Re-opening the economy & COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Re-opening the economy

Health officials are warning states not to reopen businesses or allow large gatherings too quickly, for fear of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. But governors are under pressure to stimulate local economies that have been hit hard by closures. Many states plan a phased approach to reopening in an effort to balance priorities. - The Hill

As of Monday morning, there were more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 79,000 deaths in the U.S.

The moves to reopen come as U.S. employers cut 20.5 million jobs in April, a record-shattering number that pushed unemployment to 14.7 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression. Several states who have not given timelines for reopening have faced growing unrest. - Fox


Ohio’s stay-at-home order is extended until May 29. Elective surgeries resumed May 1. Manufacturing, construction, and "general office environments" can reopen May 4. Retail services can resume May 13 with restrictions. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has not announced dates for reopening dine-in restaurants or salons. Schools are closed through the rest of the academic year.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Contact tracing involves identifying people who are likely to get sick because of being in contact with those who have tested positive. Contact tracing is an important part of us going forward in reopening.

The following describes the contact tracing process that will take place should you start to feel ill.

1. You call your healthcare provider and they may decide to test you for COVID-19 if you are exhibiting the symptoms. While you wait for the test results, you stay home and isolate yourself from others.

2. If you test positive for COVID-19, your healthcare provider will call you to let you know that you tested positive. They will notify the local health department, who will then notify the Ohio Department of Health so that the case is added to the state’s data. During this time, you continue to stay home and isolate yourself.

3. Next, a public health worker who is performing contact tracing will reach out to you to voluntarily talk and create a line list that is made up of who you have been in contact with. This traces who you may have come into contact with and may have been exposed to the virus.

4. While you are still home and isolating, the public health worker who is conducting the contact tracing is in contact with those who you may have been around and may have been exposed. Those who have been exposed will self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms for cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If they show no symptoms, after 14 days, their quarantine lifts. If these individuals do begin to show symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider who may tell them to go and get a test.

Answers to your COVID-19 questions

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Mental Health counseling

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616

OhioMHAS Help Line 1-877-275-6364

Ohio's Strive for Five Challenge

The challenge is simple: find five people in your life and check-in with them every day for the next 30-days.

Ohio's Strive for Five Challenge is a new, statewide awareness campaign to help individuals and families cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation by connecting with others.

You are encouraged to reach out, connect, and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing. Peer-to-peer support has great power in helping to calm anxiety and fear. By reaching out via phone, text, email, or even a hand-written note, you can help.

The Strive for Five Challenge was developed by the New York Coalition for Behavioral Health and brought to Ohio by the Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County.

COVID-19 Checklist for Talking To Kids

The COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming for parents and concerning to children. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, recommends that parents and others who work with young people strive to help them feel understood, empowered, and hopeful. She offers the below guidelines.

· Remind children that doctors and healthcare workers are learning as much as they can about the virus as quickly as possible and are doing what they can to keep everyone safe.

· Reassure children that they are safe. Let them know it is OK if they feel upset.

· Help children label strong emotions and understand how those emotions might drive them to act in unhelpful ways.

· Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope. Help them discover what works for them to address stress (activities that build skills versus activities that help them escape).

· Limit children’s exposure to media coverage of the pandemic. Discuss what they are hearing on the news or through social media and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc.

· Discuss ways to maintain a sense of structure. See Setting a New Routine.

· Ask children about their ideas for connecting remotely with friends and family members. Encourage contact through electronic communications, phone calls, letters, and other safe ways to engage.

· Discuss examples of people, including young people, who are trying to help others during the pandemic or sharing messages of hope. Participate in community response, such as chalking the sidewalk, creating rainbows, or hanging hearts in windows. Set a good example by showing empathy and support to those who are ill.

· Remind children that lifestyle changes and stressors are temporary and that some sense of normalcy will return when it is safe.

· Discuss with children the importance of washing hands often, coughing into a tissue, and getting enough sleep. Inform them of COVID-19 symptoms.

What is COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold.

The virus is now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.


Signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may appear two to 14 days after exposure. This time after exposure and before having symptoms is called the incubation period. Common signs and symptoms can include:

· Fever

· Cough

· Tiredness

Other symptoms can include:

· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· Muscle aches

· Chills

· Sore throat

· Loss of taste or smell

· Headache

· Chest pain

This list is not all-inclusive.

If you have emergency COVID-19 signs and symptoms, seek care immediately. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Emergency signs and symptoms can include:

· Trouble breathing

· Persistent chest pain or pressure

· New confusion

· Inability to wake or stay awake

· Blue lips or face


Although there is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following these precautions for avoiding COVID-19:

· Avoid large events and mass gatherings.

· Avoid close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.

· Stay home as much as possible and keep distance between yourself and others (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness. Keep in mind some people may have COVID-19 and spread it to others, even if they don't have symptoms or don't know they have COVID-19.

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

· Cover your face with a cloth face-covering in public spaces, such as the grocery store, where it's difficult to avoid close contact with others, especially if you're in an area with ongoing community spread. Only use nonmedical cloth masks — surgical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers.

· Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

· Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other household items if you're sick.

· Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, and counters, daily.

· Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you're sick unless you're going to get medical care. Avoid public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing if you're sick.

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