STay at home order
On Sunday March 22, under the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH issued a director’s order to require all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent further spread of COVID-19. This order begins at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020 and will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. This order prohibits gatherings of any size and closes all non-essential businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care or going for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state. For more information see the Q&A document here.
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
By: Shawn Ray, RS, MPH Health Commissioner - Noble County Health Department
Unless you live in a bubble, you have heard news about the new novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19. What exactly is COVID-19? COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that causes fever, cough and shortness of breath. So why is there alarm with COVID-19? Mainly because it is a new virus and therefore, there are many unknowns. We do not know if the virus will change, how much it will change and when or if it will change. We have no vaccines, no proven treatments, and no existing immunity within the human population. Now, many of you are concerned and are wondering, is this the time to panic? The answer is a NO! However, it is time to prepare.
Prevention of COVID-19, is the same as other respiratory diseases including influenza. There are
simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread. These include:
- A void close contact with people who are sick.
- A void touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What is being done to protect the community? From the very beginning of this new disease, the United States Public Health system has been working to limit the spread of disease in this country. These efforts have been very effective. The Noble County Health Department routinely works with local healthcare providers, the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to share information and best practices for protecting the public from disease. The Noble County Health Department has been on calls with the Ohio Department of Health, other local health departments, and hospitals. We have kept up with the latest guidance and shared them with our local partners including medical providers, EMS, EMA, law enforcement, and the schools.
Today, the United States risk for COVID-19 is still low. There have been no cases in Ohio and
very few persons under investigation (PUI's), including none in Noble County.
You will hear more from us in the future, we are working to protect you, your family and all of Noble County.
Ohio Flu Hospitilizations Jump
832 Hospitalizations make flu the largest threat
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio had the highest rate of hospitalizations from influenza last week for the 2019-2020 flu season, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reported. From January 26 to February 1, 832 people were hospitalized, an increase of more than 36% from the previous week of flu reporting. The full report can be found here.
“The current flu hospitalization numbers are deeply concerning,” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “While much of the recent news cycle focuses on novel coronavirus, Ohio’s primary infectious disease threat is influenza. Ohio currently has zero confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, while we have 832 hospitalizations because of the flu. The numbers speak for themselves.”
Earlier this week, an 11-year-old from Lake County died from the flu, the second pediatric death of the 2019-2020 flu season. To date, Ohio has reported 4,465 total influenza-associated hospitalizations for the 2019-2020 season. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February.
While the flu can be dangerous for any person, it is especially dangerous for the very young and elderly, those who are immune-compromised, those with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women.
Flu spreads from person-to-person via droplets from coughing, sneezing or close contact. Symptoms typically start one to four days after a person is exposed. Those symptoms include, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and tiredness.
“The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot,” Dr. Acton said. “You cannot get the flu from the flu shot and it is recommended for everyone older than six months.”
If you have had problems with the flu shot before, talk to your medical provider about options available that might not cause problems for you. Because flu season continues through the spring, there is still time to get the vaccine.
Other precautions include:
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching objects – this is how germs are spread.
- Practice good habits like disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress.
Those who are sick should stay home from work, school, and errands. This helps prevent spreading the illness to others.
Learn more about the flu and precautions to take at www.flu.ohio.gov.
After Hours Emergency Protocol
The Noble County Health Department has an after-hours emergency answering service system. This system gives the caller a prompt in the case of a public health emergency to leave a message in a specified mailbox. Any message left in this voice mailbox will cause the system to contact the Nurse on call, who within the required time-frame shall call in to retrieve the message and follow up as required based on the situation protocol. All calls received after normal working hours that are determined to be a public health emergency will be relayed to the Health Commissioner or Medical Director. The phone number of the answering service system is the same as the health department and is available 24 hours a day at 740-732-4958.
- Stay at Home Order
- Stay at Home Q&A
- CDC COVID-19 Situation Summary
- World Health Organization
- ODH Resources for the Public
- COVID-19 Checklists to help you prepare
- COVID-19 What you need to know
- COVID-19 What to do if you are sick
- COVID-19 Prevent the Spread flyer
- Hand Washing: Clean Hands Save Lives
- It's a SNAP Toolkit: Hand Washing
- COVID-19 What you need to know - Spanish
- COVID-19 What to do if you are sick - Spanish
- COVID-19 Prevent the Spread flyer - Spanish