(Updates Are Ongoing) The State of Ohio has hit a record high for hospitalizations and daily new cases for COVID-19, since the pandemic began. The state hit a record-high 20,000 new COVID-19 cases and for total hospitalizations. An additional 592 hospitalizations have been seen over the past 24 hours. The Ohio Hospital Association website shows a total of 5,356 patients as of December 29th, 2021.
Hospitals in northern Ohio, especially the Cleveland area, have been among the hardest hit. Nationally, new cases have climbed to a record of more than 265,000 cases per day.
In response, Governor Mike DeWine has activated an additional 1,250 National Guard Troops to assist with staffing at hospitals inundated with COVID patients. The governor had previously activated 1,050 guardsmen last month to assist with the hospital staffing crunch.
In a press conference update of the COVID-19 case increase now seen in Ohio, DeWine stated it is clear the majority of hospitalized COVID patients are those who have not received COVID-19 vaccinations.
Ohio Health Department and U.S. Centers For Disease Control officials have acknowledged that the newest COVID variant known as “omicron” is being seen in people who have been vaccinated, but pointed out that those vaccinated are largely escaping the most serious symptoms and hospitalizations of the omicron variant.
Several doctors, nurses and hospital administrators on Governor DeWine’s press conference Wednesday urged Ohioans to get their vaccinations and boosters. Recent statistics show Ohio has approximately 55% of the eligible population fully vaccinated, which is well below the national average of over 70%.
DeWine also urged schools to require staff and students to wear masks upon their return to class in January- at least until the current surge passes.
The governor along with Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff says the omicron variant, which started in South Africa, has been much more quick to spread. It is also less deadly than the delta variant. Recent news in South Africa shows the omicron is starting to show fewer new cases, but it could be another month before Ohio sees that trend going downward.
Recently, the CDC has updated recommendations for those who become infected with COVID or come into someone who has tested positive:
People who test positive for COVID-19: Only need to isolate for 5 days if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask if they are around others. Remember, previously it was a 10-day isolation period.
People who are exposed to COVID-19 and are either (1) unvaccinated or (2) more than 6 months from completing their initial round of vaccination and unboostered only need to quarantine for 5 days followed by mask-wearing for 5 days. The CDC indicates that “if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.”
People who are exposed to COVID-19 and have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine at all but need to wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
For all exposures, CDC still says that it is a best practice to test on day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, “quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19”
(Columbus) –All sorts of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife can find a use for a live-cut Christmas tree once the holidays are over, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Before you toss your tree to the curb this year, remember that it can find life after Christmas as shelter for Ohio fish, birds, small mammals, and more.
Recycled live-cut Christmas trees are used as fish habitat in both public and private waters. Christmas trees are donated to the Division of Wildlife by community recycling and drop-off programs. The trees are bundled together and weighted down so they sink to the bottom, attracting fish and providing cover. Private pond owners may also want to consider this approach of repurposing trees to add habitat to their ponds. Many species are attracted to this newly created habitat, including crappie, bluegill, and other panfish, as well as largemouth bass and saugeye.
Each winter, Christmas trees are placed at select wildlife areas and public lakes around Ohio, which vary year to year. GPS coordinates where trees are placed as fish attractors are recorded for each site and the information is available on the interactive lake map at wildohio.gov. Anglers can target these locations, which are often very productive for several species.
A live-cut Christmas tree can also be recycled as the centerpiece of a wildlife-friendly brush pile. Place the tree in a selected location and stack limbs around it in a square arrangement, layering more brush until a desired height is reached. Cover the top with additional brush to create a unique and valuable shelter for small animals.
Songbirds, including northern cardinals, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches travel in and out of brush piles for food, nesting, and to escape predators. Small mammals, such as cottontail rabbits and chipmunks, also use brush piles for shelter and raising young.
Live-cut Christmas trees are also useful as compost, mulch, and more beyond wildlife habitat. Here are some options for your live-cut Christmas tree following the holidays.
City of Columbus residents can set out their tree on the curb and it will be picked up during the regular yard waste collection day.
The City of Chillicothe picks up trees for residents through a special collection through January.
Caesar Creek State Park. 8570 E. State Route 73, Waynesville. Drop off your undecorated tree at the North Pool Boat Ramp until Jan. 17, 2022.
Another option is to move your tree outside and add edible ornaments or strings of popcorn to feed birds and squirrels during times when food resources can be scarce. Try creating homemade suet or seed cakes, covering pinecones in peanut butter and seeds, or hanging slices of oranges and apples.
Before repurposing or disposing of a live-cut Christmas tree, remember to remove all trimmings including tinsel, garland, lights, and ornaments as these can be harmful to the environment and wildlife. Be sure to have proper permission before discarding your tree on public or private property. Discarding trees without permission could result in a litter violation.
Evidence-based therapies (EBTs) have been shown to improve a variety of mental health conditions and overall well-being. These treatments are tailored to each Veteran’s needs, priorities, values, preferences, and goals for therapy. EBTs often work quickly and effectively, sometimes within a few weeks or months, depending on the nature or severity of your symptoms. Work with your VA provider to choose the treatment options that work best for you. To learn more about EBTs offered at VA and the mental health conditions they are used to treat, explore the information below.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Depression (ACT-D)
ACT-D is a therapy that can help transform and improve the lives of people experiencing depression. ACT-D aims to help you live in a way that’s more closely aligned with your values, improving your relationships with yourself, others, and the world.
Through this therapy, you’ll learn to accept your thoughts and emotions, choose and commit to actions that align with your values, and take action to achieve what matters most to you. ACT-D typically requires 10 to 16 individual sessions, but it can be tailored to your treatment preferences and priorities. This therapy can lead to:
A decrease in negative thoughts and feelings.
Increased awareness and focus that helps you to fully connect with others and live in the moment.
The ability to clarify your values and take action to achieve what means the most to you in life.
If you choose ACT-D, you may be asked to:
Commit to attending sessions regularly.
Set treatment goals with your provider at the onset of therapy.
Speak openly about your depression, the challenges you’re facing, and your values.
To determine whether ACT-D may be right for you, speak with your mental health provider about your symptoms so you can work together to create the most effective treatment plan.