Sadly, we had an additional death reported to our agency yesterday. As of 2pm on Nov. 19, we are now reporting 7 COVID-19 related deaths among Union County residents.  The latest case counts by zip code data from the Ohio Department of Health is provided below. Please note the zip code data is inclusive of cases among incarcerated persons at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. 
In summary, from Nov. 2 through Nov. 18, 638 Union County residents had/have a reported COVID-19 infection. 37 of those individuals required hospitalization and 3 resulted in a COVID-19 related death. As of Nov. 18, 231 individuals had reported active infections and in isolation. The median age of individuals with reported COVID-19 infection continues to hover around 41 years. The age range of COVID-19 related deaths is (3) age 60-69, (1) age 70-79, (3) age 80+.
This has been a difficult two to three weeks for our community. It is important to remember that we don’t know exactly what the next few weeks and months will bring – there is no crystal ball. The current trend in data is concerning, especially as we head into a time of year where our healthcare systems tell us they traditionally see an increase in utilization of healthcare resources. As a community, we need to be vigilant right now. But it is also important to remember that about 95% of Union County residents with reported illness have had mild illness or an illness that they could manage at home. This is great news. It is important to remember that science is showing us masking – when we do it together – and social distancing can have great benefits for our community. In a recent meeting with friends and colleagues from across our county, we reflected on what is the fabric of our community – what makes Union County a great place to raise a family. The answer was quite simple and genuine. In Union County, we care about our neighbors. When people are in need, there are always hands willing to help. That strength that’s been built by generations of Union County families and added to by the new residents we’ve welcomed, is our foundation. It is what is going to carry us through…like it has for so many years. 
COVID Testing Update: Our office continues to reach a substantial increase in calls from ill individuals and exposed individuals who are looking for COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 testing continues to be offered by our partners, Lower Lights Christian Health Center, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Lower Lights and our testing coordinator have been working creatively to expand capacity as much as resources will allow. To support the need being voiced by our community, we are again partnering with the Ohio National Guard to provide an additional day of testing on Tuesday, Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8 and 15. An appointment is strongly advised and preferred for our community drive thru testing. Appointments can be booked online at Appointments are now open for next week. Testing is recommended for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19. It is always recommended to discuss your symptoms and situation with your family doctor first. However, a doctor’s order is not required for testing. 
Isolate & Notify Contacts: There is an incredibly high volume of positive results coming in across Ohio, including Union County. We are asking for the help and partnership of our residents. If you have received a positive COVID-19 lab result, please stay home immediately and notify anyone you’ve had close contact with during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms starting until you received your positive result. We are seeing a delay in the time between symptoms beginning, testing, lab result reporting, and the call from the health department. We remain dedicated in leveraging every available resource to connect with positive cases as quickly as possible, but the surge in Ohio is impacting this. If you do receive a positive result, please stay home until at least 10 days from your symptom onset AND at least 24 hours have passed since your fever resolved AND you have improvement in symptoms. When notifying close contacts (family members, friends, co-workers, etc who you hugged, kissed, shared drinks or utensils with, or were within 6 feet of for 15 or more minutes), please let them know to watch for symptoms and stay home as much as possible for 14 days from last contact with you. 

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