Union County Stays Red: Union County remains at a Level 3 alert on the Ohio Public Health Alert System. The Level 3 Alert indicates that we are seeing a sustained increase in the spread of COVID-19 within our county. The alert system is one tool we use to look at recent trends in COVID-19 data for our county. Based on data from the previous two weeks, Union County continues to remain at a per capita rate of 128.84 cases per 100,000 people. At over 100 cases per 1000,000 people, Union County exceeds the CDC per capita threshold for high incidence of COVID-19. We are also seeing an increase in outpatient visits where patients then had a COVID-19 diagnosis. The final trigger that affects our Alert level is that the majority of new cases of COVID-19 are not coming from nursing homes or prisons.

Click here to see the Union County alert profile.

Case Count: As of 3 pm on Oct. 22, 573 cumulative cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Union County residents. Since Oct. 15, 52 new cases (not inclusive of positive antibody tests) and 2 new hospitalizations were reported (2 individuals currently hospitalized). No additional COVID-19 related deaths among Union County residents were reported.

Of the 573 cumulative cases of COVID-19, 74 individuals are currently infectious and in isolation (the highest number of actively infectious reported cases at one point in time to date). 495 individuals have been released from isolation and no longer considered infectious. 3 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported among Union County residents.

Click here to see the full weekly data update for Union County.

Trick or Treat: “What do you think about trick or treat this year?” “What are your thoughts on passing out candy?” “Are you going to trick or treat this year?” These are the three most common questions our staff are getting from their friends and family.

The CDC lists traditional trick or treat to be a high-risk activity during the pandemic. Yes, it is outside. But, it is also near impossible to control the flow of people or to avoid running into groups of people. So, what are we telling our friends and family?

– If you can do something fun at home like a candy scavenger hunt and a virtual costume contest instead of a traditional trick or treat or trunk or treat, this is the best option.

– If you or one of your family members is at high risk for complications, we urge you to avoid participating in Halloween gatherings or taking children trick or treating.

– Put thought into how you’ll hand out candy. The best option is to put candy in individual bags or separate it out on a table. Put the table at the end of your drive and then enjoy the children from 6 or more feet away. The goal is to 1) stay 6 feet apart from the trick or treaters, 2) have a layout that keeps the trick or treaters moving in one direction (instead of going up to and away from your door), 3) avoid everybody touching the same candy.

– If you do go trick or treating, please wear a cloth face covering. Avoid groups of people. Stick to your neighborhood.

Buckeye Game Day: Buckeye football kicks off this weekend. Just like the players on the field, we as fans need to make game day adjustments this year. Please remember that hosting or attending game day parties comes with risk. The risks of a game day watch party can impact our co-workers, our families, even our child’s education.

Don’t Let Up: This virus is increasing in Union County and much of Ohio. each week that goes by with high prevalence in our community, there is another crack in the protective wall we’ve built together. This wall we’ve built together is what helps protect the most vulnerable in our community. We may feel tired or even apathetic. Pandemic fatigue is real. But we can’t give into these feelings. We need to continue to Wash Up. Mask Up. Spread Out. Stay Home When We’re Sick. When we work together, we can make a difference. The work we do together does make a difference.

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