As the state begins to reopen, Union County has documented eight new cases since Friday of COVID-19 including the first at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
According to the Union County Health Department, as of 2 p.m. Sunday, there are 36 cases of COVID-19 in the county, including an inmate at ORW.
The inmate is currently in isolation. No other inmates are currently in isolation but 2425 are in quarantine which “separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed, or potentially exposed, to a contagious disease to see if they become sick,” according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC).
No staff members at ORW have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday.
Representatives from the health department said the ODRC oversees infection control protocols and testing efforts within the state prisons.
UCHD is coordinating with state partners to complete necessary contact tracing and symptom monitoring to help protect correctional facility staff who may be at an increased risk due to exposure.
Of those affected, nine individuals are actively ill while 27 have recovered.
The average age of affected individuals is 38.6, with a median age of 37.5. The age range of those affected is less than a year old to 83 years old.
The largest portion, 36%, are “community acquired” cases meaning there was an unknown source of exposure. 28% of cases were exposed in an occupational setting, such as a healthcare worker, first responder or prison employee. Others were exposed via travel, contact with a known case of COVID-19 or at a correctional facility.
The health department is working with parks and recreation league partners, local businesses and government offices to advise them on plans to safely reopen.
UCHD created a “tool kit for businesses” that provides information regarding how to slow the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if a case is reported at a business.
Employers are asked to:
– Keep sick employees home.
– Promote social distancing by putting up signs, taping off markers, eliminating gathering areas and doing business by appointment.
– Encourage hand-washing and hand sanitizer use.
– Stagger staff and adjust work schedules to limit the number of staff exposed.
– Limit vendors and visitors; require a self-health check.
– Establish single-person work areas; install physical barriers when not possible.
– Schedule frequent cleaning and disinfecting of work areas, shared equipment and spaces and high touch surfaces like kiosks, door handles, etc.
– Require masks for employees except in specific circumstances; recommend masks for customers.
UCHD employees are continuing to follow up on complaints and concerns shared by residents.
Sanitarians begin each encounter with a business from a partnership perspective and asks how UCHD can help provide education or find solutions to problems. If a business and the health department cannot work together toward compliance, “then our team will take steps as necessary,” according to UCHD.
“We ask that you continue to use patience and kindness with employees and employers as most are trying hard to comply with the new requirements,” the health department wrote in a statement.
“We truly believe we are all in this together and it takes all of us to work together to keep our communities safe.”
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