Miami County EMA director gives COVID-19 update

MIAMI COUNTY — On Thursday, Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Joel Smith provided the Miami County Commissioners with his weekly COVID-19 update, noting Miami County is still at the orange, Risk Level 2, rating in Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

“We’re still at two of the seven indicators,” Smith said. Smith explained the county is meeting the indicator of the number of new cases per capita over two weeks and the indicator of over 50 percent of new cases that are community spread and not connected to a congregate living facility, like a nursing home.

According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Miami County is also now meeting the indicator regarding outpatient visits, which is flagged if there is an increasing trend of at least five consecutive days in the number of people going to a health care provider with COVID-19 symptoms who then receive a confirmed or suspected diagnosis.

Smith said public health officials are also monitoring hospitalizations to see if Miami County may meet the indicator of if there at least five consecutive days in the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

“It would be the one the health commissioner is keeping his eye on,” Smith said.

As of Thursday morning, there were 10 positive patients hospitalized in a Miami County hospital.

“It’s a weekly peak,” Smith said. He said the last time Miami County had 10 positive patients in a local hospital was on April 10.

In the zone Miami County is in, there are 248 positive current hospitalizations, Smith said. Smith then said that in this area, which includes Miami, Clark, Darke, Greene, and Shelby counties, there are 89 positive current hospitalizations.

For the Miami County hospitals’ capacities, those usage rates are at 58 percent for airborne isolation units, 64 percent for critical care beds, 63 percent for surgical beds, and 11 percent for ventilators.

Also as of Thursday morning, the county saw an increase of 80 new cases detected since Smith’s last presentation to the commissioners. The county also saw eight new hospitalizations and two more COVID-related deaths reported since Smith’s last report.

Smith said the Ohio EMA also estimated there are approximately 205 active COVID-19 cases, which is 15 less than last week.

“That’s an estimate,” Smith said. “(In) previous weeks that had been going up.”

As of Thursday afternoon, ODH reported 881 cases, 90 hospitalizations, 39 deaths, and approximately 670 patients presumed recovered in Miami County.

The rate at which people are testing positive for the virus was also lasted recorded at 4.6 percent on Aug. 10, which has been continually decreasing, Smith said.

At the end of the meeting, the commissioners asked Smith questions related to the validity of the reports of deaths related to COVID-19. Smith said those determinations are made once public health officials receive victims’ death certificates.

Also on Thursday, the commissioners accepted a quote from L&B Asphalt Maintenance, LLC of Sidney and authorized said company to sealcoat and stripe the Miami County Transfer Station driveway at a total cost not to exceed $17,423.60.