DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is holding a news conference Thursday afternoon to give an update on COVID-19 response in the area.
As of Thursday afternoon, 156 COVID-19 cases were reported to the state out of Montgomery County, leading to 50 hospitalizations and four deaths.
While religious gatherings are exempt from the state’s stay at home order, Cooper urges faith leaders to keep the community safe by avoiding in-person services.
“There’s a difference between a health order and doing the right thing,” Cooper said. “This is a time to be very honest. We cannot be bringing a congregation of individuals together in an indoor space, all in the same area, regardless of the size of that area.” He described the risks that would come with an indoor religious service as “a recipe for disaster” and is imploring organizations to hold remote services online or by offering a drive-thru service.
Commissioner Judy Dodge says the Montgomery County EMA in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul has shipped out 150,000 pieces of PPE to frontline workers in hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, and police departments.
She offered the following county resources to those impacted by the virus:
- If you need help finding work, call 937-225-5627 or visit this website.
- You can apply for SNAP, Medicaid, or other public assistance at this website.
- The Dayton Foodbank’s drive-thru hours can offer food assistance.
Mayor Whaley says that although the stay at home order is meant to keep everyone safe, there are certainly other dangers aside from COVID-19.
“We have seen our overdose rates in the county increase by 85 percent year over year last month, for accidental deaths,” she said, adding that the city is working to bridge gaps that telehealth cannot always cover.
Overall, she believes the county is doing a good job adjusting to the state’s orders.
“I believe that we’re really good at this because we’ve been practiced on how to handle disasters,” she said. “We look for good information, we follow that information, we know that it’s the best for our community. I also believe that Daytonians care about their community, quite frankly, more than other communities do.”
Nan-C Vann, Public Health’s Maternal and Infant Vitality Task Force Manager, offered COVID-19 updates as they relate to pregnancy. She says there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 adversely affects pregnancy or passes from moms to babies during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
Vann says that aside from following all the protocols in terms of social distancing and hand washing, but stresses that you should seek medical care early if you start experiencing symptoms such as fever. You should try to call your healthcare provider ahead of time before going to the hospital.
Although many appointments for expectant mothers are now going virtual, some in-person appointments should not be missed. Those appointments should be attended alone, as no visitors will be allowed to come with you, including children. You should also be sure to let your birthing team know ahead of time if you have underlying health conditions that put you in a high-risk category.
For most maternity patients, hospitals will allow one healthy support person to stay with the mother.
Patients under 18, including babies in NICU, may have two healthy visitors but must be a parent or guardian.
“We understand that pregnant women may be hesitant to give birth at a hospital,” Vann said. “Even now, it is still the best choice by far to give birth to your baby at a licensed, accredited hospital or birthing center.”
She adds that once you and your baby go home, this is not the time to allow visits from friends or relatives. Extra care must be taken to protect the newborn’s weaker immune system.
Breastfeeding remains the optimal way for your baby to receive nutrients, as the breast milk provides protection against illness and disease like no other substance. Even if the mother starts experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they may continue to breastfeed their child so long as they are taking necessary hygiene precautions such as washing hands and wearing a mask.
To avoid spreading the virus, mothers should wash their hands before and after every interaction with their baby, including the handling of toys or bottles.
Sarah Hackenbracht with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) announced that Crocs has donated 14,000 pairs of shoes that will be distributed to area healthcare workers.
Citizens who are no longer practicing in the healthcare field but have a medical background have been reaching out to see how they can help. GDAHA has partnered with United Way and Montgomery County EMA to create a streamlined process for residents who can offer help with community/social services agencies as well as healthcare organizations.
“This streamlined process will be essential for nonprofit organizations who may need additional staffing and support during this COVID-19 crisis,” Hackenbracht said. The process is designed for essential entities and organizations supporting basic human needs like hunger, shelter, and physical and mental health.
Medical Director Michael Dohn says that up until now, cases that were included in the reported numbers were those whose test results came back negative. A new development, he says, is that those numbers will now start to include “probable” cases.
This means that if a patient starts experiencing symptoms and exposure was likely from another person, that patient will be considered a probable case.
“The number of people that are going to be counted as cases is going to increase to include some of those people that previously haven’t been included because they didn’t get a positive test result, because they couldn’t get the test,” he said.
Because of this, state numbers will appear to go up a lot in the coming days, but Dohn says this doesn’t necessarily mean things are getting worse, rather that officials are getting a better count of who likely has this disease.
State numbers indicate there are 5,512 cases reported in Ohio, leading to 1,612 hospitalizations and 213 deaths.
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