Delaware County placed on red alert


Gazette Staff - delnews@aimmediamidwest.com



Delaware County is now one of 19 Ohio counties under a Level 3 Public Emergency or red alert on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System meaning face coverings are mandated for all residents when out in public, the Delaware General Health District announced Thursday.

“Under Level 3, residents are to use the same guidelines as levels 1 and 2 along with all current health orders, including a new Ohio Department of Health order that mandates face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency,” the DGHD states in a press release.

In a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office states, “Mandatory masks order in public settings beginning tomorrow, Friday, July 17, at 6 p.m.”

Delaware County was moved from Level 2 to Level 3 on Thursday after meeting four of the seven indicators outlined in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The seven indicators are as follows:

• New Cases Per Capita (county has met): Flagged if greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. Allows for counties with different population sizes to be appropriately compared.

• Sustained Increase in New Cases (county has met): Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in overall cases by onset date. Reflects disease spread in the population.

• Proportion of Cases Not Congregate Cases (county has met): Flagged if proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting goes over 50% in at least one of the last three weeks. Used as indicator of greater risk of community spread.

• Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits: Flagged if increasing trend of at least five days in the number of visits to the emergency department with COVID-like illness or a diagnosis. Provides information on the health care seeking behavior of the population and a sense of how concerned residents are about their current health status and the virus.

• Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits (county has met): Flagged if increasing trend of at least five days in the number of people going to a health care provider with COVID symptoms who then receive a COVID confirmed or suspected diagnosis. Provides information on the health care seeking behavior of the population and a sense of how concerned residents are about their current health status and the virus.

• Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions: Flagged if increasing trend of at least five days in the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID. Important indicator of hospital burden and disease severity.

• Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy: Flagged if percentage of the occupied ICU beds in each region goes above 80% for at least three days in the last week. Provides an indication of the capacity available to manage a possible surge of severely ill patients.

“The health district has been working tirelessly preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning,” the release states. “State and local officials are continuously monitoring the evolving situation and strongly encourage all those who want to be tested to do so. Through monitoring and increased testing, officials will identify trends and any hot spots that need to be addressed in the recent increase.”

The press release adds all Ohioans, regardless of their county’s alert level, should continue to follow the following standard precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease:

• Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.

• Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.

• Wear face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

• Increase caution when interacting with others not practicing social distancing or wearing face covers.

• Avoid traveling to high-risk areas.

• Follow good hygiene standards, including wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer frequently; avoid touching your face; cover coughs or sneezes (e.g., into a tissue, or elbow); and symptom self-evaluation monitoring.

On Thursday afternoon, the DGHD announced there are 269 active cases (confirmed and probable) of COVID-19 in the county. There are 349 people currently monitored in isolation/quarantine, while 1,418 people have completed monitoring.

To date, the health district reports there have been 739 total cases (606 confirmed and 133 probable), 458 recovered cases and 12 deaths. Four people are currently hospitalized.

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Gazette Staff

delnews@aimmediamidwest.com

Follow The Delaware Gazette on Twitter @delgazette. Like The Gazette on Facebook.

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