Coronavirus: Clark County Board of Health issues 28-day stay-at-home advisory

A man carries his daughter into a business that requires masks. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
A man carries his daughter into a business that requires masks. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Clark County Board of Health has issued a stay-at-home advisory for all county residents for the next 28 days.

The advisory asks residents to only leave home for essential activities such as work, school, getting groceries or food and seeking medical care, Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said. The board also advises against “social gatherings, scheduling events designed to bring people together and traveling in and out of the state,” the resolution says.

It will begin Sunday and run through Dec. 27, which is two incubation periods for the coronavirus.

Montgomery County’s health department issued a nearly identical stay-at-home advisory this week to continue until Dec. 17.

Ohio set another new daily case record on Friday, with 8,808 cases reported between Thursday and Friday, according to ODH, beating the previous high of 8,071 cases set last week.

That’s the second time Ohio has recorded more than 8,000 cases in 24 hours. Over the last week, the state has recorded more than 7,000 cases for six out of the last seven days.

The Clark County advisory was approved Thursday by the board of health, according to Patterson.

“When you are not going to work and you are not going to school and you are not getting food or the necessities of life, the board wants you to consider staying home. Basically hunkering down for the next 28 days,” Patterson said.

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Information on the advisory has been given to all county businesses and government offices, but no one will be “policing,” the advisory,” Patterson said.

“Let me be very clear, it’s not a mandate. We are not shutting everything down,” Patterson said. “It’s advice to the citizens of Clark County and it comes in the form of a plea from the board of health for people to understand that the board is doing everything that they can do, so it’s not about what the board can do to control the virus. Hospitals are doing everything they can do. Medical providers are doing everything they can do to control the spread of the virus. At this point, it’s up to the citizens of Clark County to help us control the spread.”

The advisory was issued by the board because the county has continued to struggle with surging COVID-19 cases for roughly the last two months, Patterson said.

Between Nov. 13 and Friday the county saw about 500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from the CCCHD, and as of Friday, the county had seen 33 deaths in the month of November.

That means the month is on pace to eclipse October’s 41 deaths making November the county’s deadliest COVID-19 month — and Patterson said the county is anticipating even more deaths in the coming weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Clark County had 4,633 cases, 120 deaths and five probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The county is ranked 18th for the highest total number of COVID-19 cases out of Ohio’s 88 counties. The county’s positivity rate is roughly 11.5%.

“We’ve never had more cases of coronavirus than we have right now. We’ve never had more hospitalizations in Clark County for coronavirus than we have right now. We’ve never had more deaths happening from coronavirus than we have right now,” Patterson said. “So the stay-at-home health advisory, it’s advice.”

In total, Ohio reported 335,423 cases and 5,955 deaths on Friday, according to ODH. However, case data is incomplete due to “thousands of reports pending review,” ODH’s website says.

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