The Union County Health Department has not received notice of any additional cases since our Apr. 13 community update. We continue to report 11 lab confirmed cases in Union County. Of the 11 individuals, 9 have recovered, 2 are actively ill. One individual required hospitalization while ill. The age-range of cases remains 31-83 years with a median age of 48 and an average age of 51.5. The illness onset ranges from Mar. 1 to Apr. 3. 50% of the individuals were male and 50% were female. Nine of the 11 lab confirmed cases were either healthcare workers, individuals with travel history, or individuals connected with a known case of COVID-19. Two cases have unknown exposure (community spread). Case counts and related case information should be interpreted with caution. Case counts and related information likely reflects testing shortages and subsequent targeted testing rather than a true representation.

A Message from the Health Commissioner: As our residents have stayed home and slowed the spread of this virus, it has worked, we have flattened the curve, we have saved lives. We are so thankful for these selfless actions of our residents. You bought us time to prepare our community. Now your actions are allowing us in public health to start planning for what life in Union County looks like as we move beyond May 1. Life will not return to normal overnight. It can’t because this virus remains among us. We are committed to continuing to work with our partners and residents to protect health as we keep moving forward.

Plans to Reopen Ohio: As Governor DeWine works on how we reopen Ohio, he states he has 2 clear goals in mind 1) protect employees and 2) protect the customers. Per the Governor, the path forward to restart includes continuing public health measures and compliance, protecting the most vulnerable, and businesses operating safely with safeguards. It is important to understand that reopening life in Ohio will be a slow and incremental process. It will not be a light switch.

What Businesses & Customers Could Expect: Governor DeWine is asking businesses in each industry to start coming together to talk about how they can ensure employees and customers are safe once we start getting back to work and life. Certain “pandemic norms” will likely need to continue. Distancing by employees and customers will continue. Wearing masks by employees and customers will continue. Physical barriers between customers and employees will continue. Cleaning and sanitizing will remain frequent. Ample opportunities to wash hands and hand sanitize will be necessary. Staggered shifts to reduce the number of employees in the building at one time will be encouraged. Working from home whenever possible will remain. Taking temperatures and staying home when sick will continue. Limited number of customers allowed in a store at a time will likely continue.

Virus Will Remain: Even after we start reopening in Ohio, the coronavirus will continue to circulate. We must individually and as employers take steps to protect ourselves and our community. We have all done our part to slow this virus down. We will all continue to carry this responsibility together as citizens as we get back to work and life.

Ohio (Apr. 17) / 8,858 confirmed cases / 2,424 hospitalizations / 418 confirmed deaths / 54 median age

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