PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth City Health Department provided an update on the coronavirus Friday afternoon, detailing the renewed curfew and plans for the dissemination of the vaccine.
Scioto County remained at Level Three or “Red” on the Ohio Department of Health’s Public Health Advisory System, meeting three of seven indicators on Thursday, where Governor Mike DeWine also extended the 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. curfew until Jan. 2, 2021.
Concerning to the department was the severe exposure and spread of the virus, this week alone having three days with over 100 confirmed cases and four deaths according to PCHD and the Scioto County Health Department.
The curfew, which began on Nov. 16, does have several exceptions:
- Does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care.
- The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.
- Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10 p.m.
Fans will also be able to attend the upcoming NFL Monday Night Football games, the MLS Championship game in Columbus, and the University of Cincinnati AAC Championship game despite the curfew.
“To be frank, the biggest risk from these games is not the spectators who will be at the games and who will be following the safety protocols, but from other fans who may have the urge to gather with friends to watch these games inside w/out following mask/distancing protocols,” said DeWine.
Scioto County and Portsmouth City mass vaccination planning is going into effect, with the distribution beginning of the first shipments of the vaccine. While these vaccines are not mandatory, both PCHD and SCHD are hopeful that there will be high vaccination rates. This will save lives, restore the local economy, and quicker return to our normal in their opinion.
At this time, the Health Departments have received the following information:
- Pfizer is set to be approved for vaccine distribution soon, with Moderna set to follow quickly. Labeling and packaging could begin as soon as Saturday.
- Vaccines will be provided in phases. The first phase will include direct health care workers and long-term care facilities.
- Hospitals, long-term care Facilities and Local Health Departments will be receiving a limited number of vaccines, based on their size and needs, before the end of the year. Each week more vaccines will arrive in our community continuing into 2021 until everyone has the opportunity to be vaccinated.
It will still be some time before the availability of the vaccine can make a difference in the spread of this virus, the Health Departments said and again asked for vigilance, to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, and to stay at home as much as possible.
The Portsmouth City Board of Health will be holding a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. Information on how to join the Zoom conference can be found on the PCHD Facebook page.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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