Highland County COVID-19 update

By Branden Jackman - For The Times-Gazette

The extension to the stay at home order took effect Monday at midnight. We wanted to take this time to update people on the high points of what changed with the updated order.

The state created a dispute resolution board. This board will rule on a dispute where two county health agencies have ruled differently on an issue. As an example, a local business was ordered to close, but one of its competitors in another part of the state was allowed to stay open. There is now a process that allows a final decision to be made. The dispute resolution form can be downloaded from coronavirus.ohio.gov.

We posted to Facebook Monday night and included in Monday’s press release about allowed numbers in various essential businesses around the county. Those posts have taken a lot of traffic and even more discussion. We wish everyone to know the governor allowed these businesses to set this number themselves and we in no way had any input on the numbers. Once the local business has set the number, it is required for that number to be posted on the front door of the business and that any people waiting to enter must maintain their physical distancing.

One bullet point that hasn’t garnered much chatter is that visitors to Ohio are asked to voluntarily quarantine themselves for 14 days. This does not apply to essential employees or individuals that live in one state and work in another. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms.

Campgrounds are closed, but there is an exception. Most all the rules that have been handed down have had exceptions that has made it increasingly difficult for local health departments to enforce the orders. If the campground serves as a person’s permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternate housing, the person may remain in the camper in the campgrounds.

The numbers for the day continue to climb for the state. Highland County has stayed stable at six confirmed cases of COVID-19, but we have seen an increase in the number of pending tests in the pipeline. Be part of the solution to help flatten the curve as 1,354 of your fellow Ohioans are now hospitalized with 417 requiring intensive care and 167 deaths.

As we move further into this pandemic, we are still accepting donations of the cloth masks. These are being laundered and then handed out to healthcare workers to cover the surgical masks and N95s. These are one mask for one patient and then have to be laundered so we can use as many as the community can make to keep our frontline healthy. Visit the following sight for tips on making the masks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

There was a good response to the Facebook live meeting we did a couple weeks ago. We’re pleased to inform that we will be doing another of those on Wednesday, April 8 at 1 pm. Watch the health department and Paint Creek’s Facebook pages to post your questions, or better yet, tune in live and ask your questions.

We’re all in this together. Be nice.

Branden Jackman is the public information officer for the Highland County Emergency Operations Center.


By Branden Jackman

For The Times-Gazette