Local communities, individuals and parents will make the final decisions on whether to hold or participate in trick or treat, according to a Thursday press release from the office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
DeWine encouraged parents and children to wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid large groups and stay home if sick. The state will develop guidance to help communities and families plan for Halloween.
Earlier this week, Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Greer suggested in a news release that Highland County cities, villages and organizations that elect to have Beggars’ Night should do so from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29. Greer also noted that the court has no authority to set Beggars’ Night, but makes such suggestions to help local law enforcement.
Highland County Health Commissioner was unavailable Friday for comment on what the local health department’s role will be in finalizing trick or trick plans in the county.
In COVID-19-related news:
The health department reported Highland County’s fourth COVID-19-related death, according to a Wednesday post to the Highland County Health Department’s Facebook page.
The deceased was a woman in her 60s.
No additional information will be released regarding her case, the post stated.
As of Friday, Highland County has had a total of 239 lab-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, according to the Highland County Health Department.
In a previous Facebook post, Warner stated that probable cases must “[meet] clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19” or “[meet] presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence.”
As of Friday, the health department had documented 20 probable cases in Highland County since the pandemic began.
The health department also reported that as of Friday there were currently 14 actively sick patients and two COVID-19-related hospitalizations, and the health department is currently monitoring 63 people for symptoms.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, the health department reported that the number of people it was monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 had increased significantly due to exposure at a large gathering. While the health department is monitoring individuals for symptoms, those individuals are asked to quarantine.
“As a reminder, if you and placed under quarantine, you are not permitted to travel, run errands, or otherwise interact with the public,” the health department stated in a Friday Facebook post. “You can pass COVID-19 at least 48 hours prior to showing symptoms. Please, support our local community by working with us to follow quarantine guidelines.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak reached Highland County, there have been a total of 26 COVID-19-related hospitalizations, and 221 patients have recovered from COVID-19.
According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which reported 219 cases in the county to date as of Friday, of the cases in Highland County:
* 39 cases involved 50- to 59-year-olds, three of whom were hospitalized.
* 36 cases involved 40- to 49-year-olds, three of whom were hospitalized.
* 34 cases involved 70- to 79-year-olds, eight of whom were hospitalized and one of whom later died.
* 34 cases involved 60- to 69-year-olds, five of whom were hospitalized and one of whom later died.
* 30 cases involved 20- to 29-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* 21 cases involved 30- to 39-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* 19 cases involved 0- to 19-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* Five cases involved someone 80 years old or older, four of whom were hospitalized and two of whom later died.
* One case involved someone of an unknown age range.
As of Thursday, Highland County remains at a level 1 public emergency, which represents active COVID-19 exposure and spread.
In mid-July, the ODH upgraded Highland County to a level 2 public emergency, which represents increased COVID-19 exposure and spread. The county remained a level 2 public emergency until Aug. 20, when it returned to a level 1 rating.
For more information about ODH’s public health advisory system, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.