Public Health issues stay-at-home advisory in Montgomery County starting Thursday

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County approved a stay-at-home advisory on Wednesday.

The advisory starts Thursday and will be in effect until Dec. 17. People are asked only to leave home for work, school or essential needs such as going to the pharmacy or getting groceries. People are also advised to limit holiday celebrations to people in their immediate household and to not invite guests into their homes.

J. Michael Sims is the president of the PHDMC Board of Health. He says, “I think less contact and making the circle very small is what’s necessary in order for us to save lives.” 

 The stay-at-home advisory approved Wednesday calls on people to break the cycle of spread throughout the Miami Valley. 

 Health Commissioner Jeffrey Cooper says, “You should only be leaving home if it’s for work, if a school is hybrid or in person, essential needs.” 

Essential needs include medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, or picking up food. The Board says limiting holiday celebrations is critical because traveling, sharing food, and hosting guests indoors all pose significant risks. 

The statistics in Montgomery County are worse right now than at any time during the pandemic: the county has the fourth-highest number of cases in the state, the average daily case count has increased nearly five times in recent weeks, and the positivity rate has tripled in the past five weeks.

The Board acknowledged it has not been easy. Dr. John Rhodes says, “This is a huge burden on working parents. How to stay at home with a child and keep them on a computer.” 

And admits not everyone may agree or comply with the advisory. Dr. Marietta Orlowski says, “I’m just hopeful the resolution makes a difference.” 

But faced with a spread that is not slowing, Board members say they’re running out of options to keep people safe. Dr. Rhodes says, “We’ve got to make this compromise work or it’ll be a total shutdown, and nobody wants that.” 

“Public Health has observed a significant increase in community spread of COVID-19 across Montgomery County,” said Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper. “We all need to work together as a community to break the cycle of spread in the Miami Valley and throughout the State of Ohio.”

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