By Melody Vallieu
Miami Valley Today
MIAMI COUNTY — Two more deaths, for a total of six, related to COVID-19 have been reported in Miami County.
Miami County Public Health officials on Monday that two more deaths, one resident from each nursing home, have occurred.
The fifth death has been reported by Miami County Coroner William Ginn as William Thomas, 85, formerly of Vandalia, and a resident of SpringMeade Health Center. Thomas passed away on Saturday. MCPH officials said the sixth death is an 85-year-old female resident of Koester Pavilion. No more information is currently known on her.
The Ohio Department of Health is now also reporting 46 positive COVID-19 cases in Miami County, with 16 hospitalizations. Of the 46 cases, 22 are female and 24 are male with age ranges from the 20s to a 94 year old.
According to Premier Health officials, 19 people are hospitalized at UVMC, ranging in age from early 40s through early 90s. Premier Health officials said 12 of those patients are stable and seven are in critical condition.
Miami County Public Health Health Educator and Safe Communities Coordinator Vicky Knisley-Henry said staff are working to get clarification on the number of COVID-19 cases in the county that are related to the Koester Pavilion and SpringMeade Health Care outbreak or are “community spread.”
Knisley-Henry said MCPH staff do not know how many tests have been given in the county, as they only receive positive test results.
AdCare Health Systems Inc. Regional Vice President of Operations India Chrisman-Williams, the company that staffs both nursing homes, said staff and residents alike are hoping to get back into a routine again soon.
“Both teams remain determined and supportive. The support that has been shown to our staff has been overwhelming, as well as essential, during this critical time,” Chrisman-Williams said. “Not all of the staff have been released from quarantine yet, so I think we will see improved spirits when the teams are back together again. The residents are doing well. They are ready to return to their ‘normal’ schedules, routines, activities, and personal contact with their families.”
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is not yet a concern at UVMC, according to Premier Health officials.
“We have the personal protective equipment that we currently need to care for patients in a manner that protects both staff and patients,” Premier Health officials said.
However, they said they have begun taking measures to ensure they have equipment for the future, including creating a task force to address PPE concerns, working with vendors and reaching out to local manufacturers that could convert production and fast-track supplies.
Premier Health also is working with Battelle Technology, a research institution located in Columbus, to deploy a new critical care decontamination system for N-95 respirators for reuse.
“We have begun the process to save used masks for this decontamination process,” Premier Health officials said.
On Monday, the Distance Learning and Closure for Ohio K-12 Schools order was been extended through May 1.
“It is important that everyone in the community continue to following the social distancing guidelines and Stay-At-Home,” MCPH officials said. “This will slow the spread of the virus and will flatten the curve for Ohio.”
MCPH officials said if community members develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should call their health care provider first. If symptoms are mild, stay at home and treat yourself. If symptoms become severe seek medical attention, MCPH officials said.
“Treatment at home would depend on symptoms, cough, mild fever, etc. Hydration is very important. If your primary care physician prescribes medication, that would be an option or over the counter medication for cough and/or fever,” Knisley-Henry said.
As of Monday in Ohio, there are 1,933 reported cases of coronavirus and 39 deaths in more than 70 of the 88 counties, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton. There are 475 hospitalizations, with 8 percent of those in an ICU.
To date, she said there have been 27,275 tests given in the state.
“That is still the tip of the iceberg,” Acton said.