Portage County Combined General Health District and Kent City Health Department issued a press release Thursday, Dec. 3, announcing that Portage County had reached Level 4 Purple Status —the highest level of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System – and that residents and businesses are urged to take precautions.
Additional counties in the region and state have reached Level 4 (purple) status as well. For more information, visit the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) information specific to NEOMED is available on the University website.
The following information is from the press release:
As of 12/03/2020, according the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Portage County is at Level 4 Status with HIGH Incidence for sustained activity related to the Indicators. Portage County has now triggered 6 out of the 7 key indicators:
- Indicator 1- New Cases per Capita (High Incidence 648/100k population)
- Indicator 2- New Cases Increase
- Indicator 3- Non-Congregate Cases
- Indicator 4- ED Visits
- Indicator 5- Outpatient Visits
- Indicator 7- ICU Bed Occupancy
The only indicator not being met in Portage County is Indicator 6 – Hospital Admissions.
Portage County Health District Health Commissioner Joseph Diorio issued a Stay-at-Home Advisory on November 20, which remains in place until December 18, 2020. Guidance from the advisory includes:
- Stay at home to the greatest extent possible; only leaving home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.
- Businesses should allow employees to work remotely where options are available.
- Adhere to all current orders set forth by Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health.
- Abstain from having and attending indoor gatherings with persons not within your household.
- Adhere to isolation and quarantine if you have a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis or are a direct contact of a confirmed COVID-19 person.
The COVID-19 virus is a Class A Communicable Disease with the mode of transmission being primarily person-to-person. In Portage County we have widespread transmission from positive individuals that are symptomatic as well as those that remain asymptomatic positive. Due to this county-wide transmission, we are seeing an increase in individuals that need medical care through the UH Portage Urgent Care facilities as well as the UH Portage Hospital. Where we now have a sustained increase in COVID-19 related inpatient care, ventilator and ICU usage.
With the move to Level 4 (Purple) Status with HIGH Incidence and the increase in the positivity rate, the Portage County Health District makes the following additional recommendations:
- Stay at home and do not travel unless necessary. If you must go out, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others and wear a mask.
- Avoid hosting or attending events or gatherings of any size, including social gatherings and family get-togethers.
- Cancel or postpone community events and activities.
- Portage County workplaces are strongly encouraged to allow as many employees as possible to work from home via teleworking and video conferencing.
- Self-monitor for symptoms daily. Get tested if you develop symptoms. A list of COVID-19 testing sites can be found at portagehealth.net/COVID-19.
People diagnosed with COVID-19 who are having symptoms, as well as those who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic), are instructed to Isolate at home. When isolating at home, people should:
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- Monitor symptoms. Seek medical care immediately if having trouble breathing or not able to manage symptoms comfortably at home.
- Stay in a separate room from other household members and pets. Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Use a separate bathroom if possible. Wipe down surfaces after each use.
- Clean and sanitize any commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, remote controls, etc. often.
- Don’t share personal household items such as cups, towels, utensils.
- Wear a mask when around other people living in the household.
Close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 should Quarantine for 14 days. A close contact is someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from two days before illness onset (or for asymptomatic patients, the date of their test result) until the time the patient is isolated. During Quarantine, a person should:
- Stay away from vulnerable or high-risk individuals living in the household.
- Monitor their own temperature.
- Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever (≥100.4F), chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting.
If symptoms start, Portage County Health District strongly encourages COVID-19 testing and follow-up with your primary care provider. If you have chosen to seek out testing, please continue to quarantine until the results of your test are known. Once they are confirmed, further direction from your physician or local health department will be given to you.