On Nov. 19, Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health released the updated map for the Ohio Public Health Advisory system, which indicated that Perry County has been upgraded to a risk level 3 – red.

“Risk Level 3 indicates very high exposure and spread. Activities should be limited as much as possible and all current health orders and Ohio COVID-19 guidelines should be followed,” Perry County Health Commissioner Angela DeRolph said in a news release. “Perry County has increased to a risk level 3 because the following indicators were triggered on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System: New cases per capita, new cases increase, non-congregate cases, emergency department visits, and out-patient visits.”

Residents are asked to follow all health orders, which can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov, limit activities as much as possible, and follow the Ohio COVID-19 risk level guidelines. All residents are advised to consider necessary travel only such as leaving home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.

Residents are advised to limit meetings and social events to 10 individuals, and this advice applies to both indoor and outdoor events, birthday parties, and other events that may occur at a banquet hall, event venue, or within their home. Residents should follow the statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. that took effect on Nov. 19, and is in effect for 21 days. The curfew will not apply to those going to or 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 a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m.

Residents should continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non- household members. Residents should also continue to follow good hygiene standards including: washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer frequently, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands, and clean high touch surfaces frequently.

Businesses shall continue to follow the social distancing requirements and shall post signage outlining face-covering requirements at all public entrances to the store. The business is responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks. Employers are strongly encouraged to identify and accommodate as many employees as possible to work from home during this time and ensure they are prepared to accommodate employees who may need to isolate or quarantine.

Residents that are exhibiting any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should shelter in their place of residence. They should not go to their workplace or congregate setting and shall only leave their place of residence to seek necessary clinical care. COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to, new onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, body aches, or unusual fatigue. A list of available testing sites can be found at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid- 19/testing-ch-centers.

Residents diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from the date of their symptom onset, or from the date of test collection (until you are not experiencing symptoms). In the home, sick or infected individuals should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom, if available.

Residents that have been identified as a contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 should quarantine for one full incubation period (14 days) from the date of last contact. Individuals in quarantine should stay home, separate from others, and monitor their health by taking their temperatures twice daily and documenting potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Residents who are either confirmed positive or a close contact should not wait to hear from the health department and immediately follow the guidance as described. Information about isolation and quarantine can be found on the Perry County Health Department’s Facebook page.

General COVID-19 Questions can be answered by calling: ODH Call Center: 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK- ODH) 7-days 9AM-8PM. Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov as the Ohio Department of Health updates their numbers every day at 2pm and has helpful information regarding COVID-19. Also, visit Perry County Ohio EOC YouTube Channel or the Perry County Health Department’s Facebook for information.

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