November 16, 2020- (Kenton, OH)- Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and limited resources, the Kenton Hardin Health Department (KHHD) nursing staff will only be contacting positive COVID-19 cases in order to continue the COVID-19 contact tracing process.
When an individual has received a positive COVID-19 lab result, the person who tested positive will be contacted by KHHD nursing and/or contact tracing staff. We are recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you notify those individuals that would be close contacts. Close contacts are identified as someone that you were within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes, with or without a mask. KHHD will not be making these calls at this time, but will give instructions on what information to share, as well as the isolation/quarantine process. If you are able to give information to staff, we will monitor those individuals through our text monitoring system.
If you are notified of being a close contact to a COVID-19 case, you should begin quarantine best practices immediately, including:
.STAYING AT HOME and NOT allowing visitors.
.Monitoring and logging health information for symptoms of COVID-19
.Wearing a mask when closer than 6 feet to those in a shared household, sleeping in a separate room, and using a separate bathroom if able.
.Allowing family or friends not in quarantine to bring essentials to the home, leaving them outside the door and collecting those items after they have returned to their car. DO NOT invite them in the home.
.Regularly and thoroughly washing your hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, faucets, TV remotes, electronics, etc.
.Increase air circulation, if possible, by cracking windows and doors. If the weather is nice and you are able go outside your home, go for a walk, just DO NOT interact with individuals outside your household.
For letters required for work, please call KHHD at 419-673-6230, Option 2 and leave a message with your name, phone number and date of exposure with a nurse. These requests can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please expect a delay (approximately 24-48 hours) to receive a return call when trying to reach our nursing staff. Leaving multiple messages will further slow our staff and delay responses. We are dedicated to providing the best services to our community and are doing our absolute best to contact and follow up as quickly as possible while still providing a quality service to each individual.
Now is the time for the community and the leadership to help us fight this virus. We have worked hard to promote the message since April that we need to help slow the spread of the virus by washing our hands, wearing a mask, keeping 6 feet distance from others, staying home when you are sick, and sanitizing high touch surfaces. The message has not changed in 7 months, but the personal responsibility of following those recommendations has. The purpose of public health is to prevent, promote and protect. There is no complete prevention for this, but our best weapon right now is a face covering. We have promoted as much as our abilities allow. The health departments 11 employees have spent the last 8 months working tirelessly to protect our community, all while being told we are not doing enough. Your healthcare systems are being overwhelmed, your hospitals are struggling to keep staff, your health department does not have enough staff to follow the coronavirus cases, let alone continue to provide services in our other programs.
Your local health department is urging you to do what you can to limit the spread of this virus. It’s never been more important than now to do YOUR part. We need your partnership, COVID-19 is circulating in our community at a higher rate now than at any time previously in this pandemic. We are asking for the partnership of everyone to help slow the spread. We cannot stop this disease, but we can slow it down. Slowing it down is key to making sure we have the resources to protect the health and economy of our community. Please double down on masking, social distancing, handwashing, and staying home if you’re sick. COVID-19 can present in many different ways in people, so it is important we are watching closely for signs of illness.
General COVID-19 questions can be answered via the Ohio Department of Health call center at 1-833-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). General information can also be found at http://www.hardinhealth.org or http://www.coronavirus.ohio.gov as well as our social media channels.