Despite rumors circulating on social media, local law enforcement officials are not pulling drivers over to see where they are going, Highland County Emergency Operations Center Public Information Officer Branden Jackman said Wednesday.
“It was rumored that the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Hillsboro police, had stopped vehicles to ascertain whether their travel was essential. Through discussions in the morning briefings held at the Highland County Emergency Operations Center, this was found to be materially false,” Jackman said in a news release. “Highland County law enforcement agencies have not, and will not, stop you to question you about whether your travel is essential. But like a post being shared on Facebook, they will pull you over if you’re reading this while driving. If it’s not essential, it’s just not worth it.”
He said there are other rumors, and that the Highland County Emergency Operations Center is working hard to keep local residents accurately informed.
“In these unsure times, rumors are abound and spreading like wild fire on Facebook,” Jackman said. “There was a term we heard the other day — ‘We are fighting a pandemic with COVID-19, but we are also fighting an infodemic, which is defined as a surfeit of information about a problem that is viewed as being a detriment to its solution.’ As information streams across our phones, our social media feeds and all the other digital media, please don’t just click and share. Do some research and help us fight the bad information from spreading.”
Jackman said the daily tracking of numbers of those that have the virus, those that have been tested for the virus, and those that have died because of the virus continue to increase.
“The total confirmed cases number always seems to grab the attention because it is such a large number. But let’s talk about some different numbers,” he said. “Let’s talk about 679, that is the number of Ohioans that are in the hospital due to coronavirus. How about 222? Those are the amount of people requiring an intensive care unit. Sixty-five? Sixty-five Ohioans have lost their fight and been called home. The number of ICU beds and the number of deaths are the metrics that are going to drive the health care response to this pandemic.”
As of late Wednesday afternoon, Jackman said Highland County still only had two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, with the results of 15 to 20 other tests still pending.
“Let us assure you that there are many more cases than these two present in Highland County,” Jackman said. “Don’t rest on your laurels. Maintain your physical/social distancing, cover your cough, don’t touch your face, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and if you’re sick, stay at home.”
“We spoke about social media rumors today,” he continued. “One I have seen that I would like to see more people spread is the one cart one person rule. If you must shop, leave your family at home. Don’t take the chance of getting your whole family sick.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.