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As The Pandemic Continues, Continue Doing Your Part

October 23, 2020 | Christina Canfield, M.D.

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Day-in and day-out hospital caregivers, emergency management services, paramedics and your local physicians are on the front lines caring for patients and the community as COVID-19 devastates our lives presenting challenges that we’ve never experienced before.

Fisher-Titus – including the medical center, medical care group, and North Central EMS – have continually reviewed and revised the policies and procedures put into place to meet these challenges to help keep our staff, patients, and guests safe. While we understand things like stricter visitor guidelines can be frustrating, please know we are doing this for the health and wellness of our community.

This pandemic is far from over and the last seven months we have seen every aspect of our lives altered from shopping at the grocery store to our daily interactions with family and friends. Recent information released from the state shows Ohio's current positivity rate is 4.1 percent as compared to 2.7 percent on September 23 and 24. A total of 51 counties are considered high incidence and/or Alert Level 3 on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System. Even more devastating, more than 5,000 Ohioans have died from COVID-19 and over 16,000 have been hospitalized.

Additionally, Ohio COVID-19 hospitalizations are trending upward in recent weeks, particularly in rural areas and in our community. Hospital beds, ventilators, ICU beds are essential to providing care for COVID-19 patients. We need all Ohioans to take preventative action to stop this spread of COVID-19 and prevent surges to our health care system. Today there are communities across the country with hospitals overwhelmed with patients. Just a few months ago, three states (Florida, Texas and California) had many communities with hospitals overwhelmed (VOX Media).

Even in our own county we are seeing an increase in positive cases as we further approach into what is traditionally cold and flu season as reported on the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard. According to the dashboard, the most number of cases for Huron County are from those in the 20-29 age range while hospitalizations and deaths are adversely effecting those aged 70-79.

The health care services in our community are strong but when faced with a pandemic such as COVID-19 and the rapid spread it brings, our health care services will be overwhelmed if preventative measures aren’t taken by you. We are approaching a time of year where colder weather will increase more indoor activity and interaction, not the best situation for preventing the spread of this virus. We are also coming upon a time of year where we will gather for holiday festivities, community celebrations, sporting events and family reunions. We are all seeing the impact of “COVID fatigue” and it’s imperative we don’t fray and we must stay the course.

The actions we need everyone to take are important, they matter, and they will ensure our businesses stay open, our economy keeps going and we don’t have our health care system disrupted. By taking preventative measures, wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing, you are minimizing your chances of getting infected or spreading the disease. First and foremost, masks protect others – especially the vulnerable. While the risk of spreading COVID-19 is lower when at least one individual is wearing a mask, the probability is lowest (70%+ less likely) when both (or all) parties are wearing masks while practicing physical distancing.

We appreciate all those doing their part to keep themselves and others safe as we navigate this evolving virus. Patients with questions may contact their doctor to discuss their concerns to learn how best to be preventive so we can quickly end this pandemic.