EMA director gives COVID-19 update

TROY — The Miami County Commissioners received clarification regarding Ohio COVID-19 alert systems during its general session Thursday.

Miami County Emergency Management Agency Director Joel Smith addressed recent rumors that the county is “going red” within the Ohio Public Health Advisory color-coded system, which is a data-driven framework to assess the degree of COVID-19 spread.

“There is another reporting system for the Centers for Medicare (and Medicaid Services) to guide their rules for testing within nursing homes that are under their auspices,” Smith said. “I believe, based on their system, they have coded our county as red under their metrics of positivity … that’s independent of the state’s system.”

According to Smith, under the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Miami County is still in the “orange” category, indicating a Level 2 public emergency of increased exposure and spread, which has been the case for several weeks.

Miami County currently meets three indicators, up from two met last week: new cases per capita, new cases increase, and non-congregate cases.

According to data published on Ohio.gov Thursday, Miami County’s new cases over the last two weeks are 126, with cases per 100,000 residents at 117.77, which is an increase from last Thursday’s cases per capita rate of 86.93.

As of Thursday, the non-congregate case percentage in Miami County is 100 percent. This is used as an indicator of greater risk of community spread.

The new cases increase indicator is met if there is an increasing trend of at least five consecutive days in overall cases by onset date over the last three weeks. This indicator is designed to reflect disease spread in the population.

For more information regarding this data, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov and click on “Ohio Public Health Advisory System.”

In other business, the commissioners:

• Certified single county ditch maintenance assessments (2021) to the Miami County Auditor for placement on next succeeding tax duplicate.

• Acknowledged a grant award for federal fiscal year 2021 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) and federal fiscal year 2021 Impaired Driving Enforcement Program (IDEP) through the Sheriff’s office. This is an annual grant.

• Authorized the submission of an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program for the South County Road 25A Waterline Loop Project. This project consists of 4,261 lineal feet of 8-inch waterline to be installed along South County Road 25A. The total estimated cost for said project is $558,239. The Sanitary Engineering Department is seeking an OPWC grant in the amount of $300,000, as well as requesting funding assistance from WACO.

• Held executive sessions regarding personnel/appointment of staff, purchase of property, and personnel/dismissal.