By LINDA WOODLAND
It’s not here yet, but it’s coming.
“Dr. (Amy) Acton, the director of the (state) Department of Health said we need to be ready. With what they are seeing, Dr. Acton estimated that possibly 40 percent of Ohioans will get coronavirus. That’s their best estimate, but they wanted people to understand it’s a serious situation,” Beth Schweitzer, commissioner of Seneca County Health District said Wednesday afternoon in reference to Gov. Mike DeWine’s press conference earlier in the day.
“People need to make decisions about not gathering and in groups. And they stressed that everything seems very normal right now, but it’s going to come very fast,” Schweitzer said. “They did not advise closing schools yet, but be prepared. Administrators need to get their plans in place of what they’re going to do because people will need to be making decisions about what they are going to do.”
The Fostoria City School District is in the process of working on its contingency plan and that should be ready by Friday, the administration reported Wednesday.
Schweitzer reiterated the best way the public can prepare for the coronavirus onslaught is to go back to the basics.
“I think we need to follow those good hygiene guidelines. We need to know that there probably will be contagion within the community. They advise if someone has prescription medicines, to see if maybe they can get a couple weeks ahead, have enough for a couple weeks so that if they do have to remain at home, they will have that available,” she said. “But we still don’t want people to panic. We still want people to be logical about what they do. And those good hygiene practices are going to be our best bet. And avoiding crowds.”
The health commissioners said she anticipates the governor will be issuing stricter orders within the next 24 to 36 hours in regard to gatherings.
“I can’t predict what they will be, but, I think, it started as a recommendation but looking like there may be some actual orders coming,” she said.
In the meantime, Schweitzer said, stay calm.
“I don’t want people to panic. Again, be educated, go online, look at the websites that have the information and get updated. And, again, I can’t stress enough those good hygiene practices that are going to help prevent the spread.”
For more information on the coronavirus and how to protect yourself, visit: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19 or cdc.gov.
Woodland: 419-435-6641 ext. 236