Ohio Rolls out New COVID Quarantine Guidelines

Updated 3:52 p.m. Dec. 4 | Updated Pennsylvania numbers
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – For those who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health has issued new guidelines pertaining to quarantine.

During a video press conference Friday, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of ODH, outlined the two new guidelines, explaining that they pertain to individuals who aren’t showing symptoms, but have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Individuals who forego a test may quarantine for 10 days, rather than the 14 that was the standard, Vanderhoff said. For those who have no symptoms and get a test, they may quarantine for just seven days.

As “more scientific evidence” has come to light, the ODH says these options are sufficient for helping to mitigate the spread of the virus while easing the burden on the individual, he said. He believes the shorter quarantine options will make it easier for people to abide them.

“But quarantining only works when we actually stick with it,” he said. “It can be carried and transmitted by people even if they never show symptoms.”

The 14-day quarantine is still the ideal situation, particularly for those who are in a setting where potential spread would be significant, he said. Regardless of the option chosen, Vanderhoff said individuals should still be monitoring for symptoms during the full 14 days.

The announcement came on a day when the ODH reported 10,114 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, bringing the cumulative total to 456,963.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 11,763 new cases Friday, bringing the commonwealth’s total to 398,600.

It’s the fourth highest day of new cases reported in Ohio. The state also reported its highest number of COVID-related deaths in 24 hours with 129, bringing cumulative deaths to 6,882. ODH also reports 392 new hospitalizations for COVID-19, 33 of which are admissions to intensive care.

In Mahoning County, the ODH reports 9,296 cases, up 204 from Thursday with 715 hospitalizations, up three, and 305 deaths, up two. The county has had 1,710 cases over the past two weeks, according to Ohio’s ZIP code case map. The 44512 ZIP code, Boardman, leads with 275; followed by 44514, Poland, with 245; and 44515, Austintown, with 242.

The ODH reports 6,980 cases in Trumbull County, up 228 new cases from Thursday, with 585 hospitalizations, up 12, and 159 deaths, up four. There have been 1,339 cases in the past two weeks, led by the 44483 ZIP code, Warren/Champion Heights, with 222; 44484, primarily Warren/Niles, with 166 cases; and 44446, Niles/Girard, with 129.

In Columbiana County, the ODH reports 4,233 positive cases, 102 new from Thursday, along 329 hospitalizations, two more than reported yesterday, and 104 deaths, up one. There have been 673 new cases over the past two weeks, according to the state ZIP code map, led by 43920 – Calcutta – with 205 cases, and 44460 – Salem – with 112.

Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties are rated Red in the state’s color-coded Public Health Advisory System, indicating very high exposure and spread. All 88 counties in the state are at least Orange level, indicating increased exposure and spread.

Currently, Montgomery, Richland, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Stark and Lake counties are ranked Purple – the highest threat level – indicating severe exposure and spread and recommending that resident leave their homes only for supplies and services.

Of the total cases reported by Ohio Department of Health, 432,324 are confirmed. ODH reported 24,639 probable cases based on the CDC’s expanded case definition. Of the 6,882 total deaths, 6,431 are confirmed and another 451 are probable under the CDC expanded diagnosis definition. The 21-day reported case average is 8,306.

The ODH also reports cumulative 28,673 hospitalizations, of which 4,847 are intensive care admissions, up 33 since Thursday. The state reports a presumed 306,950 Ohioans have recovered after testing positive, up 8,618 since Thursday. Presumed recovered is defined as cases with a symptom onset date of greater than 21 days prior who are not deceased, according to the ODH website.

As of Friday, Ohio had conducted 6,324,803 tests. CLICK HERE for a map of testing locations in the state.

In Pennsylvania, 369,511 of the total cases in the commonwealth are confirmed, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and 29,089 are probable. There are 5,230 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the commonwealth, of whom 1,065 are in the ICU and 596 on a ventilator.

Pennsylvania also reports 11,113 total deaths, up 169 from Thursday.

Of all tests conducted in Pennsylvania, 2,893,321 were reported negative, the department reported Friday. With positive cases, 59% have recovered. If a case has not been reported as a death and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test or onset of symptoms, then the person is considered recovered, according to the health department’s website.

On Friday, the health department reported Mercer County has 3,285 cases, or 76 new cases since Thursday, and 57 deaths with 18,918 negative tests, while Lawrence County has 2,503 total cases, up 62 from Thursday, and 75 deaths, as well as 12,175 negative tests.

The figures are updated daily by the Ohio Department of Health at 2 p.m. and Pennsylvania Department of Health at noon.

For more stories on the coronavirus and its impact on businesses, both locally and nationally, go to our coronavirus news page here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.