Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer Wednesday said Seneca County remains at six confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one death.
During the Seneca County General Health District’s report on Facebook Live, Schweitzer said the county is awaiting the results of eight more tests, and the ages of people who have tested positive range from 27-85.
Although recovery rates are difficult to track, she said Ohio Director of Public Health Dr. Amy Acton reported 303 cases that were hospitalized have been discharged statewide, or about 25%. Once the state has a better testing system in place, Schweitzer said ODH will have better methods of tracking recovery rates.
More than 80% of people contract the virus at home, she said, and show mild enough symptoms that they do not require hospitalization or testing.
“Tracking those patients is very difficult right now,” she said.
Also Wednesday, Schweitzer discussed mental health.
“We need to remember that the stress and anxiety and fear and other emotions are normal during times of crisis like the pandemic is,” she said. “Just remind yourself that eventually those feelings will fade away.”
She suggested getting information from TV media in small doses, and making sure it’s reliable.
“Just don’t overwhelm yourself with that information,” she said.
In addition, she said optimizing physical health with help with mental health.
“It’s important for us to stay as healthy as possible,” she said. “Eat nutritious food, get adequate sleep, stay hydrated, drink lots of fluids, avoid alcohol and drugs, and also take time to just lean back, relax and unwind.”
She suggested staying connected to family and friends via phone, Facebook, email and text, and being supportive of one another by talking about concerns.
“You want to continue hobbies and activities that don’t expose you to others, keeping in mind those 6-foot distances we want to maintain,” she said.
She said people being treated for a mental health condition should continue the treatment plan, and everyone should become aware of the emotional and physical signs of stress.
She reminded parents to talk to their children about keeping the 6-foot distance.
“I know it’s tough for these kids who are used to hanging together and being close, but again we want to prevent that spread and we certainly don’t want our youth to get sick,” she said.
Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas reviewed the county’s need to cut $2 million from its budget because of reduced revenue, and thanked Schweitzer and all public health workers in honor of Public Health Week, which is this week in Ohio.
“Public health isn’t something we normally think about, but when we’re in a pandemic, suddenly they become our rockstars,” he said.
Thomas reminded people to answer the census questions if they have not already done so because census number are important for local governments and organizations.
He also reviewed the advice to wear masks when in public.
“We have to get over our vanity and the awkwardness of wearing masks,” he said. “It’s going to be the normal for a while here.
“It’s tough for everyone,” he said. “This is going to be a time that really challenges us in the coming weeks. We need to maintain our mental fortitude and maintain the course. The public policy is working, we’re flattening the curve, and we need the mental fortitude to continue it.”
He said people should remember that it’s working.
“We have a shared purpose here,” he said. “And we’re winning.
“Just know you are doing something really important to protect and keep others safe,” he said. “So stick with it. Sustaining this in April is our mission.”
Schweitzer said she is changing updates to once a week so the next update will be at 10:30 a.m. April 15.
Mental health resources:
Call (800) 826-1306 or text 4HOPE to 741741 – The crisis text line is free, and available 24/7 for people in crisis at crisistextline.org
Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties, www.mhrsbssw.org, (419) 448-0640
Counseling Connections Center LLC, Tiffin, ccctiffin.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (419) 447-8111
Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, Tiffin, crisis line (800) 826-1306, (419) 448-9440
Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, Fostoria, crisis line (800) 826-1306, (419) 435-0204
Lutheran Social Services of NW Ohio-Tiffin, (567) 220-6495
New Transitions Counseling LLC, email@example.com, (419) 448-4094
Resource list provided by Commissioner Shayne Thomas and the Seneca County commissioners office:
For business owners, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, www.tsepcoronavirus.com
Another for business owners, Fostoria Chamber of Commerce’s website through the Small Business Resiliency Toolkit, www.fostoriaohio.org/small-business-resiliency-toolkit/
For people who would like to help others in the community, join the Facebook group, Helping Hands in Seneca County, https://www.facebook.com/groups/562333787718348
Support local restaurants by visiting SenecaDining.com, a list provided by Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, www.destinationsenecacounty.org/places/dining-options
Anyone who has questions about voting in the primary election can call the Seneca County Board of Elections office at (419) 447-4424, or visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters
Ohio Department of Health Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OHdeptofhealth is a source of information on health issues.
For updated statistics and data from ODH on COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Manufacturers that can adapt and produce in-demand healthcare-related products should visit www.repurposingproject.com.
People seeking unemployment benefits can visit unemployment.ohio.gov.
Public access to news and information can be found at www.ohiochannel.org and follow the organization’s social media pages.
The CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov, is the national home for information on COVID-19.
Information on federal legislation approved to lend assistance to the economy can be found at taxfoundation.org/federal-coronavirus-relief-bill-cares-act.