TOLEDO, Ohio — Here is the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in Lucas County:
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department updated the number of COVID-19 cases in the county on Sunday afternoon.
The COVID-19 numbers for Lucas County for March 29, are as follows:
- 78 total cases
- 2 deaths
- 45 male cases
- 33 female cases
- The ages range from 22 to 98
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department updated the number of COVID-19 cases in the county on Saturday afternoon.
The COVID-19 numbers for Lucas County for March 28, are as follows:
- 75 total cases
- 2 deaths
- 43 male cases
- 32 female cases
- The ages range from 22 to 96
The county continues to stress that parks and open spaces are safe with social distancing but all playgrounds are closed and should not be used.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department says 11 firefighters and six police officers in Lucas County are showing symptoms of the coronavirus and are in isolation.
There are 24 firefighters who are in self-quarantine and are not showing symptoms and one firefighter who was assigned to office duty, has tested positive for the virus. Firefighters who came into contact with that firefighter are among those in self-quarantine.
Toledo, Lucas and health department officials are asking the public to please only share verified and accurate information to prevent false rumors.
In a press release, the health department addressed a false rumor that was shared on social media about a local nurse:
"A false rumor on social media stated a local nurse was tested for COVID-19, told the result was negative, and resumed working. The false rumor went on to say that the nurse was actually positive for COVID-19. The health department and the hospital that employs the nurse confirmed that the nurse was tested and that the results were indeed negative."
The COVID-19 numbers for Lucas County for March 27, are as follows:
- 50 total cases
- 2 deaths
- 30 male cases
- 20 female cases
- Age ranges from 22 to 80
Parks and open spaces are considered safe with social distancing however all playgrounds are closed and should not be used.
Community organizations discussed a new effort to help people locally with financial difficulties posed by COVID-19.
The announcement, at donateTLC's warehouse, addressed a collaborative effort to collect donations for those who are financially affected locally by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representatives from Lucas County, the City of Toledo, The United Way of Greater Toledo, and the Toledo Community Foundation were present.
American Interiors offered Lucas County Emergency Operations Center space for this donation center and distribution. The goal is to completely fill the giant room up with cleaning and personal hygiene products as well as personal protective equipment for first responders and health care workers.
This list of what to donate is on this website - donateTLC.org - and you can go there to learn how to donate and volunteer.
This warehouse will be open and collecting supplies until the virus is over.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department building at 635 North Erie St. is closed to the public until March 31 as two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and there are two others with presumptive positive tests.
Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski is in self quarantine out of an abundance of caution. He is asymptomatic. All staff working at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) began working virtually on Thursday. As of early Thursday afternoon, no in-person news briefing was planned by health department personnel.
The health department released its daily briefing via email on Thursday.
The COVID-19 numbers for Lucas County for March 26, are as follows:
- 25 total cases
- 2 deaths
- 16 male cases
- 9 female cases
- 5 travel-related cases
- 6 underlying condition cases
- The ages range from 29 to 77
As previously announced, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department building at 635 North Erie St. is closed to the public until Tuesday, March 31. Health department staff continues to work from home. Anyone with questions should call 419-213-4100.
For information on COVID-19, visit www.LucasCountyHealth.com.
The 24/7 Lucas County Community COVID-19 Call Lines Numbers are: 419-251-4000 (English only) and 419-291-5355 (multilingual).
The Ohio Department of Health website is www.Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Ohio Department of Health hotline is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
Tuberculosis Clinic appointments that are already scheduled as home visit tests will continue but new appointments cannot be scheduled until after at least April 6. All STD clinic appointments scheduled for tomorrow, March 27, are canceled and can be rescheduled after April 6.
As of Wednesday, there was a total of 23 cases of COVID-19 in Lucas County since the first case of the virus was confirmed. The total number includes two deaths.
Of the 23 cases, 16 patients are men and seven are women. Five of the total number of cases are considered travel-related and six patients have underlying conditions.
The Lucas County Health Department announced travel and underlying conditions numbers may not add up to the total number of cases because some cases may fit under both categories, while others may not fit in either.
The ages of the individuals with COVID-19 in Lucas County range from 29-77.
The health department will no longer release the number of individuals who are hospitalized.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department confirmed the second COVID-19 death in the county Tuesday.
Right now, Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said he cannot provide any details on the patient or circumstances surrounding their death.
Zgodzinski said the University of Toledo Medical Center is now the designated lab for COVID-19 testing and instead of a 10-day turnaround, they are looking at results coming out in 40 hours.
Dispatch calls and 911 Services
Fire chiefs from municipalities across Lucas County urged the community to use 911 services or make calls to dispatch responsibly.
Whitehouse Fire Chief Josh Hartbarger said because many forces around Lucas County are small, keeping their first responders healthy is a priority so they can keep serving. The public can help by using 911 services for true emergencies (related to coronavirus or not), taking care of themselves and washing their hands, as well as respecting the stay-at-home order, he said.
Toledo Fire Chief Brian Byrd asked the public to call the Lucas County hotlines (419-251-4000 or 419-291-5355) for any COVID-19 health-related questions instead of calling dispatch.
Byrd also said he wanted to assure the community they are responding to emergencies in the same capacity as before the coronavirus outbreak.
The good news, Byrd said, is that compared to February and the first half of March, incident calls are going down. He said they don't know if this is a coincidence, but it appears fewer incident calls correlate to Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order.
Sylvania Fire Chief Mike Ramm asked the public to not be alarmed when EMS personnel using personal protective equipment arrive at emergencies.
He added instead of the five or six first responders you would see arriving at an incident call, people will now see only one who will keep the 6-foot distance in order to assess the incident and call the appropriate resources.
Toledo Fire Chief Byrd said some firefighters and first responders have distanced themselves from their families as well as expressed concerns over the pandemic, although he couldn't provide details on how many or who they were.
Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski updated the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 10.
He said those cases are located in the western portion of the county in less populated areas. Patients' ages vary from 30 to 87 years old. Six out of the 10 are hospitalized and four had no known travel exposure.
Although there are no cases inundating the community, according to Zgodzinski, this is an issue throughout the county.
Zgodzinski reinforced that people can still go to the grocery and hardware stores, as well as go to the veterinarian's office and get gas - essential services will remain open.
However, he added the Lucas County Board-Commissioners is highly recommending public gatherings to be limited to 10 people or less and that people adhere to 6-feet distance, even when it comes to essential services.
Officials with Mercy Health, ProMedica, St. Luke’s, University of Toledo Medical Center and Toledo Clinic were present at the press conference, updating the public on the measures and decisions they have combinedly taken.
St. Luke’s Hospital President and CEO Dan Wakeman started off taking his mask off before talking. He said all facilities have been preparing for a situation like this for years.
He added that anyone who comes with symptoms at St. Luke’s is a person under investigation and once that happens, their priority is to make sure hospital staff and patients are protected.
ProMedica Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Dr. Brian Kaminski said all visitors and employees who come in in their facilities are getting screened.
Those who go into any of these facilities are asked if they have been tested for COVID-19 and if they have been coughing. If they say yes, they are asked to leave and if their answer is negative, their temperatures are taken, Kaminski said.
When it comes to test availability, Kaminski addressed the issue saying they have to prioritize who gets tested right now and they are testing patients in greatest need and first responders.
Kaminski added they have all canceled or postponed all elective procedures, and all non-essential doctor visits and diagnostic testing on March 14.
Toledo Clinic CEO Dr. Moshir Jacob said that telemedicine services have been expanded in all of their facilities, but not all insurance plans cover those services. Those who feel they need to see a doctor for whatever reason should call their doctors before going to the hospital, he said.
Mercy Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Kevin Casey went last and urged people who are healthy to donate blood to the Red Cross. The need for blood is dire, he said.
University of Toledo dorms
When asked about using the University of Toledo dormitories for quarantine, Zgodzinski said they have been talking with many community partners in order to prepare for what may happen in the future.
He said FEMA would reimburse them if there is a need to use the dorms as a quarantine area for first responders and people who might have been exposed to the virus but aren’t showing symptoms.
Zgodzinski also said they are still working with UToledo to finalize plans and they would only take this measure if necessary. It’s an attempt to predict what the community might need, he said.
Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context
WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit /coronavirus-covid-19 for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.
Protect yourself from coronavirus
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.