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Greene County Public Health Implements Changes To Protect Employees And Public While Still Offering Services

In Local News on March 20, 2020 at 2:03 pm

GREENE COUNTY, OH – March 20, 2020 – Greene County Public Health officials have announced the suspension of all in-person services for three departments until further notice. It is imperative that we protect our employees from COVID-19 so they are able to continue to provide essential operations and services.

Here is what this means to our Greene County residents:

Vital Statistics Office (Birth/Death Certificates)

You may order a certified copy of a birth or death certificate record online using your credit card through our only approved Internet ordering service, VitalChek Network Inc. the link is available on the Greene County Public Health webpage at gcph.info/birth-death-certificates/

You may also apply for a birth or death certificate, by filling out the forms available on the Greene County Public Health webpage and mail it with a money order, NO CASH OR CHECK. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible. Plumbing Office To apply for a plumbing permit or plan review, fill out the forms available on the Greene County Public Health webpage at http://www.gcph.info/public-health programs/environmental_health/plumbing_inspection.

These forms can be mailed in with payment or dropped off in the locked box located outside the entrance doors of the Health Department. Plumbing inspections can be requested in the morning, Monday-Friday, from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. by calling 937-374-5677 or 937-374-5678. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible.

General Services

Anyone needing to submit plans for new/remodeled food businesses and/or food mobile operations must call 937-374-5607 to pre-schedule the submission of those plans. Unscheduled plan drop-offs will not be permitted at the Greene County Public Health office. Plan submission payments will only be accepted via check, money order or credit card; cash will not be accepted.

Additionally, until further notice, no face-to-face meetings to discuss your food plans will be permitted. We can address your questions or concerns via telephone, Skype, GoToMeeting, etc. If you need to pay for a food license, swimming pool/spa license, etc, it is preferable that these be mailed into the health district as opposed to dropping off your application at the health district. If you must bring your application/payment directly to the health district, you will not be permitted beyond the main lobby. Again, only checks, money orders or credit cards will be permitted. If you have any questions regarding these new procedures, please feel free to call Environmental Health Services at 937-374-5605.

Please visit our website at www.gcph.info for any changes to these procedures. Due to the nature of COVID-19, our procedures are subject to change. Should you need further information, please call our office at 937-374-5600.

For details on COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or cdc.gov. You can also call the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH which is open 7 days per week from 9:00am – 8:00pm.

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Contact: Laurie Fox, Public Information Officer March 20, 2020 937-374-5669/866-858-3588; lfox@gcph.info

Coronavirus and caregiving. Tips for keeping healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

In Children and Family, Health, history, National News, Politics, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on March 15, 2020 at 5:49 pm

(Reprinted by permission from the Old Nerd in the Gym Fitness blog)

As of the time of this writing, COVID-19, known as the Coronavirus, has become a pandemic and lives and countries affected are growing exponentially with no end in sight. As government and private medical resources scramble for a viable vaccine, Americans struggle with the idea of social distancing and isolation. Some of the most widely affected are those who care for others – medical professionals and, in our interest here, informal caregivers.

The isolation already felt by caregivers can be greatly exacerbated by further restrictions on respite time or visits from friends and family. It is difficult to know with whom people may have come into contact causes and the danger to your family member is unpredictable. Even in-home care providers create a higher risk for patients and their caregivers.

For those with family members in a nursing facility, there is now a greater feeling of separation. Nursing care guidelines have restricted visiting hours or cancelled them entirely for all but hospice patients. Whatever stress caregivers face on a day-to-day basis are now greatly multiplied.

During this difficult time it’s important that caregivers remember to practice additional self-care. Here are some tips that might help. 


Protecting Yourself and Your Charge

First and foremost is protecting yourself and your family member from potential infection. Nothing is failsafe, but there are things you can do to minimize the potential hazards and it all starts with factual information. (Here is information provided by the Washington State Department of Health)

How is the novel coronavirus that can cause COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within six feet of someone who is contagious for an extended period of time, and have droplets land on them. This is very different from airborne diseases like measles, so the public health response is different.

To reduce your risk of getting any viral respiratory infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

Dealing With Isolation & Monotony

It might be tough to battle the day-to-day monotony and isolation of caregiving but now it’s going to be even harder. Respite becomes all the more important but, with social safety restrictions and countless event and activity closings, it will be fleeting at best. Rest and diversion are vital to mental stability and calm. 

Exercise. Find exercises you can do at home. Most streaming services offer some type of free exercise videos you can follow. Yoga and meditation can help too, or just go outside and take a walk, even if it’s just around the house. If you can, take your charge with you. Avoid contact with others, but open air is good for everyone. Try to find something to get your heartrate up. 

Food. Be careful not to overeat. Ignoring the potential for supply shortages, if only to avoid the infection risk at the store, boredom will invite snacking and the potential to overeat. When you do shop, avoid buying chips or other unhealthy snacks and keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand. Citrus and other fruits will help to shore up your immune system. Provide the same to your family member if they’re able. 

Proper hydration is also a concern during these trying times. As has been mentioned many times in the Old Nerd articles and podcasts, staying hydrated is vital to health. Be sure to keep health drinks like low or no-sugar fruit juice and water.

Sleep. Proper rest is critical to mental and physical health alike. It’s difficult enough to rest when your mind is full of worry and fear as a caregiver. Now, adding the virus concerns sleep will be even more fleeting. Still, make every effort. Avoid screens within an hour or so before trying to sleep and don’t watch the news. Read a book you like or play a game with your charge or other household member. Do something to take your mind off of everything before you try to sleep. Build a routine around it and do your best to hold to it. 

KEY TIP: Avoid Social Media

It might seem, during such isolated times, that social media would be a great way to keep in contact with the outside world. But Facebook, Twitter and the like are far too full of false information, non-scientific nonsense and just flat-out negativity. None of this will be helpful to maintaining sharp mental focus and a calm emotional state. Turn it off. If you want to talk to family and friends pick up the phone or video chat so you can see and hear them. That will comfort you, not the ravings of crazy internet trolls. 

Hang In There.

Everyone must be in this for the long-haul. There is no vaccine for this disease yet in sight, but professionals are working hard. Follow the CDC guidelines and be careful. Proper hand-washing and advanced self-care will see it through. 

We will be releasing more advice and information as available. In the meantime, here are some resources that might help.

SOURCES & RESOURCES: 

CDC Definitions and Information on Quarantine and Isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/index.html

World Map of COVID-19 Infections:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/world-map.html

Women’s Health & Pregnancy Resources

Women’s Health Care Physicians Practice Advisory for COVID-19, ACOG

Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Guidance, CDC

Coronavirus Disease and Pregnancy, CDC

Guidance on Breastfeeding for a Mother with COVID-19, CDC

Drive Merry, Bright, and Sober This Holiday Season. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News on December 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

XENIA, OH — This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, part of Greene County Public Health is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. We’ll be working together to remind everyone of the importance of planning a sober ride home before heading out to enjoy the holiday festivities and en route to seasonal travel destinations. This holiday season and every day remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

“The holidays are a special time for every community, and it’s more important than ever for us to stress the importance of safe driving habits,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator and Health Educator at Greene County Public Health. “We know everyone is rushing around, finishing those last-minute errands and attending various holiday parties. But before you ever head out to the festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

According to NHTSA, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017, and 29% (10,874) of those fatalities occurred in crashes during which a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In fact, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017 alone. The holidays prove to be extra dangerous to drivers, as more people — drivers and pedestrians alike — are out on the roads.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem, for men and for women alike. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Remember: Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple.
Drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if the holiday celebration will include alcohol. The alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby.

This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, Greene County Public Health, and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Party with a Plan
First and foremost: Plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking. If you
plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously — your friends are relying on you.
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic
beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home
safely.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, report them by calling 1-800-GRAB-DUI or *DUI when it
is safe to do so.
• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get
your friend home safely.
For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit
https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunkdriving/holiday-season.

For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call 937-374-5683 or email jdrew@gcph.info.
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