Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper of Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County speaks during a coronavirus update Wednesday, March, 25, 2020.

Coronavirus: Montgomery County up to 14 cases, split evenly among men, women

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County and key community leaders gave an update Tuesday on the coronavirus situation during a daily press conference.

>> CORONAVIRUS: Complete coverage from the Dayton Daily News

Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said two of the seven  men and seven women who tested positive are hospitalized.

Dr. Michael Dohn, the health department’s medical director, said testing criteria changed over the weekend. Mild and moderate illnesses do not qualify for a test without any underlying conditions because there is a limited supply. 

Also, only positive results are reported to Public Health.

“It is going to be your physicians’s office that is going to get that result,” Dohn said.

He also warned to avoid rapid tests that have appeared in the market because those tests look for antibodies. They won’t show up for four weeks in a person’s body and don’t address what people may be experiencing now.

Cooper also warned of a scam affecting people in the county, saying that Public Health does not use text messages to notify people they were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

With the stay-at-home order in effect, the county agency is receiving about 200 calls a day, mostly from workers, seeking clarification on essential and non-essential businesses from the county’s line, 937-225-6217.

Public Health is in the process of compiling that information and will be contacting businesses to confirm the validity of the complaints, Cooper said.

Another issue addressed is the use of electronic cigarettes, or vaping, that has been blamed for lung injuries.

“Let’s make it clear that individuals, especially young individuals, who are using tobacco and vaping need to stop because we really don’t understand what may happen in the event that they are infected with this coronavirus,” Cooper said. “The public health message is no tobacco use, no vaping.

“And let’s make this clear as well, vaping shops are not an essential business operation, so they need to cease operation.”

 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said businesses are going through enormous challenges in less than a year, particularly those in the city’s Oregon District that was the site of a deadly mass shooting or those throughout the region that were damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

As  much as the stay-at-home order hurts the economy: “We have to put the priority on health,” she said.

Dayton Power & Light CEO Vince Parisi said as many people as possible are now working from home, including the customer call center that is still available for residents and businesses. 

“We are taking every step that we can,” Parisi said, to keep workers and the community safe.

He spoke the day after the utility announced that one of its workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Disconnections for nonpayment were suspended beginning March 13. However, Parisi warned of scammers asking for payments in 30 minutes under threat of disconnection.

“This is not us. We are not making those calls,” he said.

Sarah Hackenbracht, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, also spoke during the press conference.

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