By Melody Vallieu
Miami Valley Sunday News
MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County reported 129 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, according to Miami County Public Health officials. The number reflects two additional cases from Thursday.
Of the 129 cases in the county, 42 are related to the nursing homes, 31 are healthcare workers and 56 are considered community spread.
Onset date of known cases ranges from March 2 to April 13, and those affected range in age from a child less than 1 year old to a 96 year old. There are 77 females and 52 males who have contracted the virus.
The death toll remains at 22, 18 of which are nursing home outbreak related and four are considered community spread.
The Ohio Department of Health also is reporting 47 hospitalizations in the county.
According to local hospital officials, despite the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, personal protective equipment (PPE) in the hospitals continues to be sufficient.
“We continue to monitor usage and patient volumes, and evaluate all options for sourcing supplies. Resources and stock are being moved and deployed to our hospitals and facilities as necessary,” said John Weimer, vice president of Network Emergency, Trauma and Operations Command Center and one of the leaders of Kettering Health Network (KHN)’s Incident Command Center, which is overseeing the network’s response to COVID-19.
Weimer said to conserve PPE, COVID-19 patients are being treated at only certain KHN facilities.
“Since Kettering Health Network established Troy Hospital, we appreciate the relationship with the community. With this pandemic, which none of us have experienced in our lives, we are following the governor’s mandate to conserve PPE. One of the easiest ways to conserve PPE is by co-locating patients who are under investigation for COVID-19. At many of our remote sites, we brought those patients to a select number of locations so that we can conserve PPE,” Weimer said.
Premier Health officials said they also have enough PPE to support staff.
“Our hospital and nursing homes have PPE for our current needs and continue to monitor and conserve as we work to address long-term needs,” Premier Health officials said.
Front-line workers continue to remain strong while responding to the crisis during these unprecedented times, according to hospital officials.
“All of our healthcare workers and caregivers are navigating through unforeseen times. They’re strong. They’re holding up. Kettering Health Network leaders are doing everything possible to help them spiritually, physically and emotionally,” Weimer said. “The reality is that, like all of us, they are ready to get back to their normal lives. They want to be able to hug people and see family and see friends. Until we get back to that, there will always be stress.”
Premier Health officials said their staffs are champions as well, but are providing assistance to those in need.
“Our UVMC team is highly skilled and team members have prepared extensively for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients, in accordance with public health guidelines. I cannot say enough about their dedication and courage throughout this public health crisis; it is truly commendable,” said Tom Parker, president of UVMC. “Our front-line staffs caring for critically ill patients are specially trained in that area, and we commend them for continuing day-to-day, round-the-clock to provide what is needed for our patients. We understand that, even in cases in which our staff are highly trained, caring for COVID-19 patients is not without risk, and we continue to ensure that they have the personal protective equipment that they need.
“We also understand that this pandemic is stressful at times, especially those on the clinical front lines, and we have made employee assistance programs available to ensure that they have the support that they deserve.”
Weimer said KHN is using all the resources, in whatever capacity needed, to do what is necessary to care for all patients.
“We are using all of our resources as a health system and as a community collectively — whether that be nursing students, EMS students, medical surgical nurses caring for at-risk patients, ICU nurses — I think the important thing to realize is just because you have COVID-19 does not mean you are in the ICU,” Weimer said. “Actually the majority of our patients with COVID-19 are on a medical surgical unit.”
In Ohio, as of Friday, there are 9,107 total cases with 693 of the cases being recorded in the 24 hours from Thursday to Friday, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. There also are 418 total deaths. The age range is from under 1 year to 106 years of age, with a median age of 54. There are an equal number of male and female cases at this time, Acton said.
There also have been 2,424 hospitalizations and 740 intensive care admissions.
For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call (833) 4-ASK-ODH.