WILMINGTON — The Clinton County health commissioner said Wednesday there would be criticism for over-preparing for COVID-19 if nothing much happens here, and criticism for under-preparing if it does, “so let’s over-prepare.”
Clinton County Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer, Clinton County Health District Director of Nursing Monica Wood, Clinton County Health District Emergency Response Coordinator Brittane Dance, and Clinton County Emergency Management Agency Director Thomas Breckel met first thing Wednesday with the county commissioners.
Walker-Bauer told them she’d like to get some conversations started about how Clinton County and its residents can prepare for a potential COVID-19 outbreak here. One of those meetings will be geared toward county and other local government officials, agency heads or decision-makers so they can get started on some contingency planning, she said.
The first education meeting for the general public will be held at the start of a previously scheduled National Weather Service Storm Spotter Training event at Murphy Theatre 6 p.m. next Tuesday, March 10. It’s expected to last 15 to 20 minutes and will be led by the Clinton County Health District’s Community Educator Pam Daniel, MSN, RN.
Other community conversations and smaller-group citizens meetings are envisioned, too.
Communications have been sent to local extended-care facilities, school superintendents, local law enforcement, Wilmington College and Clinton Memorial Hospital, among others, said Walker-Bauer.
CMH has held an unannounced drill in which a person taking the role of a COVID-19 patient entered the emergency room, Walker-Bauer added.
Spring breaks for colleges and schools are fast approaching, and as of Wednesday morning, there was at least one confirmed COVID-19 case in Florida, according to the health commissioner.
On Thursday, March 5 many public health officials will be in Columbus at a meeting held by the governor.
Presently, the Clinton County Health District is using its Facebook page to send out information, as well as Twitter. Residents also are directed to the websites of the Ohio Department of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At one point on Wednesday Walker-Bauer told Clinton County commissioners, “I am not, from a public health person, panicked. This doesn’t panic me. This is what we’d expect, logically and rationally.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus was first detected in China and, as of March 3, has been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The disease caused by the virus has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” — abbreviated “COVID-19”.
The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. Those include avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe; wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and stay home when you are sick.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.