COVID-19 cases at 142 in county


Spike expected with expanded testing

By Melody Vallieu

Miami Valley Sunday News

MIAMI COUNTY — Three new COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Miami County, with no new deaths reported.

There are now 142 coronavirus cases reported as of Friday afternoon, up from 139 on Thursday, according to Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials. The age range is under 1 to 96 years old, and there are 86 females and 56 males now affected.

No new hospitalizations have been reported in Miami County, leaving the number at 49. Deaths stand at 27 in the county, MCPH officials said.

MCPH officials reminds residents that they do not receive information on recovered COVID-19 patients, and therefore do not have statistics to share with the public.

“The health department is only notified of positive cases. We aren’t provided with follow up information on cases. The way I understand the recovery number situation is it’s not being collected because people would need to be tested a number of times after they have had a positive test and the capacity to do that much testing isn’t available right now,” said Miami County Public Health Health Educator and Safe Communities Coordinator Vicky Knisley-Henry. “I don’t know if that will change in the future since more widespread testing is coming.”

Koester Pavilion, however, has made great strides in returning from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to India Chrisman-Williams, regional vice president of operations for AdCare Health Systems, Inc., which manages the facility for Premier Health.

“Our facilities are stable at this time, and isolation is no longer needed on the COVID-19 unit at Koester Pavilion based on CDC guidelines and facility protocols. We do not have anyone displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at Koester,” Chrisman-Williams said. “However, current guidelines do not support testing of non-symptomatic individuals. So, in the absence of the ability to test all residents and staff, we cannot verify that we are COVID-19 free. We will continue to follow guidance from CDC, Miami County Public Health, Ohio Department of Health, and the National Board of Public Health Examiners related to COVID recovery, isolation and testing.”

With COVID-19 cases seemingly stabilizing in the county, hospital officials said they also have seen a decrease in hospitalizations.

“Kettering Health Network has seen a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations at our facilities,” said John Weimer, vice president, Network Emergency, Trauma and Operations Command Center and a leader of Kettering Health Network’s Incident Command Center, which is overseeing the network’s response to COVID-19.

Premier Health has seen the same.

“Yes, there has been a significant decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the isolation and intensive care units,” Premier Health officials said.

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is moved within the network as needed, according to Weimer.

“We continue to monitor usage and patient volumes and evaluate all options for sourcing supplies. PPE supplies are being gathered and deployed to our hospitals and facilities as necessary across the network,” Weimer said.

Premier Health officials said their PPE remains sufficient at their facilities in Miami County, which includes UVMC, Koester Pavilion, and SpringMeade Health Center.

“Our hospital and nursing homes have PPE for our current needs. We continue to monitor and conserve as we take the first steps to open back up to elective procedures in the coming weeks.,” Premier Health officials said. “We have received some PPE from the Government Strategic National Stockpile.”

With the governor reinstating some hospital services, both networks have plans in place for reopening.

“Governor Mike DeWine has authorized hospitals to resume elective outpatient procedures that do not require an overnight stay as of May 1, in addition to the current authorized surgeries. We will begin to perform elective outpatient procedures that do not require an overnight stay on May 4,” Weimer said. “We will continue to perform essential surgeries in accordance with the governor’s directives.”

Premier Health is doing much the same.

“Consistent with phase 1 of the state of Ohio’s reopening with restrictions plan, we are beginning expansion of access to surgical and diagnostic procedures that do not require an overnight stay as well as medical imaging, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services. With this comes strict emphasis on infection control strategies such as required social distancing, enhanced screening, and face masks for all who enter our facilities; continual cleaning and sanitizing using CDC guidelines; hand hygiene following CDC protocols; continued visitor restrictions; and reduced time for check-in and registration to minimize waiting room time. We plan to begin expanding access to these services on Friday (May 1).”

In Ohio, there are 18,743 total COVID-19 cases with 716 new cases identified in the 24 hours from 2 p.m. Thursday to Friday.

In the state, there have been 1,002 total deaths, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Acton. There were 27 deaths recorded in the same 24-hour time period.

There have been 3,634 hospitalizations in the state with 1,056 of those being intensive care admissions. Ohio saw 101 hospital admissions in the Thursday to Friday 24-hour period, with 21 new intensive care admissions.

The age range of those affected by the virus is from under the age of 1 to 106 years old with a median range of 51. The virus has affected 56 percent men and 43 percent women in the state with 1 percent not reported.

Miami County, along with the rest of Ohio, on Friday began the transition to reopen businesses under the Responsible Restart Ohio. With this new phase, Acton and DeWine have extended the Stay At Home order, now titled Stay Safe Ohio, until May 29.

“Along with the Responsible Restart Ohio, a significant increase in COVID-19 testing will soon be available. As the community moves forward, MCPH wants to remind everyone that with this increase in testing, there will be a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Miami County,” MCPH officials said. “It is important to remember that this is expected and does not indicate a sudden increase in the spread of the virus. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and as Miami County transitions into this new phase, MCPH will continue to keep the community informed on updated guidelines and recommendations.”

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call (833) ASK-ODH.

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Spike expected with expanded testing