What Each of Us Does Matters

Layering prevention measures helps to maximize your protection from the virus that causes COVID-19. As we move through the pandemic and experience times of a higher rate of community spread of the virus, taking additional steps may be needed – especially if you or someone you care for is immunocompromised. 
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Stay home when we’re sick.
  • Stay home if we’re caring for someone who is sick.
  • Keep some space (6 feet apart) when we are in crowded indoor public places.
  • Wear a mask when in crowded indoor public places.
  • Wash our hands often and for 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch our face.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with our sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and things we touch a lot (like our phones, electronics, keyboards, remotes, doorknobs).

Planning to Travel

If you are planning to travel, there are some important considerations to take into account. Vaccinated travelers are less likely to get or spread COVID-19. Getting both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two weeks before traveling is recommended for all people eligible for vaccination. Masking, frequent handwashing and symptom monitoring are also recommended. To view the CDC’s detailed guidance, including COVID-19 testing recommendations for domestic and international travel, click on the links below.

Domestic Travel Guidance
International Travel Guidance

How to talk to kids about Coronavirus

Explaining the Tools Public Health is Using to Slow the Spread of Disease

Every single day, public health works to slow the spread of many reportable diseases within our community. To do this, our disease detectives (epidemiologists or epis for short) are constantly monitoring and tracking reportable contagious diseases. The tools our epis use include contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. But what do these terms mean?

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is the process of identifying which people may have been exposed to a person sick with a contagious disease while that person was infectious.
When a person has a contagious disease like the coronavirus, our epis do detailed interviews to find out who the ill person has been in close contact with. This may include others living in the same home, intimate partners, co-workers, or others. The epis determine when the person was likely contagious and walk through who and where they had visited in that time. The epis then notify those people identified as possible close contacts who are at risk for getting sick. These people are then instructed to stay home (self-quarantine). While they are home, they monitor for symptoms, including taking their temperature twice a day. If they start to have any of the symptoms of the coronavirus, then they call their doctor and/or health department right away. Figuring out who has had close contact with a sick person is an effective tool when you are trying to stop the spread of disease.


Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

If a person is known or suspected of having a contagious disease like the coronavirus, our epis instruct them to stay home. This helps prevent the spread of the disease to others. The amount of time you are instructed to stay home is based off what we call your infectious period. For COVID-19, this is 10 days. Isolation can be done at home.  A sick person must stay home (except to see a doctor) until they are given the okay by a doctor. Public health authorities can enforce isolation orders if necessary.


Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
When a person has had close contact with a person who is sick with a contagious disease like the coronavirus, our epis instruct them to stay home. This provides another layer of protection in helping to prevent the spread of the disease to the community. The time a person is in quarantine is based on the incubation period (how long it takes from exposure until you get sick) of the virus. For this new coronavirus, the incubation period is 2-14 days. Based on the incubation period, it is recommended to quarantine at home for 14 days after exposure. However following research, the CDC does allow for a shortened quarantine of 10 days without symptoms or seven days without symptoms and a negative test result (test must have been administered at least five days after exposure). Quarantine can be done at home. If a person starts to show signs they are sick, then this person is then considered in isolation and must stay home until given the okay by a doctor. Public health authorities can enforce quarantine orders if necessary.

Social Distancing

What’s It Mean & Why’s It Matter

Social distancing is all about keeping 6 feet of distance between you and other people. Why 6 feet? How are 2 yard sticks really helping to slow the spread? We in public health are asking everyone to keep 6 feet of space between us because 6 feet is how far respiratory droplets can go. Respiratory droplets are the little water droplets that fly out of our mouth when we breath, talk, cough or sneeze. The force of a sneeze can send these droplets flying up to 6 feet. From what we know so far about this new coronavirus, it likes to spread to others through these droplets. That’s why keeping 6 feet from others helps protect us.

Understanding Different COVID Tests

We’ve received several questions regarding the different types of COVID-19 tests out there. There are three main types of tests in the US.

Molecular Test: The most common test type in Ohio is a molecular test that looks for the genetic material of the specific SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This test is called a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. This is the test used when we report lab confirmed cases. A sample for testing is collected by a swab in the nose or throat. Results typically take several days. There are some rapid molecular tests termed “Point of Care” that provide results rapidly. However, these rapid “Point of Care” tests are still limited in availability.

Antigen Test: Antigen tests are a newer test that looks for certain proteins from the virus. A sample for testing is collected by a swab in the nose or throat. Results are rapid, available within minutes to hours. This type of test is still not commonly used in Ohio. An individual with a positive antigen test would also need to meet one of two other criteria to be classified as a probable case – clinical evidence of illness (symptoms consistent with COVID-19) or evidence of exposure to a known case.

Antibody Test: Antibody tests, also called serological tests, look for antibodies that indicate a past infection. A blood draw is used for testing. This is the type of test offered by the American Red Cross on blood donations. This test only detects if antibodies have developed, likely from a past infection. This test is not used to diagnose COVID-19. This test also does not mean you have immunity if you have antibodies. Researchers still don’t know if immunity develops after an infection, and if it does, for how long it may protect.

Check out this link from the Mayo Clinic for more information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/covid-antibody-tests/faq-20484429?fbclid=IwAR26JiaoDkwLRFV0wTY8jovrtnaIHL33RppIyrVgIkNmV6_iPa-mKw9erOA