Public Health: Little actions make a huge difference in fight against COVID-19


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Public Health held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss coronavirus response in Montgomery County.

Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper declined to give out the daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County, saying that information is a “gross under-representation” of the actual number of cases and does not reflect the urgency in how quickly cases can add up. He instead referred those interested to the Ohio Department of Health dashboard to find daily case numbers.

The dashboard indicated Tuesday that there are 37 confirmed cases in Montgomery County, six hospitalizations and one death.

On Monday, March 30, officials said that their offices have received questions and complaints for over 250 businesses and those businesses must submit documentation by the close of business on Wednesday, April 1, including justification for the business remaining open, documentation of measures taken to comply with social distancing requirements and documentation that those requirements were communicated to all employees.

Cooper said officials will visit every business on the list. Law enforcement will help with those inspections if necessary.

Mayor Whaley made a plea to younger generations who continue to socialize with friends outside their own home, even if they are gathering in groups less than 10. She says even meeting up with a few friends to play board games puts the community at risk.

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger says most coronavirus deaths will occur at a hospital or alternative care center, outside the jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Office. Community physicians and health systems are encouraged to assist by registering with the state of Ohio’s electronic death registration system. This allows community physicians to sign death certificates electronically and quickly, facilitating final disposition and reducing the need for funeral homes to bring a paper copy of the death certificate to various offices. Those forms will be placed on this website.

Greene County Health Commissioner Melissa Howell says that as of Tuesday, there are 6 cases in the area. Two of those individuals are hospitalized. One person has died, and Howell says this person was not associated with any healthcare facility and had not recently traveled.

READ MORE: Greene County health officials stress importance of following state orders

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) announced an amended visitation policy for maternity patients in area hospitals.

“The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the Dayton region. We are now seeing confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio with ages that range from infant to 98 years of age,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, President & CEO of GDAHA. “As hospitals prioritize the safety of all patients, special attention must be focused on our most vulnerable patients – newborn infants.”

To protect the health of the mother and baby during labor and delivery, expectant mothers will be allowed one support person to accompany them for the birth of a child. 

Montgomery County’s Medical Director, Dr. Michael Dohn, says that recently collected data indicates that for the most part, the community is doing a good job of staying home to treat their symptoms as opposed to flooding the emergency rooms. This leaves more resources available for those suffering from more severe cases.

“All these little actions make a huge difference in what we’re going to be able to deal with later,” he said.

As of Tuesday, there are 2,199 cases reported in Ohio with 585 hospitalizations. A total of 55 deaths have been reported.

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