DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on COVID-19 response in the area.
Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said Monday that there were 12 positive cases of coronavirus in Montgomery County. Six are females and six are males. The females range in age from 25 to 71, while males range in age from 19 to 68. One of those individuals has been hospitalized.
As of Tuesday afternoon, an additional case was confirmed, bringing the total to 13. Six are females and seven are males. Two of those 13 are hospitalized.
Cooper says the county will operate on the side of caution when it comes to enforcing the state’s ‘stay at home’ order.
After many inquiries, he confirmed that lawn care services are nonessential and should cease operations.
Cooper is expected was joined by Mayor Whaley, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein, Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli, President of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Phil Parker, ADAMHS Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley, President and CEO of Fidelity Health Care Paula Thompson, COO of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories Teresa Williams, VP for Facilities Management and Planning for the University of Dayton Rick Krysiak, and the President and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, Sarah Hackenbracht.
Mayor Whaley reiterates the Lt. Governor’s message Tuesday, that businesses need to read the order and make their own determination on whether they are considered essential. She says the order will be enforced by the county health department and Dayton Police.
“I just want to remind everybody to give each other some grace and some space,” she said. “This is where we’re going to get into the tougher time of this and to have patience with one another as we continue to make sure you stay at home.”
She encourages residents to get out and take a walk if they start to feel stir-crazy.
City Manager Shelley Dickstein says that roughly 600 nonessential staff members were sent home in order to comply with the state’s order, representing about 31 percent of the workforce. Dickstein characterizes the situation as “extraordinary,” saying, “Never in our modern times have we had to resort to sending a third of our workforce home.”
She says the city is trying to model the way for the rest of the community who should be taking the ‘stay at home’ order seriously.
Dickstein says it’s possible some of those employees could get called back in depending on attendance. Employees could either utilize existing leave time or “borrow” future leave time. She says some have elected to go on unpaid leave and apply for unemployment.
Mayor Whaley commended the response of Dayton Public Schools during this time as she introduced Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli.
“Without dedicated staff members and community volunteers, we would not be able to continue to feed and educate them [students],” Lolli said.
She announced changes to the district’s weekly food distribution.
Weather permitting, they will do a drive-up distribution. If weather is bad, you will need to come into the building, but be mindful of directions being given by school resource officers. Students can also receive a backpack of donated supplies and donated books Wednesday.
President of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Phil Parker, stressed that it is up to the employer to read the state’s order and determine if they are an essential business. He adds that employer resources can be found at this website.
Helen Jones-Kelley understands that social distancing (or physical distancing, as she’d rather it be called) can take a toll on mental health.
She says that overdose deaths are climbing, and maintaining social connections is critical to staying healthy. People are encouraged to take advantage of resources available on ADAMHS’s website if they feel isolated or lonely.
You can also call 937-581-7777 Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. for non-emergency assistance.
President and CEO of Fidelity Health Care Paula Thompson says that to date, over a thousand people have utilized the testing site at UD Arena, averaging about 250 per day. Teresa Williams, COO of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories, offered additional details on the testing process:
VP for Facilities Management and Planning for the University of Dayton Rick Krysiak says the UD community has collaborated to help create an effective and efficient environment for the center.
Sarah Hackenbracht with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association says the most effective thing you can do to help on an individual level is to stay home, as the state has ordered, and to practice all recommended hygiene practices.
If you absolutely have to get out of the house, she suggests that you consider donating blood to help prevent a shortage in the region. You can make an appointment by calling 937-461-3220 or by visiting this website.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, as of Tuesday afternoon. 564 people have tested positive for the virus. There are eight deaths, 145 are hospitalized.
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