COVID-19 cases surge in recent weeks in Greene County, public health agency reports

COVID-19 cases surge in recent weeks in Greene County, public health agency reports

XENIA — UPDATED @ 10:15 p.m.: Greene County Public Health has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks because of clusters of cases at the following locations:

  • Harmony Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, 164 Office Park Drive in Xenia (18 residents/5 employees);
  • Xenia Health and Rehab, 126 Wilson Drive (16 residents/8 employees);
  • and Heartland of Beavercreek, 1974 N. Fairfield Road (7 residents/6 employees).

Forty-one residents and 19 employees have been affected.

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In an interview with News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy, Dee Owsley, a nurse with Greene County Public Health, said visitations do not appear to be behind the spike, but rather, employees who have been out in public, at businesses.

“I think where we see the opening up of everything and the employees are out in the community more, I think we probably see more from…employees,” Owsley said.

According to the Communicable Disease team at Greene County Public Health, these cases began surfacing about Aug. 25 and have contributed to increased case counts in recent weeks. 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.

Owsley said health officials are urging students who become ill at colleges outside Greene County not to come home and risk infecting family members.

“We prefer they just stay put in one place and just recover in the same area,” she said. “If we send them back home then we’re sending them home to wear parents or older individual lives.”

Since early August, Wright State University has reported 17 positive cases, 15 of which are students; Central State University has reported 6 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.

There are 15 individuals currently hospitalized. There have been 29 deaths to date. Only six of the deaths reported have been linked to long-term care facilities. GCPH officials remind residents that the pandemic is not over and to continue to follow the state and local guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations.

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 is critical to help slow transmission of COVID-19.

Greene County Public Health professionals are here to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you receive a call regarding contact tracing, please help us by doing the following:

Follow health department guidance.

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

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

• 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.

As soon as a safe and effective vaccine becomes available, health officials will provide that information. We have been informed that it could be as early as the end of this year. You can visit the CDC’s site for COVID-19 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, or www.coronavirus.ohio.gov for Ohio’s details, or visit https://healthalerth.gcph.info/COVID19 for local Greene County information, facts, helpful links and more. You also can call 937-374-5600.