County has 127 COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths


Public health officials address stigma surrounding virus

By Melody Vallieu

Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials on Thursday reported 127 COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.

The numbers show an increase of two additional cases from Wednesday and one more death. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the county currently has 47 hospitalizations.

The counties’ deaths include 18 associated to the nursing home outbreaks and four community spread.

Of the cases, MCPH officials said 75 of those are female and 52 are male.

MCPH staff remind the public that health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease, are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things, MCPH officials said. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. According to MCPH officials, stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.

“Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people,” MCPH officials said.

Stigma can affect the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others.

• Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus.

• For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

• Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people. For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease situation summary page at www.cdc.gov.

In Ohio, as of Thursday, there are 8,414 cases and documented and community spread cases in 87 of the 88 counties, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.

To date, there have been 2,331 hospitalizations in Ohio and 707 of those have been intensive care admissions.

There are 389 confirmed deaths, she said, 28 of those reported in the 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday afternoons.

The age range of COVID-19 patients is from under the age of 1 to 101 years old and the median age is 54. Males make up 49 percent of the cases, while 51 percent are women, Acton said.

Acton said more than 74,000 people have been tested and they remain working on ways to increase testing capabilities in the state.

“I want to give you a sense that while we have a long road ahead, I’m very, very optimistic how we will travel this road together because I’ve seen how we’ve traveled it thus far,” Acton said.

Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday said the state will begin the process of reopening on May 1 by getting some people back to work. DeWine said Ohioans staying at home and wearing masks has flattened the curve in the state, and for that he is grateful.

“I’ve never been prouder, never been prouder, to be an Ohioan,” DeWine said.

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.org.

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Public health officials address stigma surrounding virus