.

Read the full statement from Ohio University here: CLICK HERE…

Ohio COVID-19 Cases Dip Below 50 Per 100,000

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(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Department of Health is reporting the two-week statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents is 49.5. These cases occured with onset dates in a two-week period from May 22 to June 4, 2021.

“Ohioans have shown our resilience and grit, and by continuing to get vaccinated we are coming through this pandemic stronger than ever,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “When I announced this goal on March 4th, I said that reaching 50 cases per 100,000 would mean we were entering a new phase of this pandemic. Vaccinations are working. That’s why cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are down. But that doesn’t mean we can let our foot off the gas. If you’re not vaccinated against COVID-19, continue to wear a mask in public and Ohioans that are able to get vaccinated should.”

As of today, more than 5.3 million Ohioans have started the vaccination process, making up 45.9% of all Ohioans and 40.5% of Ohio adults, and 4.7 million are fully vaccinated.

Case rates per 100,000 residents have been monitored throughout the pandemic and were as high as more than 900 cases per 100,000 residents in data from December 14, 2020. Specifically, 939.1 cases per 100,000 were reported for the period of November 30 through December 13, 2020. Prior to today, the last time Ohio fell below 50 cases per 100,000 residents was on June 25, 2020, when 49.7 cases per 100,000 were reported for the period of June 11 through 24, 2020.

Case rates per 100,000 residents are calculated as an average over a 14-day period, and exclude cases among incarcerated individuals. The data is calculated based on illness onset date, not report date. Each day, when new cases are added to the COVID-19 dashboards, they are attributed to the date of illness onset.

Although this is a positive indicator in the fight against COVID-19, the threat of the virus remains. Individuals should continue taking proper preventative measures including washing, and sanitizing hands and surfaces frequently. While masking is no longer mandated, unvaccinated Ohioans should continue wearing masks indoors or in crowded settings where social distancing is not possible. Businesses and organizations can continue to require masking regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, including in healthcare settings.

State Rep. Wilkin Critical Of “Vax-A-Million” Giveaway

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Rep. Shane Wilkin Photo Courtesy of Ohio House of Representatives

State Representative Shane Wilkin, a Republican from Hillsboro, has expressed displeasure over the idea of giving away five separate one- million-dollar jackpots to Ohioans who have received a COVID-19 vaccination in an opt-in lottery that Governor Mike DeWine says was his idea.

Wilkin says staff on the Ohio Controlling Board were looking at ways that more than $5 million in funding could be revoked after it was approved in Controlling Board meetings to in 2020 and 2021 for “critical outreach to Ohio citizens,” “public awareness and media campaigns,” and “other non-testing response activities at Ohio Department of Health.”

In an interview with Columbus TV’s ABC6, Wikin said- “My gut reaction was, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,'” Wilkin said of hearing the Vax-A-Million news last week. “Seriously: this is the best way we can do this?

“I simply disagree with this method of incentive for someone taking the vaccine,” he added.

A spokesman for Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management said Monday that the Vax-A-Million falls within those purposes and Governor Mike DeWine defended the Vax-A-Million idea during a Monday press conference.

“The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency…were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved…and were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 31, 2021,” said spokesman Pete LuPiba. “The (Vax-A-Million) outreach campaign satisfies each of these three prongs.”

Both Ohio’s Attorney General and the Auditor of State have released statements to acknowledge that Vax-A-Million appears to be legal. 

Ohio Department of Health director Stephanie McCloud defended the sweepstakes.

“It is legal to use the funds for what we’re using them for,” McCloud said. “We have to use this money; the idea behind this money is broadly interpreted in the statute to bring awareness, help encourage and facilitate uptake of the vaccine.”

McCloud said the money was not requested from the Ohio Controlling Board with the intent of later running a sweepstakes, but that “everything’s on the table at all points.”

“We knew we were going to find innovative ways to bring vaccine education and vaccine uptake to Ohioans,” she said.

Ross County Drops To Orange Level 2 On Ohio COVID Alert Map

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Ross County has shown enough improvement in the leveling off of COVID-19 cases, that it has dropped from Red Level 3 to Orange Level 2.

The latest update on the Ohio County Alert Risk Map was released Thursday, May 6th.

Ross County is also showing that 33% of it’s population has been vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus.

Other area counties remained the same as follows:

RED LEVEL 3- Pickaway and Fairfield

ORANGE LEVEL 2- Ross, Pike, Fayette, Highland, Jackson, Scioto and Hocking

YELLOW LEVEL 1- Vinton

Statewide, Ohio is now showing new COVID-19 cases are also dropping, now at 141 per 100,000. That is down from 201 per 100,000 just three weeks ago.

Some of our readers have asked “How is this rate figured?” According to the Ohio Department of Health; “Officials take the number of new cases reported statewide within two weeks and divides it by Ohio’s population of approximately 11,689,100. That result is then multiplied by 100,000, which ultimately gives the number of cases per 100,000.”

Governor Mike DeWine says it will require under 50 per 100,000 new cases over a two week period in order for all state health mandates to be lifted for COVID-19.

Ohio COVID-19 Color Alert Map 5-6-21

Pike, Vinton & Franklin Counties See Improved Levels On COVID Alert Map

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Improving COVID-19 case numbers in three area counties has resulted in each being moved a step down on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System Alert Map.

Pike County has dropped from Red Level 3 to Orange Level 2, Vinton County has gone from Orange Level 2 to Yellow Level 1 with Franklin County going to Purple Level 4 to Red Level 3.

Ross, Pickaway and Fairfield counties remain at Red Level 3.