Public Health Update
To Logan County – Logan County Health District would like to update you weekly during this challenging time. This is the first so it attempts to cover one month’s activities. Usually when public health is working well in your community the general public doesn’t notice what is taking place at your local Health Department. Public health is defined as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical health.” The response needed for our fight against COVID-19 involves many public health activities. I will post a weekly report on activities taking place in this response. Our Response started about one month ago as we organized our incident command to better respond and coordinate this coming public health emergency challenges.
Essential Functions for the health district were defined early. These are services that must continue no matter what. Birth and Death Certificates, Food Service Programs, Water Testing/Safety, WIC Services, Infectious Disease Reporting and Investigations, Sharing Information about COVID-19 with Healthcare, Mary Rutan Hospital, First responders, Long-term Care Facilities, Home Health, Schools, and General Public and keeping www.loganhealth.org updated with current information.
We are meeting, updating and coordinating with Logan County Commissioners, EMA Director, Medical Professionals, Healthcare Community, First Responders, Mary Rutan Hospital, Schools, Ohio Department of Health, and Logan County Board of Health.
Things accomplished: 3-1-2020 to 4-1-2020:
Communication; Press releases, many contacts and information shared with multiple community agencies, churches, camps, businesses and the healthcare community. This information, rules, and orders are continually changing so frequent updates are necessary. Improved Website and Social Media Outreach; Set up LCHD Call Center for Logan County specific questions from Healthcare Providers and Possible Testing with limited testing Resources; Dr. Hoddinott has been communicating important public health messages on the radio, Facebook, media releases and our Website.
Point of Dispensing (POD) – This is a model for dispensing medication/vaccines or possible help with testing. It is what we have prepared to do; LCHD began gathering resources that we have available through past exercises and real-life events to be ready when our community receives direction/orders from ODH. These are all possibilities so we need to be ready.
Preparing Staff to work Remotely: Guidelines, Agreements, IT issues; Started working with employees in the “most vulnerable age groups for teleworking from home.
Holding Monthly Board Meetings Remotely and Holding the Yearly District Advisory Council Remotely- IT capabilities are being tested (remote access/internet capabilities from our home/ hosting online meeting with multiple agencies) and we were prepared thanks to our IT Manager. So important in these COVID-19 Pandemic times!
Evaluate Countywide PPE Needs- This is a nationwide shortage; We have received PPS’s for the entire County from a national stockpile; Three agencies (EMA, Hospital and Public Health) are working together to get PPE’s to the ODH Designated at risk groups; For PPE needs Law Enforcement/Jail & EMS contact EMA; Health Community Contact the LCHD at 937-592-4060 option#1; Donations are being taken at MRH Logan View location at 110 Dowell Avenue in Bellefontaine (between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm). We ask that items are bagged or boxed for easy drop-off.
Public Health Surveillance/Testing/First COVID-19 case/PPE disbursement – The call center and nurses are working to screen for testing; starting contact tracing and notifying those contacts of 3 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Logan County; Looking for testing resources to increase the capability of testing in our community; Working closely with MRH regarding local testing process and criteria; Getting Up to date information to healthcare providers in the community. #INTHISTOGETHEROHIO #FLATTENTHECURVE #SOCIALDISTANCINGNOW #WASHYOURHANDS #COVID19OHIOREADY
A Message from the Logan County Health District
The Logan County Health District (LCHD) has received numerous questions from employees and concerned citizens regarding what makes a business “essential” and why some businesses can remain open at this time. To allow the LCHD staff to focus on helping the community and families that are impacted by the coronavirus, we are asking all businesses that see themselves as essential, help us by keeping the proper documents up-to-date. You need to document how your business qualifies as essential by citing the specific section from the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Stay At Home Order.
Also, according to the Director’s order, each business must have a written COVID-19 policy that documents how they are protecting the health of their employees. Please document how your business is complying with the following recommendations:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever (without the use of medication) for at least 72 hours (three full days) AND symptoms have improved for at least 72 hours AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first began. Do not require a health department or healthcare provider’s note to validate illness or return to work to reduce the burden on the healthcare provider at this time. Consider allowing employees who are 60 years and older to work from home.
- Ensure that sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children, or other family members. Request employees to do a self-assessment each day for COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever of 100.4 or higher, or shortness of breath).
- Separate employees who appear to have respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately.
- Reinforce key messages to all employees – stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, and tissues.
- Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces by using virus-killing (virucidal) sanitizers, 70% isopropyl alcohol or 10% bleach/water solutions.
- Maintain strict 6-foot social distancing between employees and visitors in your facility, where possible.
- Consider leaving doors propped open to reduce the number of high touch areas.
We are asking that these documents are up-to-date and made available to all employees. If we get complaints about your facility, we will be requesting such documentation and making visits to make sure that you are ensuring that your employee’s health and safety are your top priority.
Previous Health Alerts:
- 2020-04-06 – Public Health Update
- 2020-03-27 – Essential Businesses
- 2020-03-26 – To All Ball Park Operators
- 2020-03-25 – PPE Request
- 2020-03-24 – The Logan County Health District is reporting the second laboratory confirmed COVID-19 case in the county
- 2020-03-24 – Stay at Home Order Followup for Business
- 2020-03-23 – Airplane Travel Media Release
- 2020-03-22 – First Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Logan County