Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:
• Total cases of COVID-19 in Fulton County reached 1,500 on Tuesday, according to the Fulton County Health Department.
There were 142 new cases reported over Monday and Tuesday, according to the Health Department. The department reported 95 new cases on Monday and 47 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of 1,500. There are no updates from the county on weekends, so the Monday number includes Saturday and Sunday figures.
The Fulton County Health Department reported one additional COVID-19 death on Tuesday, for a total of 27. There were also three additional hospitalizations, for a total of 91 since March.
Among the cases through Tuesday there were 868 females and 627 males. The median age for confirmed cases is 50.
Lucas County had 16,271 cases and 421 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 1,626 cases and 26 deaths, Williams County 1,260 cases and 12 deaths, and Henry County 1,120 cases and 23 deaths.
There have been 430,780 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there had been 27,449 hospitalizations and 4,729 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease.
There are 6,111 confirmed deaths statewide, with 437 more probable COVID-19 deaths.
The Ohio Department of Health has cautioned that the data is incomplete, as thousands of reports are pending review.
• Ohio’s COVID-19 hospitalizations hit an all-time high the last day of November at 5,060 people hospitalized with the coronavirus across Ohio as compared to just under 1,700 COVID-19 patients on Nov. 1. Of Ohio’s currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, there are 1,180 individuals in intensive care units and 682 people are on ventilators, according to state officials.
According to Dr. Andy Thomas, chief clinical officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, one-third of ICU patients across Ohio have COVID and one-third of individuals on ventilators have COVID.
“COVID patients are going to start crowding out other people who need that level of care as these numbers continue to rise,” said Thomas. “The reality is that hospitals are making difficult decisions about delaying care. It may be non-urgent care, but it’s care that may cause someone to go to the ICU after surgery. A lot of hospitals are delaying those surgeries because they can’t afford their ICUs to be overtaxed.”
Thomas reported that rural areas are being hit particularly hard right now, and several hospitals are beginning to voice concerns about their ability to manage such a high number of intensive care patients. As the total number of COVID patients grows, smaller community hospitals will be unable to expand their intensive care capacity.
For individuals who traveled over Thanksgiving, Dr. Thomas urged them to quarantine upon return to Ohio to break any possible chain of transmission.
• Governor Mike DeWine on Monday announced a new program designed to help improve indoor air quality and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 at senior living facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult day centers.
The $28 million program was created using federal CARES Act funding to address indoor air quality through HVAC inspections, portable air filtration systems, new filtration systems, maintenance on current systems, and other interventions. Eligible recipients can receive up to $15,000.
“As we move into colder months and spend more time inside, proper ventilation and filtration are even more important to stop the spread of COVID-19,” DeWine said.
The program was approved by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors. BWC will administer the program and applications are available at bwc.ohio.gov. Additional questions about the program should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ohio, DeWine has delayed Ohio’s plan to resume in-person work at state-owned facilities. A gradual, phased approach was expected to begin in January.
DeWine also encouraged other employers to allow employees to work at home to the extent possible.
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