By Melody Vallieu
Miami Valley Sunday News
MIAMI COUNTY — After nearly a week without any COVID-19 deaths reported, Miami County has seen a death each of the last two days of the week.
On Friday, Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials reported another death, the 24th in the county. The last two deaths are SpringMeade Health Care related deaths, MCPH said. There are now 20 deaths associated with Koester Pavilion and Springmeade, as well as four that are considered community spread, MCPH officials said.
No new COVID-19 cases were recorded, however, with the number standing at 134, according to MCPH officials. Cases include 42 long-term care facility related and 61 community spread, MCPH officials said. The onset date range is from March 2 to April 13.
There have been 48 hospitalizations due to coronavirus, MCPH officials reported.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said during his press conference on Friday that the state’s ability to test for the virus will be expanded beginning Wednesday, with the help of two new business relationships that will provide tests and swabs. Beginning Wednesday, DeWine said more than 7,000 tests will be produced per day with more than 22,000 available per day by the end of May. DeWine also said contact tracing will be increased in the state. MCPH officials said they have not hired extra staff for contact tracing as of yet.
“As of right now, MCPH has not hired additional staff. MCPH has staff that’s been conducting the contact tracing thus far, but will look at options for additional staff if the need arises,” MCPH officials said.
In Miami County, Premier Health officials said they continue to have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for their needs.
“Our hospital and nursing homes have PPE for our current needs. We continue to monitor and conserve as we look at taking the first steps to open back up to elective procedures in the coming weeks,” Premier Health officials said.
Staff also continue to weather the storm of the coronavirus, according to Premier Health officials.
“Our direct caregivers and support teams who’ve worked so hard for critically ill patients at our hospital deserve praise from all of us. These strong and talented individuals have been absolutely dedicated and courageous throughout this public health crisis and remain so to date,” said Tom Parker, president of Upper Valley Medical Center. “They were particularly uplifted and gratified to celebrate the recent full recovery of a staff member who was able to go home after several weeks of life-threatening illness battling COVID-19. Recovery certainly brings inspiration and rejuvenation for our teams, whose hearts always go out to families who have had loved ones succumb to this disease.”
Parker said UVMC staff are working on a plan to reinstate services that DeWine and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Dr. Amy Acton will allow beginning May 1.
“To ensure the ongoing safety of our patients and staff, we are working according to the guidelines established by the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health, and it is likely we will resume some surgical procedures in early May,” Parker said. “We are reaching out to patients to reschedule, as appropriate.”
Questions directed at Kettering Health Network were not answered as of press time on Friday.
As of Friday, there are 15,169 COVID-19 cases in the state of Ohio with 690 deaths, according to the ODH. There have been 3,053 hospitalizations with 920 intensive care admissions. Ages continue to be under the age of 1 to 106 years old with cases being 58 percent males, 41 percent females and 1 percent not reported, the ODH reports.