DOVER, OH — Faced with nearly one-in-five workers either sick with COVID-19 or in quarantine, the Tuscarawas County Health Department has canceled primary care appointments for the next two weeks.
Health officials made the decision Monday out of an abundance of caution.
"We want to protect our clients and patients so we have really scaled-back on our clinical operations here," said Environmental Health Director Caroline Terakedis.
She said essential functions at the health department, including COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, will continue.
The cancellation of clinical operations means about 60 appointments a day are now being rescheduled for sometime after December 4.
"Healthcare workers are not immune," said Terakedis. "We are at-risk just like everyone else. We live in the community and we are not immune to COVID. No one is."
The hope is that by postponing non-essential operations, it will give workers time to get healthy and resume services in two weeks.
"It’s very hard to not be able to do the things we love to do, to serve our community," said Terakedis. "And we, of course, want to get back to doing these things we love to do."
The health department is also asking people to reduce in-person visits to its Dover office.
Instead, the health department is asking people to call the office at (330) 343-5555.