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Harrison County providing PPE to agencies and individuals in need

CADIZ — The Harrison County Health Department has provided nearly 30,000 personal protective equipment items to area agencies.

Health Department Administrator Garen Rhome said the department has distributed around 27,000 pieces of PPE since May to county partners in an effort to keep residents, partners and health care workers safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rhome said the PPE went to Harrison Community Hospital, long-term care, hospice and assisted living facilities, along with EMS, fire departments and law enforcement agencies.

“This effort continues each day,” he said.

Additionally, the department provided hundreds of local residents with cloth facial coverings and coordinated with local volunteers throughout the state to distribute hundreds of cloth facial coverings to any resident in need.

“We’ve coordinated with volunteers throughout the entire area. We have people donating (cloth facial coverings) from across Ohio and locally as well,” Rhome said.

The department began aiding with the distribution of the cloth masks in April following Gov. Mike DeWine’s facial covering recommendation. In an effort to prevent the further spread of the virus, the department has been encouraging people to don cloth face masks when in public places.

“We wanted to make sure anybody who needed one or wanted one was able to get one for free,” Rhome said.

The masks can be obtained by contacting the HCHD.

Rhome said the aforementioned efforts are spearheaded by the Public Health Emergency Response program and are supported by all of the health department staff, as well as the county Emergency Management Agency and its director, Eric Wilson.

After nearly a month without any new coronavirus cases, the health department announced its 11th positive case last week. Rhome said the individual is over the age of 65 and is hospitalized.

Of the 11 reported cases in the county, nine individuals are now recovered.

Rhome said every coronavirus case involving an individual over the age of 65 has been hospitalized at one point following their diagnosis.

“Every single case we’ve had that was over the age of 65 has spent time in the hospital,” he said.

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