Scioto EMA Issues Local Response Timeline
The Ohio Health Department reported as of Friday (20 March 2020) that there are 169- confirmed COVID-19 cases in 28- Ohio counties and the first fatality from the virus in Lucas County. This is up from 88 reported confirmed cases as of Wednesday.
As of today (20 March) there continues to be no confirmed cases in Scioto County, however, collecting and getting test results back for the virus continues to be a slow process.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) continues to emphasize physical distancing, staying home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene as often as possible. They also say clean all high-touch surfaces regularly. ODH continues to encourage those who can work from home to do so. They have urged businesses to take the temperatures, using a no-touch digital thermometer, of any employee that must report to work on a daily basis and if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher, they should be sent home to self-quarantine.
Here is a timeline of events and actions that have been taken locally by Emergency Management, Education, Public Health Officials, and our local hospitals:
- 6 March Scioto County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) opens in assessment mode.
- 6 March 14 people returned early from SSU trip to the middle east due to COVID-19 concerns. Told by public health to quarantine. Three suspected COVID-19 cases were reported under investigation.
- 9 March Scioto EMA and health officials meet to plan for response to COVID-19 pandemic in Scioto County.
- 9 March Scioto EMA releases public information concerning the students and staff under investigation at SSU.
- 10 March Dr. Byers Medical Director of PCHD has an interview with WSAZ-TV & WOWK-TV to address public concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and address the SSU students being quarantined and tested.
- 11 March PCHD releases public information that all tests of SSU students had come back negative for the COVID-19 Virus. Quarantines continue for other Persons Under Investigation (PUI) at SSU.
- 13 March State and Federal declarations of a state of emergency.
- 15 March local health department establish Incident Command (IC) Structure with Dr. Michael Martin as IC Commander and Belinda Leslie as second in command.
- 15 March local numbers were established by both health departments for local citizens to call for information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. PCHD number is 740-353-5153, the SCHD number 740-353-8358 M-F 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. After hours the number to call is 740-354-8931.
- 15 March public information is released that Governor DeWine had ordered the number of persons permitted in public gatherings lowered from 100 to 50.
- 15 March with all Scioto County schools ordered closed by the State of Ohio local school districts established logistics to continue to feed students, many of whom depend on schools for meals.
- 15 March Governor DeWine orders all “Sit Down” service in all bars and restaurants closed as of 9 pm that evening.
- 16 March Portsmouth Health officials meet with local restaurant and bar owners to discuss the Governor DeWine’s order to close all bars and restaurants for dine-in services.
- 16 March SOMC establishes Incident Command (IC) for the hospital.
- 17 March 2020 Scioto County judicial, government, and public health officials, and emergency management met to discuss the legal powers and ramifications of ordering individuals to quarantine.
- 17 March SOMC opens up a Drive-up COVID-19 Testing site at Madonna Hall on the campus of the former Mercy Hospital and established a hotline to pre-register before being tested.
- 17 March SOMC begins operating its hospital IC 24/7 in order to keep public and health and emergency management partners up to date with developments.
- 18 March SOMC request EMA and Public Health Partners to share with media that the drive-up testing site is being overwhelmed and to emphasized that all everyone needs to call the 740-356-CARE number to pre-register and be screened before coming to the drive-up test site.
- 19 March Scioto EMA met with leaders of area social service agencies in order to coordinate agencies and faith-based organizations’ response to COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies are assigned areas of responsibility to be the lead in response to different questions from the public. Telephone numbers (4 in all) are to be shared with the State EOC and Ohio AIRS (the state-wide coordinating group for 2-1-1 lines) who are working to establish a state-wide hotline for residents to call to ask for support.
- 19 March Scioto EMA working in conjunction with the PCHD established a policy to accept donations of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) from medical and health services that had been closed by the pandemic. As part of the policy a donation form and chain of custody form as created to accept and distribute PPE donations.
- 19 March Scioto EMA receives a donation of PPE from Scioto Smiles Dental Group and the Scioto County Dental Association organized by Dr. Heim. Scioto EMA also received a PPE donation from the Scioto County Health Department.
- 20 March Scioto EMA in cooperation with the PCHD started filling requests from area EMS and Law Enforcement agencies, and the nursing homes.
In addition, Scioto EMA has taken part in the state-wide conference call from Ohio EMA that includes all county EMA Directors to share information, strategies, problems, and solutions to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio.
The Scioto EMA is also staying updated with all the briefing from Governor DeWine and state officials and President Trump and federal officials through their daily press conferences.
The EOC is operating 7-days a week in order to keep the public informed of the latest public information concerning the pandemic and acting as a resource manager for the response agencies.