Miami Valley health experts urge caution as Ohio again sets single day case record

Miami Valley health experts urge caution as Ohio again sets single day case record
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For the second time in six days, Ohio set a single day record for COVID-19 cases. The rise in cases has health experts in the Miami Valley again encouraging everyone to follow health guidelines.

“The rise in cases is something we’re definitely seeing here in Montgomery county and its something we want to keep an eye on,” said Dan Suffoletto, Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County.

Suffoletto said, like across much of Ohio, Public Health is largely seeing cases coming from a wide variety of areas, but he identified one particular area as a “danger point” – get-togethers with friends.

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“People are familiar with friends, they’re more comfortable with them, maybe they’re spending more time with them, and that’s when people maybe even unintentionally let their guard down,” Suffoletto said. “We have to remind people they’ve got to keep their guard up at all times.”

The rise in cases comes as testing continues to expand – especially as places like nursing homes begin to get access to rapid tests – but it’s not just testing. Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said in the last two weeks, hospitals have started to see more COVID-19 patients.

“We are starting to see an increase in the overall hospitalizations for our entire region,” Hackenbracht said.

While Hackenbracht said the region is nowhere near reaching a capacity issue for hospitals or intensive care units, a rise in cases at this time of the year does carry added concern with flu season’s arrival.

“We want to make sure we don’t have a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases and then later on top of that all of the seasonal flu cases where we know we have a traditional number of hospitalizations every year,” she said.

More than seven months into the pandemic in Ohio, two record setting days for cases in less than a week has health officials again urging the public to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid interactions that are not necessary.

“It is very tiring and it can take a lot out of people,” Suffoletto acknowledged.  "Unfortunately (these guidelines are) going to be here indefinitely until more vaccines are developed or there is some sort of reliable treatment.'