Champaign County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to a total of 6 as of Friday, according to the Champaign Health District. The county’s fatality total remains at 1.
Meanwhile, the economic toll of the state’s mandated social distancing and stay-at-home order continues to mount in Ohio as Easter weekend arrived. More people in need are turning to food banks to fill the gaps in essential household resources.
The 837th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the Ohio National Guard assisted the Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign & Logan Counties by distributing food relief at their “Drive Thru Pantry” on Friday at the Champaign County Fairgrounds. Ohio’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order is causing dramatically higher need for assistance to individuals and families who are still awaiting unemployment benefits to be processed and paid.
The food bank announced it distributed nearly 10,000 pounds of food on Friday to approximately 200 families who are in need. In Urbana, the food bank does this every Friday from 10-11 a.m. at the Champaign County Fairgrounds for families that are 230% below the Federal Poverty Level. However, officials at the food bank said anyone who has a need despite being outside the income guidelines should still apply for help.
For more information on guidelines and other drop-off locations throughout the county, visit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign & Logan Counties on social media.
No CCPA tour this year
Organizers of the Champaign County Preservation Alliance’s annual Historic Home & Garden Tour announced on Friday they have canceled the event this year due to the pandemic. Further details about the decision and supplemental fundraising efforts to replace the tour will be printed in the Urbana Daily Citizen next week.
Don’t fear the mail
COVID-19 has changed many daily routines, but delivering mail and packages is not one of those changes. To help keep the public and employees safe during this time, the Postal Service is adapting delivery procedures to promote social distancing. USPS continues to follow the strategies and measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments.
If a delivery requires a signature, carriers will knock on the door rather than touching the bell. They will maintain a safe distance, and instead of asking for a signature on the mobile device, they’ll ask for a name. The carrier will leave the mail or package in a safe place for retrieval.
Customers shouldn’t approach a carrier to take a delivery, instead allowing them to leave the mailbox area before collecting it. Most schools are not in session and children should also be encouraged to not approach a postal vehicle or carrier.
The United States Postal Service includes more than 600,000 employees in processing, transporting and delivering mail and packages for the American public. “Providing a vital public service is part of this nation’s critical infrastructure,” according to information from the Postal Service.
The Postal Store is the online destination for purchasing stamps, shipping supplies, and other products. Visit usps.com, anytime, 24/7. As added convenience, customers can access www.usps/com from their desktop, smart phone, or other mobile device.
For customers who prefer to pay by check, USPS offers Stamps By Mail. Customers use the order form delivered to their homes or available from their letter carrier.
Additional preventive steps taken by USPS include:
-Ensuring millions of masks, gloves and sanitizing products are distributed and available to employees.
-Distributing sanitizing and cleaning product to more than 30,000 locations every day through the Postal Service supply chain.
-Reinforcing workplace behaviors to ensure that contact among employees and customers reflects the best guidance regarding healthy interactions, social distancing, and risk minimization. Measures have been implemented at retail facilities and mail processing facilities to ensure appropriate social distancing, including signage, floor tape, and “cough/sneeze” barriers.
All cleaning occurs in a manner consistent with CDC guidance relating to this pandemic.
Important note: The CDC, WHO, as well as the Surgeon General have indicated there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through mail or packages.
FDA approves COVID-19 innovations; Ohio State Medical Center to share nationwide
The Food and Drug Administration has approved solutions created by scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center that both expand and accelerate COVID-19 testing across Ohio.
Health systems worldwide have struggled because of the critical shortage of test kit components, including the swabs used to collect samples and the sterile solution needed to transport the swabs. The testing kits include the swabs and vials filled with a liquid called viral transport media (VTM).
Recognizing the threat, a rapidly assembled team of Ohio State researchers worked overnight and, within 24 hours, created an in-house “recipe” to make the crucial VTM. Essentially, it’s a salt solution buffered in the way necessary to stabilize the virus.
In addition, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, working with faculty and staff in the university’s colleges of Engineering and Dentistry, have created and 3-D printed more than 50,000 new swabs for COVID-19 test kits that will be shared with hospitals across Ohio, which will allow more people to be tested.