Coronavirus: Montgomery County has 1st death; Health officials to visit 250 businesses

Montgomery County has its first death of 35 confirmed coronavirus cases.

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There are 20 women and 15 men who have tested positive for COVID-19, with five who are hospitalized, Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County said during a Monday afternoon daily press conference on the coronavirus situation.

“We are anticipating a surge in the next several weeks,” he said.

Cooper would not release any further information about the death. However, the patient who died was a man 80 or older, according to Ohio Department of Health online data.

An update is that golf courses and lawn care businesses may operate. Mowing is permitted but landscaping is allowed on commercial  properties only. The state provided guidance in these cases, Cooper said.

Public Health received calls, mainly from employees, regarding approximately 250 workplaces.

Cooper said each business has been ordered to submit by the end of day April 1 information that they meet the definition of an essential operation. They also must provide documentation on how they comply with social distancing to keep workers safe, including enhanced cleaning, expanded sick leave and allow employees to work from home as much as possible.

Public Health workers, which will have identification and an emergency response vest, will visit all 250 businesses to ensure compliance, Cooper said.

“We know that physical distancing works,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Also speaking was Jane Keiffer, executive director of Artemis Center, which provides domestic violence treatment and help.

“Now more than ever we have our survivors being isolated,” Keiffer said.

In many cases, survivors are living with their abusers. Keiffer encouraged others to call and check on anyone they may know in this situation, to ask if they are OK.

The state is on a stay-at-home order, but “survivors are allowed to leave their homes if it’s not safe,” Keifer said.

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