GCPH: Recent COVID-19 surge stems from nursing homes


Staff report



XENIA — Clusters of COVID-19 cases at three local nursing homes in recent weeks has caused a surge of the virus in the county, according to Greene County Public Health officials.

Officials said Monday that a total of 41 residents and 19 employees have been affected. Reportedly, the cases include 18 residents and five employees at Harmony Center for Rehabilitation and Healing on Office Park Drive in Xenia, 16 residents and eight employees at Xenia Health and Rehab on Wilson Drive in Xenia, and seven residents and six employees at Heartland of Beavercreek on North Fairfield Road.

According to the communicable disease team at GCPH, these cases began surfacing around Aug. 25 and have contributed to increased case counts in recent weeks.

Officials said another contributing factor has been students from out-of-county universities who have been isolating in Greene County, as well as some cases at local universities. Since early August, Wright State University has reported 17 positive cases, 15 of which are students; Central State University has reported six positive students; and Cedarville University has reported 10 positive students.

Greene County currently has a cumulative total of 1,284 cases with 25 currently active, with 289 cases under ongoing surveillance, according to the release. Fifteen individuals are currently hospitalized. Twenty-nine individuals have died. Six of the deaths reported have been linked to long term care facilities.

“GCPH officials want to remind residents that the pandemic is not over and to continue to follow the state and local guidelines for protecting our most vulnerable populations against this virus,” Laurie Fox, public information officer, said. “All of Ohio is required to wear a mask when working in or visiting businesses and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Wash your hands often and avoid large gatherings, if possible.”

Contact tracing and self-quarantining of people with COVID-19 and close contacts is ongoing and, according to Fox, is critical to help slow transmission of COVID-19 in local communities.

“Your actions make all of us safer,” Fox said.

GCPH professionals continue to diligently work to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If a resident receives a call regarding contact tracing, they are asked to do the following:

• Follow health department guidance.

• Notify your healthcare provider if you become ill and you have not been tested for COVID-19.

• If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the most recent day that you were possibly exposed to COVID-19.

• Monitor yourself and maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet) from others at all times.

• Notify those who you had close contact with recently if you become ill.

• Know what symptoms mean you need to go to the hospital right away.

• Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

GCPH officials said they have been informed that a vaccine could become available as early as the end of the year.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov or www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. For county information, visit healthalert.gcph.info/COVID19 or call 937-374-5600.

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Staff report