As cases of COVID-19 in our community continue to rise sharply, we are now seeing the virus impact almost every facet of our community, including schools, faith groups, worksites and congregate settings including our nursing and assisted living facilities. The Union County Health Department is asking for all members of our community to double down on mask wearing, social distancing, staying home when sick or after a known exposure, and to once again limit your social interactions. While we can’t stop a virus, it is important we try to slow it down through these protective actions.
Local Update – With great sadness, we share that we have received report of two additional COVID-19 related deaths among our Union County residents. These recent losses bring our cumulative COVID-19 loss of life total to 6. We are also reporting 41 Union County residents have required hospitalization related to COVID-19 since Oct. 27. That’s 41 additional hospitalizations reported in 22 days. In total, 72 cumulative COVID-19 related hospitalizations have been reported for Union County residents since the pandemic began.
Congregate Settings – For many months, our long-term care facilities have worked incredibly hard to keep the virus out. Facilities have adopted new procedures, increased their use of PPE, and implemented routine testing among staff and residents. However, as virus activity has dramatically increased within our community, we are now seeing that community increase reflected in our congregate settings. Based on data reported today on the Ohio Coronavirus dashboard, the Union County Health Department is reporting outbreaks in two congregate facilities. We urge our community members to remember that the protective actions we take in our community is a critical line of protection for the residents within these congregate settings. You can find updated data on cases in long-term care facilities by clicking here and for the state prison in Marysville by clicking here. Data for assisted living and nursing homes is updated on Wednesdays and correctional facility data is updated daily.
Due to the sensitive nature of congregate housing settings, our assisted living and nursing facilities, correctional facilities, and group housing providers have been meeting regularly since March with the formation of the Union County Congregate Care Coalition. The goal of the coalition is support congregate facilities as they work to protect these high-risk groups to the best of their ability. Members of the coalition share ideas and challenges they are facing. The Union County Health Department helps support with current information on isolation and quarantine policy guidelines provided by Centers for Medicaid and other industry resources. The Union County Emergency Management Agency provides support for resource requests such as personal protective equipment.
CELEBRATE SMALL THIS HOLIDAY – With the holiday season quickly approaching, we urge each family to think about what changes their family can make to celebrate the season while also being mindful of the current situation. We can celebrate the holidays, but we need to try and keep it small. COVID-19 is spreading in our community at a level we have not previously seen in this pandemic. With elevated disease activity, spread related to small gatherings increasing, and the knowledge that spikes in cases followed each spring and summer holiday, we urge residents to carefully think through how you will celebrate. Click here for tips to consider when planning your holidays this year. Please remember, that the interactions we have this holiday season will stay with us as we return to work, school and church. Even minor adjustments to your plans can help our community preserve our physical and economic health.