Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:
• Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that students will be required to wears masks when the school year begins.
He said that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter recommending widespread use of masks in schools with the following exceptions:
– Children under the age of 2 years old
– Any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance
– A child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion)
– A child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask
– A child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction
“Without a vaccine, we are limited in the ways that we can protect the people of Ohio,” DeWine said. “For schools to have a fighting chance to stay open this fall, widespread face coverings for K-12 students will increase the odds that kids will go to school and stay in school.”
• The increase in Fulton County COVID-19 cases has slowed recently, and the total number of cases was 141 Tuesday, according to the Fulton County Health Department.
Among the cases through Tuesday were 64 males and 77 females.
Of that total on Tuesday, there are 77 individuals no longer required to either quarantine or isolate.
The number of county residents who have been hospitalized remained at a total of 13. There has been one fatality reported.
Lucas County had 4,853 cases and 298 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the Lucas County Health Department. Defiance County had 132 cases and four deaths, Williams County 124 cases and three deaths, and Henry County 108 cases and one death.
There were 95,106 overall in Ohio, with 90,041 confirmed and 5,065 probable cases using the expanded CDC definition. Statewide, there had been 11,119 hospitalizations and 2,593 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease.
The age range of cases in Ohio is less than one year to 109 years old.
There are 3,301 confirmed deaths statewide, with 269 more probable COVID-19 deaths.
• Governor DeWine announced Tuesday that Ohio is entering into a multi-state purchasing agreement with Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests.
“Over the past week, we have conducted an average of 22,334 COVID-19 tests a day with Ohio’s current testing procedure, but rapid point-of-care tests are faster, simpler, and less expensive,” DeWine said. “Expanding the use of this testing will serve as an important screening tool and a critical addition to our plan to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
More rapid point-of-care testing will help Ohio detect outbreaks sooner with faster turnaround time, expand testing in congregate settings, and make testing more accessible for the most high-risk and hard-hit communities.
• DeWine also announced that he will send a letter to Ohio’s faith-based community to share important health information with Ohio churches, synagogues, and mosques and to share ways to better protect their worshipers.
One case study shows that a man with COVID-19 attended a church service in Ohio, and, following that service, 91 additional people from five counties developed symptoms, he said.
“I know that our faith-based leaders want nothing more than to protect their worshipers, but we also know that the virus can easily spread in places where people gather,” said DeWine said. “It is vital that, any time people gather together, everyone wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands, and while indoors, making sure there is good ventilation and airflow.”
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