PORTSMOUTH-The Board of Scioto County Commissioners at their regular weekly meeting Tuesday morning approved a resolution declaring a state of emergency in Scioto County in response COVID-19 crisis.
According to Scioto Emergency Management Director Kim Carver the resolution formalizes the emergency situation that exists in Scioto County with community spread of the virus and the anticipation of the first confirmed case of COVID-19.
Ms. Carver added that the declaration is a paperwork requirement to be able to receive federal funds in largescale emergencies such as this.
Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Martin addressed the Commissioners and said that the declaration will help us communicate better and be able to be better informed. Dr. Martin added that while Scioto County continues to have no confirmed cases as of yet it is just a matter of time. Dr. Martin told the Commissioners that the testing turn around has been slow due to the tremendous amount of tests that are being done nationwide.
Dr. Martin, when asked why the local hospitals are not using the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) labs as requested yesterday by Ohio Governor DeWine, responded that ODH has very strict and cumbersome process to request testing so it has been quicker to use national commercial labs such as Labcorp.
Dr. Martin added that the local hospitals are preparing for expected surge in COVID-19 cases and increasing capacity to deal with the anticipated hospitalization of many patients that will come with the surge.
Dr. Martin said that we already have many powerful tools in place to fight the virus including the Stay at Home Order, washing our hands often, and using hand sanitizer when we can’t wash our hands, and continuing to practice social distancing.
Dr. Martin added that what measures that have been taken have help slow the spread of the virus. Dr. Martin estimated that if we hadn’t acted the state would be seeing some 8,000 cases reported per day.
Dr. Martin reminded everyone in Scioto county to continue to do everything they can to slow the spread and flatten the curve.