Greene County health officials stress importance of following state orders

Local News

GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Greene County Public Health Medical Director and Coroner Kevin Sharrett said Tuesday, “We are facing the calm before the storm” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

He and his colleagues still hear one central question from patients each day, asking what they can do to prevent becoming infected with the virus or spreading it to others. His advice echoes that of national, state, and local officials.

The public should make a conscious effort to wash their hands properly and often, avoid any social contact that is not essential, and keep your distance from others if you do need to go outside.

“Every contact that you eliminate saves lives. That cannot be stressed enough,” Sharrett said.

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.

While parks remain open in the area, Howell is asking the public not to use them if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, and to expect limited access to trails as officials try to encourage social distancing.

Each day next week, Howell says they will focus on the impact that COVID-19 has had on mental health, maternal and child health, violence prevention, the food industry, education, persons experiencing homelessness, and the business community.

Public Health is asking for donations of PPE for first responders in the community. More details can be found at this website.

On behalf of first responders, Howell says you should let dispatchers know if you are experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus. Call 911 if you feel you need immediate medical attention, and for those experiencing mild symptoms, call your health care provider instead to keep emergency resources available to those with immediate needs.

Representative Rick Perales expressed his concern for those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, including veterans.

“I am informed that in Greene County, and I’m sure it’s similar in Montgomery County, there are four homeless shelters and they’re all in jeopardy of being closed because we don’t have the volunteers,” he said. “We need to step up and support them [veterans] and the other homeless folks there.”

He also encouraged direct communication between Ohioans and their elected officials, including state senators and representatives.

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