Marietta/Belpre Health Department, Memorial Health System, and Washington County Health Department, and are working together to keep local residents informed about COVID-19. There are now four confirmed cases and no deaths in Washington County. The health departments notify individuals who have been in close contact with these COVID-19 cases. Contacts will remain in quarantine for 14 days and be monitored by the respective health department for symptoms.
Ohio remains under a “Stay at Home” order. Governor DeWine updated the order today and extended it to May 1, 2020. Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, reiterated the importance of the “Stay at Home” order, stating, “In the quiet before the storm, we may forget how important the moves we make are, and how many lives those actions are impacting.”
Staying at home and physical distancing are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Washington County and beyond, which is providing hospitals with more time to expand their ability to care for the surge of people with COVID-19 who may require hospitalization within the next several weeks.
Chief Nurse Executive Paige Smith reports, “Memorial Health System has dedicated an inpatient nursing unit to care for COVID-19 patients. We have engineered the entire unit to be negative pressure, and it is isolated from other inpatient units. We have nurses, respiratory therapists, and providers who have stepped up and are caring for these patients following the most up to date protocols”.
Local residents are reminded by Roger Coffman, Administrator of the Washington County Health Department, “We should automatically assume that everyone we come in contact with has COVID-19, since some people have few or no symptoms. When traveling outside your home for essential activities, please do it safely.” Here are some tips to remember:
- If going out to buy groceries, send one member per household. This will help reduce the number of people in a store at one time.
- Stay six (6) feet apart from others in stores and public places. If your local stores have the option, place an order for pickup to limit person-to-person contact.
- If you are checking on a family member or loved one, try to minimize interaction. Drop off supplies, food, and medication on their doorstep, rather than entering their home.
- Reduce your daily contacts- if you do not live with a person, you should not be visiting them.
- Please don’t go out for any non-essential activities. This will help to keep you, your family, and our community safe. Stay at home!
If we all continue physical distancing and follow the stay at home order, we will flatten the curve of COVID-19. This will save lives here in Washington County! For information about ways to keep you and your family safe, please visit the Ohio Department of Health website at coronavirus.ohio.gov.