One new COVID-19 case reported


Hospitals taking extra precautions as services expand

By Melody Vallieu

Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — One new COVID-19 case was recorded in Miami County in a 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday.

Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials said there are now 145 COVID-19 cases reported in the county, which includes 85 females and 60 males.

No new deaths or hospitalizations have been reported. The death toll stands at 27 people, which includes 22 nursing home-related and five community spread cases. There also have been a total of 49 hospitalizations.

Hospital systems in the area say they continue to have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect both staff and patients.

“Our hospital and nursing homes have PPE for our current needs. We continue to monitor and conserve as we open back up to elective procedures,” Premier Health officials said.

Kettering Health Network Chief Clinical Officer Brenda Kuhn said PPE is moved within their network.

“Our network continues to monitor our PPE use and patient volumes to provide the care our patients need with the opening of elective surgeries,” Kuhn said. “PPE supplies are being gathered and deployed to our hospitals and facilities as necessary across the network.”

With the expansion of services at the hospitals, officials also are taking even more precautions.

“With expansion to access comes strict emphasis on infection control strategies such as required social distancing, enhanced screening, and face masks for all who enter our facilities; continual cleaning and sanitizing using CDC guidelines; hand hygiene following CDC protocols; continued visitor restrictions; and reduced time for check-in and registration to minimize waiting room time,” Premier Health officials said.

Screening begins at the entrance to facilities, according to officials.

“Enhanced screening for potential illness symptoms, hand sanitizing, and facemasks are required for all who enter our facilities,” Premier Health officials said.

KHN’s guidelines are similar.

“We have screeners at each entrance of our hospitals and physician practices. Every person will be asked questions about COVID-19 exposure and symptoms, and have their temperatures taken before entering,” Kuhn said. “As we open additional services, we want to do this safely. We continue to follow the governor’s order on social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 including having our healthcare workers wearing masks. We have instituted additional cleaning procedures of public areas.”

Premier Health has begun the expansion to services consistent with phase 1 of the state of Ohio’s reopening with restrictions plan. Examples include surgical and diagnostic procedures that do not require an overnight stay, medical imaging, cardiac and pulmonary diagnostics, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services.

Kettering Health Network resumed elective outpatient procedures that did not require an overnight stay on May 4. To support the surgical process, they have also opened additional testing, Kuhn said.

“Our healthcare workers will perform essential surgeries if they fall under one of these guidelines: threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is delayed, threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system if the surgery or procedure is delayed, risk of metastasis or progression of staging if the surgery or procedure is delayed, risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms including pain if the surgery or procedure is delayed, or presence of severe symptoms causing an inability to perform activities of daily living if the surgery or procedure is delayed,” Kuhn said.

Those having such procedures are allowed to be accompanied by one person if deemed necessary at Premier Health properties.

“While visitors are not permitted in the hospital or emergency department, surgical/procedural patients may have one visitor if assistance is needed for mobility or receiving medical information, and patients under the age of 18 may bring a parent or legal guardian.”

In Ohio, there are 22,131 total cases of coronavirus and 1,271 total deaths. In the US, there have been 1.2 million cases of the virus and more than 73,000 deaths.

There have been 4,140 hospitalizations in the state.

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call (833) 4-ASK-ODH.

Hospitals taking extra precautions as services expand