County sees 2 additional COVID-19 cases

MIAMI COUNTY — Two more COVID-19 cases were identified in Miami County since Tuesday, bringing the total to 316 total cases.

To date in Miami County there has been 28 deaths and 49 total hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

With restaurants, retail and other services opening their doors, Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials said they will be available to help businesses as they move forward.

“Miami County Public Health has a long standing relationship with our restaurants. Local health departments enforce the regulations under the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code. For our restaurants who are used to seeing us when we arrive to conduct inspections, there should be no difference in the service we provide. Our job, as is the restaurant operators, is to ensure a customer can dine at the restaurant safely,” said Miami County Public Health Environmental Health Director Jane Tomcisin. “As restaurants reopen their dining areas under the additional requirements from the Responsible RestartOhio, we will help guide them and assist them in meeting the requirements to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. Miami County Public Health prefers to educate our restaurant operators and work with them to ensure they are meeting the requirements.

“We will enforce both the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code, as well as the requirements of the Responsible RestartOhio if the restaurant operators are not complying. The health and safety of not only the restaurant’s customers, but its employees, is the first and foremost priority,” Tomcisin said.

Other Miami County personal services businesses are regulated by other agencies, but MCPH officials said they will be available to them as well.

“We intend to work with this business sector as we do with our restaurants. We are here to assist and guide them through the requirements. The health and safety of their clients and employees are our main concern,” Tomcisin said.

Tomcisin said, in the end, MCPH is concerned about the health and safety of the community.

“We know this virus has not gone away. We know there are asymptomatic carriers out in public. We expect to see an increase in the number of cases. We meet daily, as a health department, to talk about the positive cases, the health effects of this disease and the unfortunate number of people we have lost to this disease,” Tomcisin said. “We also know from talking to some of the positive cases that some of them have been out in the public, prior to us contacting them, with symptoms, possibly spreading this disease. We need to make sure the public is educated and knows how to protect themselves and others from this disease.”

MCPH also expects to continue to provide guidance to those calling or emailing about businesses that may not be meeting the safety requirements, Tomcisin sad.

“We expect to continue to contact or visit businesses to help them understand the changes they need to make to keep all of us safer and to meet the requirements of the Responsible RestartOhio,” Tomcisin said. “We also expect all of us to do our part in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. By doing so, we buy time. Time to allow our healthcare system to better prepare for patients. Time to allow for the trials needed to find a treatment and time to allow for a safe and effective vaccine.”

Tomcisin said she has some advice for the average person reintroducing themselves into the public as they dine at a restaurant, get a haircut or visit a retail store.

“Please follow the requirements and recommendations of the Stay Safe Ohio order. Wear a face covering when needed, maintain the proper social distance, wash your hands, be considerate of others, etc.,” Tomcisin said. “Respect any businesses that go above and beyond those requirements. The community’s health is in our hands. We, as members of this community, have the ability to reduce the spread of the virus. Please do your part, and please stay safe and healthy.”

In Ohio, there are 27,721 total coronavirus cases and 1,483 total deaths.

There have been 4,618 hospital admissions with 1,248 intensive care admissions.

Ages range from under the age of 1 to 108 years old with a median age of 50. There are 54 percent males affected by the virus and 46 percent females.

Tomcisin said, for more information, community members can visit miamicountyhealth.net/coronavirus-info or go to the Ohio Department of Health page at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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Public health available to help as businesses open

By Melody Vallieu

Miami Valley Today