The Champaign Health District on Wednesday afternoon announced the county has its second confirmed case of COVID-19. The case was not reflected in the state’s count, which closes its tally earlier in the day.
Ohio had 704 confirmed cases as of Wednesday at 2 p.m., 10 deaths in the state, 75 admissions to intensive care units and 182 hospitalizations. Nearly 15,000 Ohioans have been tested, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Blood donations needed
Blood shortages are an immediate concern, according to the county health district.
The American Red Cross now faces a severe shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. In Ohio, 695 blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in 19,962 uncollected blood donations.
Blood donation is considered an essential service to ensure the health of the community and is listed as an exception in the state order, according to the health district. While everyone is being asked to avoid mass gatherings, it’s very important to note that blood drives are not considered “mass gatherings.” Blood drives are controlled events with trained staff and appropriate safety measures to protect donors and our staff.
The Red Cross remains open to take blood donations and people are encouraged to continue to donate blood so hospital patient care can continue.
To schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross, visit RedCrossBlood.org, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Local United Way helps Champaign, Logan, Madison counties
United Way has created the Clark Champaign Madison COVID-19 Community Fund.
This fund is created to specifically address the most pressing needs that are occurring in all three counties they serve.
As with all United Way funding, the monies raised in each of the three communities stays in each of the three counties.
Their first priority in distributing the dollars received in Champaign County would be with Caring Kitchen, Second Harvest Foodbank and food banks that may be in need. The website is www.uwccmc.org/covid-19-community-fund.
News from the state level
Of Ohio’s more than 700 cases, 116 are health care workers. A handful of long-term care centers are being called hotspots for cases.
The state Controlling Board on Wednesday added $15.6 million to the Ohio Department of Health’s budget to provide supplies to front-line healthcare workers. The bipartisan legislative board approves a wide variety of state spending.
The state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers. The Health Department said people with suspected symptoms should call a medical provider first, but seek immediate help if symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The median age of confirmed cases in Ohio is 51, with a range of 1-94 years old.
Enforcement of orders
Ohio’s two U.S. attorneys and Attorney General Dave Yost promised swift action including criminal charges against doctors found to have been improperly prescribing the drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 for patients who don’t have a positive test.
The state is cracking down on companies violating the governor’s “stay at home” order, which limits business operations to those providing essential services.
“Enforcement is coming. We can’t have people who are violating this. Because it’s not fair,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
About 1,500 child care centers and family homes have been approved to date under a special license to care for the children of first responders, health care workers, children service workers, and other workers deemed essential. All others must close today. An emergency relief bill passed Wednesday allows the state to continue paying providers at any publicly-funded child care centers that are shut down.