‘Not just flipping the switch’


Whenever Gov. Mike DeWine decides to let Ohio start heading back to more normal status, Highland County Emergency Operations Center Public Information Officer Branden Jackman says it will be a slow process, with cloth masks likely part of the daily routine.

”We’re not just flipping the switch,” Jackman said Friday in a news release. “As we approach May 1st and Governor DeWine’s plan of opening the state back up, what does that mean locally? We think one of the biggest points to get across is that this will not be done at speed for a lack of a better term. It’s going to be slow and methodical, very well thought out and even more meticulous as it’s applied.

“One of the largest concerns as Ohio, and for that matter Highland County, reopens is a re-emergence of COVID-19 due to the relaxing of safeguards that have been put in place. I think you are going to see cloth masks as part of your daily attire for some time to come. It will be important to shop small and stay local. Just because you can drive to the city doesn’t exactly mean you should.”

Jackman said maintaining physical distancing and washing your hands will continue to be of the utmost importance.

”A side note here — while alcohol-based hand sanitizers are adequate, they should be interchanged with good old-fashioned soap and water on a regular basis. It will be important to cover your cough, and once the stay-at-home order is allowed to lapse, it will still be important to stay home if you’re sick,” Jackman said. “We are unsure of what measures the governor will relax first, but regardless of the path this takes, be smart, use your head, think through your problems, and it may not be a bad idea to continue to face this with — if it’s not essential, is it worth it? An ounce of prevention will most assuredly equal a pound of cure.”

The weekly recap for Highland County looks decent, according to Jackman. He said Highland County has fared much better than other counties around it. He said the week started with the county having seven lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, but as time passed all but one of the seven were converted to a recovered status. He said one person remains hospitalized.

“Please say a prayer for the family and friends of that individual,” Jackman said.

As of Friday afternoon, Jackman said the state had 2,424 Ohioans hospitalized with 740 of those requiring an intensive care bed. Another 418 have lost their fight with COVID-19.

“We’re all in this together,” he said. “Be nice.“

Jackman says reopening of state will be methodical

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