Lull in COVID-19 a good time to prepare, not ignore the virus

While COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are dropping to levels last reported last summer, health experts in Ohio are saying now is the time to prepare for what’s next.

“This lull in viral activity is not a time for us to ignore the virus, rather it’s really a time to prepare,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. “It’s the best time for all of us to look at what we can to do put ourselves in the best position to deal with COVID-19 however it returns into our communities.

With vaccination offering the best protection against coronavirus, Vanderhoff encouraged people to get vaccinated or boosted.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the last of COVID-19 surges,” Clark County Combined Health District Assistant Health Commissioner Chris Cook said. “I think we need to face the reality that we can prepare by boosting ourselves.”

He also encouraged people to check on family and friends and make sure their vaccination is up to date.

Dr. Kevin Sharrett, Kettering Health medical director for rural health, added it’s important for health care providers to make sure the vaccine is accessible and easy for people, especially in rural areas, to get.

Kettering Health is offering the vaccine at its rural health clinic in Jamestown.

“The best time we have found to vaccinate somebody is right at the time of their visit,” he said. “We talk to them, they ask us questions about the vaccine, we answer the questions and if they make that decision at that moment it is so much more effective to have the vaccine right here and give it to them at that time.”

Now is also a good time to look at office spaces, places of worship, schools and other places people gather indoors and consider how to make those spaces safer, Vanderhoff said.

“It’s a great opportunity to look at what we can do to enhance ventilation and the safety of air we breathe,” he added.

Ohioans, especially those who are at an increased risk for the virus, may want to look at the type of face masks they own and upgrade them if necessary.

Cook added that people should continue to be aware of COVID symptoms and get tested if they feel sick.

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