Ten Lab Confirmed Cases in Union County: The Union County Health Department is now reporting ten lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Union County residents. We have also received report of the first hospitalization of a Union County resident with COVID-19.

As of 1 p.m. on April 10, five adult females and five adult males have tested positive for COVID-19. The age-range of cases is 31-83 years old with a median age of 46.5 and an average age of 51.3 years old. The illness onset ranges from Mar. 1 to Apr. 3. One individual is hospitalized. Three individuals are recovering at home. Six individuals have recovered.

Thus far, nine of the ten lab confirmed cases have either been healthcare workers, individuals with travel history, or connected with a known case of COVID-19. Similar to our case counts, we share this piece of information with caution as this is likely more of a reflection of testing shortages and subsequent targeted testing rather than a true representation of the virus within our community.

A contact investigation is underway to identify and notify close contacts of the individual. Close contacts will be notified by public health. Close contacts will be assessed for symptoms and instructed to self- quarantine (separate themselves from others and not go to any public places) for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms. If you are not notified by public health, you are not considered a close contact with increased risk.

Close contacts of an ill person are typically:

  • individuals living in the same home,
  • intimate partners,
  • individuals providing home care for an ill person without using recommended precautions,
  • individuals who have had close contact (within 6 feet of the ill person) for a prolonged period of time (definitions for prolonged time vary from 10 minutes or more to 30 minutes when speaking in terms outside of providing medical care)

The Union County Health Department will not release additional personal information regarding the ill individual in compliance with HIPAA and Protected Health Information laws. Public health will not release a listing of locations visited by the individual unless the contact investigation warrants such an announcement in order to protect the health of the public.

Convalescent Plasma: The US FDA is leading an effort to develop a new protocol to provide plasma from recovered patients to seriously ill patients. This plasma is showing promise in lessening the severity or shortening the length of illness. On Apr. 09, Lt. Governor Husted announced the first Ohio location has received FDA approval to begin treating high risk COVID-19 patients who are seriously ill with convalescent plasma. Learn more at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid- 19/checklists/english-checklists/Convalescent-Plasma-to-Treat-COVID-19-COVID-19-Checklist

Facemasks: Public health officials and Governor DeWine are encouraging Ohioans to wear cloth face coverings if they must run into a public place where it is hard to maintain social distancing. Wearing a face covering is not mandatory and should not replace social distancing. A mask helps reduce the spread of respiratory droplets you expel when you breath, talk, cough or sneeze. It serves as a barrier to limit the number of droplets you may unknowingly spread. A mask does not protect you from others’ respiratory droplets. A face covering is now recommended as we have more scientific evidence to indicate individuals can spread this new coronavirus before they have any symptoms. Learn more about cloth face masks at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/checklists/english- checklists/cloth-face-coverings-covid-19-checklist

Preparing for Medical Surge: The Union County Health Department continues to work closely with the Union County Emergency Operations Center and our healthcare system to develop plans for the possibility of a surge of critically ill patients. A Union County “Ask a Medical Professional” phone triage line has been developed and can be operational as early as next week if needed. A drive thru sick bay is also close to being operational. The goal of both of these strategies is to support our existing healthcare system should they need support in reducing the strain on the system. They will be operationalized if a community response is needed to support our health system.

Mental Health Resources: The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Union County (MHRB) and local behavioral health providers have many resources available to help our minds stay well. Never underestimate the power of connecting with family, friends and a mental health professional when we’re feeling sad, lonely, depressed, or just down in the dumps. Sometimes naming our feelings, making sense of what’s happening around us and reframing our throughs can help us get through tough times.

MyHelloLine – Helping seniors stay connected through weekly phone chats. (937) 644-1010 24/7 Crisis Line – We’re here. We’re listening. Call or Test ‘4help’ to 85511. (800) 731-5577 Coping w/ COVID-19 Virtual Support Group – Zooming every Wednesday. To join, email tglass@pvff.org.

Not sure what mental health resources are out there? Start by calling 2-1-1 (or 855-833-3696), Union County’s Information & Referral line.

Basic Needs: The United Way of Union County, Union County Neighbor to Neighbor, Hope Center and many other service groups, social service agencies, and faith communities are working together to help respond to needs from our community. If you are struggling with food, housing, or other basic needs, please call Union County’s Information & Referral line, 2-1-1 (or 855-833-3696) or go to https://unitedwayofunioncounty.org/covidinfo.php.

Guidance for Easter Celebrations: The Union County Health Department has shared guidance with local churches regarding Easter Sunday services. The Stay at Home Order exempts religious settings from the order. However, public health and Governor DeWine strongly urge all churches to consider the risk a large gathering poses to their congregation. Public health advises all churches to hold online services whenever possible. If a church feels it must hold a service on its property, it must follow measures to ensure social distancing and the required prevention measures listed in the Stay at Home Order. Attached is the guidance for drive thru services if a church feels this is necessary.

Offer Help & Encourage Older Adults: We are asking for your help in connecting with our older adults. We have heard from our businesses providing basic needs and law enforcement partners that many older adults are still making trips out. Please encourage everyone to reach out to their older adult loved ones and see if they can help in getting supplies and virtually run errands. If you know of an older adult who may need help, please encourage them to call 2-1-1 or 855-833-3696. 2-1-1 can help direct the senior to local agencies who can provide support or connect them with a volunteer agency.

If you know an older adult who would benefit from a regular phone chat to help overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, please encourage them to call Union County Senior Services at (937) 644-1010. Seniors can enroll in the free local MyHelloLine. The Union County Mental Health & Recovery Board is financially supporting the MyHelloLine program through LifeBio. Once a week, the enrolled senior will receive a 15-30 minute phone call from a trained LifeBio staff member just to check-in and share some good conversation.

Ohio (Apr. 09) / 5,512 cases / 1,612 hospitalizations / 213 deaths / 54 median age / 497 ICU Admissions

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