SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO—On Thursday, November 19, 2020, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda issued a Stay At Home Health Advisory in response to a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The advisory urges all residents to stay at home to the greatest extent possible due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county. Residents should only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.
“We are quickly approaching a tipping point in the county and the state. We must take collective action beginning today. If we do not, we are putting the lives of our friends, family and neighbors at risk and threatening the ability of our hospitals to provide care to patients,” said Executive Shapiro. “We have all made immense sacrifices this year. We all are feeling exhausted, but I am asking the residents of Summit County to continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community.”
Residents are strongly advised to avoid traveling in and out of the state, forgo having guests in their homes during the upcoming holiday season and utilize online communications wherever possible. The advisory encourages employers to move as many employees as possible to working from home. Businesses and local governments are advised to move as many transactions and functions as possible to online, and schools are directed to monitor cases within their district and community.
“We are seeing an alarming trend in both the number of cases and the positivity rate of COVID – 19 in Summit County. We have to change our behaviors and routines to slow the spread of this disease in our community,” said Health Commissioner Donna Skoda. “Please stay home as much as possible. If you have to leave your home, wear a mask and distance from others.”
This advisory will remain in place through December 16, 2020, unless an additional advisory is issued.
All orders set forth by Governor R. Michael DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, County, and Municipal governments shall continue to be enforced and adhered to by all residents.
Advisory on Indoor and Outdoor Meetings and Social Events
Residents are advised to limit meetings and social events to 10 individuals, from the issue date of this advisory. The advice applies to both indoor and outdoor events, birthday parties, and other events that may occur at a banquet hall, event venue or other similar space. Furthermore, houses of worship are recommended to continue to implement all virus transmission prevention protocols and are advised to limit the number of individuals in attendance to ensure safe distancing at all regular services. A meeting or social event that is outside of normal operations is advised to have no more than 10 individuals. All gatherings should provide space for adequate social distancing and shall require the wearing o f masks.
Residents are strongly advised to not have any indoor gatherings with guests in their homes unless they require services from essential workers (e.g. plumbing, heating, electrical repair persons) and should wear a mask and observe social distancing if such services are necessary.
Response to Illness and Exposure – Isolation and Quarantine
Residents that are exhibiting any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should shelter in their place of residence. They should not go to their workplace or congregate setting and should only leave their place of residence to seek necessary clinical care, or for essential life sustaining needs, such as obtaining medicine or food.
COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to, new onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, body aches, or unusual fatigue.
Residents diagnosed with COVID-19 by a laboratory test of their medical provider must isolate for 10 days from the date of their symptom onset, or from the date of test collection (until you are not experiencing symptoms). In the home, sick or infected individuals should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom, if available.
Residents that have been identified as a contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 should quarantine for one full incubation period (14 days) from the date of last contact. Individuals in quarantine should stay home, separate from others, monitor their health, and follow all instructions from their local health department.
Residents who are either confirmed positive or a close contact should not wait to hear from the health department and immediately follow the guidance as described. Information about isolation and quarantine can be found on the website of the health departments. www.SummitCountyPublicHealth
Employers and Schools
Employers are strongly encouraged to identify and accommodate as many employees as possible to work from home during this time. All businesses and local governments are advised to transition as many transactions and functions as possible to online. Public and private K-12 schools are advised to maintain awareness of case numbers both within their district buildings and the general community. Shifts to learning modality could become necessary.