The Highland County Health Department is poised to serve as the lead agency in the event the coronavirus disease surfaces locally, according to Health Commissioner Jared Warner.
He said coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to be an issue of concern nationally and internationally, especially as community-based disease transmission has been reported in California and Oregon and the nation has experienced its first deaths.
At some point in the future, he said it is likely that person-to-person spread will occur in Ohio and could potentially impact Highland County.
In order to share information, communicate with the public, and coordinate any future response efforts, the Highland County Health Department has officially established Incident Command System (ICS) structure, which he described as a formal system of management that will allow the health department to coordinate local COVID-19 response efforts.
Community partner agencies will be invited to an upcoming meeting at the health department to discuss COVID-19 concerns, review quarantine and isolation plans, discuss options for social distancing, and to develop other plans for COVID-19 response in Highland County.
Warner stressed that are currently no cases of the disease in Ohio, and the risk to Highland County residents remains very low. He added that the Highland County Health Department is in regular contact with state and federal public health agencies, and continues to monitor this rapidly changing situation.
To protect against COVID-19, Warner recommended local residents to:
• Stay home when sick.
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• Get adequate sleep and eat well balanced meals.
• Wash hands often with soap and water (20 seconds or longer).
• Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
• When coughing or sneezing, cover with a tissue or sleeve.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces often.
• Call before visiting the doctor.
• Practice good hygiene habits.
The Ohio Department of Health has established a new website for coronavirus updates. Visit www.CoronaVirus.ohio.gov for up to date information on Ohio’s ongoing monitoring and response efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control information can be found online at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/.
For questions about Highland County Health Department’s COVID-19 response, contact the health department at 937-393-1941.
Submitted by the Highland County Health Department