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AOHC COVID-19 Respond, Re-Open and Recover

 Association of Ohio Health Commissioners (AOHC)


Respond, Re-Open and Recover

Ohio is fortunate to have a competent and committed public health system which includes healthcare, education, business, university, non-profit and other public sector agencies. Ohio’s decentralized governmental public health system allows the 113 local health departments (LHDs) to administer the programs and services to protect and improve the health of our state. To date, Ohio has “passed” the COVID-19 test demonstrating strong state and local leadership taking aggressive steps to minimize the spread of the disease. Locally, LHDs are leading their community’s efforts by engaging with partners and municipalities, implementing state guidance, notifying and quarantining close contacts of all confirmed COVID-19 cases (contact tracing) and communicating with our residents the latest information. As we move forward, AOHC is committed to supporting and informing the state’s guidance and leading our local efforts to ensure we continue our strong momentum. In order to do that, AOHC is offering a vision to achieve three goals to protect the citizens of Ohio.

Goal 1: Continue a state and local coordinated response to the pandemic May 1-through successful completion of mass vaccination effort:

  • Testing- Expand PCR commensurate to ensure residents in all three tiers are tested
  • Contact Tracing- Scale staffing needs and expectations as identified by ODH/LHD workgroup
  • Public health messaging- Maintain core messages regarding stay at home, social distancing, face coverings and employer guidance
  • Surveillance- Create a more robust dashboard which includes a set of indicators such as ILI, immunity testing and screening
  • Communication- utilize consistent messaging developed jointly between state and local public health experts and issue local messages in alignment

Goal 2:  Inform the Responsible Ohio Reopen initiative: May 1- Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Guidance should have uniformity and consistency relative to roles, responsibilities and distribution channels
  • Focus on the most vulnerable - workers, seniors, veterans, minorities, co-morbidities
  • Businesses should be asked to attest that they can meet the social distancing requirements
  • Utilize a joint subcommittee of state and local public health experts (AOHC/ODH) in creating the guidance to help our members and the businesses in their communities

Goal 3: Create the conditions for long-term recovery: 2020-2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already begun to exacerbate the social determinants of health including employment, transportation, housing, education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, ACES and technology. As a public health system, the state should coordinate its planning in poverty, economic development, addiction and early childhood education as well as invest in more public health workers to assist residents in overcoming these challenges.

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