41 confirmed coronavirus cases in Dayton region

Forty-one people in the Dayton area are confirmed sick from the coronavirus outbreak, though public health officials continued to emphasize that this is only a small portion of the total number of people with the disease.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County Commissioner Jeff Cooper said Montgomery County has 12 cases that include six men and six women, ages 19 to 71. Public Health is contacting all of the people in these cases and then contacting their contacts so those exposed can also self-quarantine.

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Cooper said these numbers are going to continue to rise rapidly and “we need a state wide solution to recording those test results,” with the state, hospitals and private labs all doing testing.

“Obviously we have more COVID-19 cases than those 12. That’s just what we are made aware of,” Cooper said.

That’s why people need to stay six feet apart from each other — even when in lines at grocery stores or restaurants — and frequently wash their hands for 20 seconds. Anyone who is sick needs to stay home and the rest of the household, which could be infected, needs to stay home too.

Miami County has 23 confirmed cases and Warren County has five, according to Health Commissioner Duane Stansbury. Greene County has one case, according to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base officials.

Now that the state is only allowing essential businesses to operate, Cooper said they are working to make sure they are consistent in how they interpret who is an essential business when enforcing these orders.

Given the high number of calls to the Public Health information line at 937-225-6217, they are increasing the hours to Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

RELATED: Coronavirus stay-at-home order: What businesses are considered essential?

The crisis continues to also impact the local economy, leaders said at a Monday press conference.

Judy Dodge, Montgomery County commissioner, said that the Montgomery County Job Center is still closed to walk-ins though they are having scheduled appointments in designated areas and those areas have enhanced security. More information is at mcohio.org.

The county’s workforce development department is still working with companies that are hiring and those seeking more information should call 937-225-5627. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said that almost all evictions should not be happening during this crisis and people should not move out unless a law enforcement officer is present.

The city government itself is also feeling the financial strain. The city of Dayton is in a hiring freeze and Whaley said the city should have more information soon about furloughs.

As cases increase, so will the need for local capacity.

Sarah Hackenbract, president and CEO of Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said hospitals are working on a plan for how to have more capacity.

RELATED: Coronavirus stay-at-home order: What businesses are considered essential?

People with COVID-19 may need inpatient care and may need isolation, so hospitals are looking at how to internally handle a surge, such as looking at how to convert units and additional spaces in hospitals to have more bed space.

Regionally, they are tracking capacity and if needed have the ability to transfer patients to other hospitals in the region so no one hospital ends up overburdened.

“Similarly, if we find that it is necessary, we have the ability to look externally with non hospital partners, but who are also health care providers, to meet the needs of the communities health care,” Hackenbract said.

Finally, she said if necessary they have the ability to stand up a regional medical shelter.

“And so I really want to reassure you that these are active plans that we have available, and it is truly a matter of turning them into operational plans and those operations,” Hackenbract said.

Hospitals are working to conserve protective gear, such as masks and face shields, amid an international shortage. She said the public has reached out to member hospitals about how to help and whether members of the community can make surgical masks.

Some hospitals in other areas, such as Deaconess Health System in Indiana, have made headlines for asking the public to make masks using a pattern posted online and send the masks in for the health system to sanitize. Others have asked community members to donate any unused masks and other supplies to the hospitals.

Hackenbract said tomorrow the hospitals should have more information on how to help, such as how to help repairing elastic on broken N95 masks.

Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Testing continues

In Dayton, Premier Health is still operating a drive-through site at the UD Arena parking lot for collecting samples for testing. As of 3 p.m. Monday, there were 16 positive flu tests out of 56 flu tests administered. There were 75 COVID-19 tests administered and 10 people were turned away because they did not have a physician order, which is required.

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