March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults

NORWALK, Ohio— As we continue to learn new information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is apparent that the disease is heavily impacting adults 65 years and older. HCPH would like to re-emphasize the importance for this population to continue to follow the guidance provided through the Ohio Department of Health including social distancing recommendations and let our residents know that help is available.

As of March 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older and are estimating that 31-59% of adults 65-84 years old are requiring hospitalization for COVID-19. Of those requiring hospitalization, it is estimated that 11-31% are requiring admission to intensive care units and 4-11% die due to COVID-19. As these statistics are alarming, there are steps that residents can take to keep safe. HCPH is recommending residents in this age group to:

•Stay home as much as possible
•Wash your hands often
•Avoid touching your face
•Avoid crowds and close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick
•Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
•Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruises
•Utilize available hours for senior shopping at local retail stores (see below for details)
•Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family or commercial networks
•Have extra supplies such as groceries and medications on hand

As COVID-19 is spreading in Huron County, it is important that individuals contact their healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand for a prolonged period of time. If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications. Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms.

Huron County is aware that residents in this age group may need extra assistance during this time. Local resources are available. The Huron County Chamber of Commerce has created a website including local food services currently operating, local businesses that are participating in senior shopping hours, and businesses
that are delivering medications. Residents can access the Huron County Chamber of Commerce’s website at
https://huroncountycovid.com or call them at 419-668-4155. If you or a loved one is experiencing stress or anxiety regarding COVID-19, contact the Huron County Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) support line at 567-743-7155. The support line is available 7 days a week from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm daily.

HCPH is encouraging residents with a loved one in this age group to know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand, monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan, and stock up on non-perishable food to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores. If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

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Contact: Melanie Myers, Public Information Officer Huron County Public Health

28 Executive Drive Norwalk, Ohio 44857

Phone: 419-668-1652, ext: 234

mmyers@huroncohealth.com

Attachments: Press Release_COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults_

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