Ohio Department of Health asks residents to follow steps to slow coronavirus spread

Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 16:44:47-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During a news conference with Governor Mike DeWine on Friday, Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health reiterated ways that the public can help to slow the spread of the coronavirus to give health officials more time to treat ill patients.

Acton laid out four “interventions” that are being used.

  • If you are sick, just stay at home and isolate yourself.
  • If you someone in your home is sick, stay home and self-quarantine.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay at least six feet away from people and avoid mass gatherings. Currently, gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned by the Governor’s office through an order issued on Thursday.
  • Schools have been ordered closed for three weeks starting on Monday. During this time, schools are urged to continue to educate students through remote classes or other means. While not currently closed, daycares are being looked by the state and could be closed at some point in the future. Parents with children in daycare are asked to consider removing their children from daycare facilities as a precaution.

Acton described each intervention as a layer of Swiss cheese. If you look at each layer individually, you can hold up the cheese and see that it has holes in it. But if you stack the layers on top of each other and hold them up—many of the holes will be covered by different layers.

There are currently 13 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Ohio. You can read more about those cases, here.

State health officials are looking at data about community spread and say there could be a peak in cases in late April to mid-May. According to Acton, the state is estimating that around 40% to 70% of Ohio’s population could become infected. That’s why health officials say it is extremely important to slow down the transmission of cases and slow the infection rate to give hospitals and medical professionals time to effectively treat patients without being overwhelmed.

The below graphic illustrates this:

Coronavirus COVID-19 treatment curve.jpg
This curve shows how slowing the spread of COVID-19 will help hospitals treat patients.

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