Saturday, 14 March 2020 13:04

Summit County: Public Health Emergency & First COVID-19 Patient

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The first patient to test positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus in Summit County, is a woman in her 50s now being treated in a local hospital. Summit County Public Health officials not releasing any more details as to the identity of the patient, though they do say that it appears she contracted the illness in the community, and not as the result of travel, or from someone who had travelled to a Coronavirus hotspot.

In addition, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro declared a Public Health Emergency in Summit County, ordering all government agencies to coordinate Coronavirus response in accordance with the county's Emergency Operations plan.

More detailed information, and official press releases below.

Summit County Public Health on first confirmed COVID-19 patient, who is now hospitalized:

 March 13, 2020


Akron, Ohio – Summit County was informed today of the first patient confirmed with COVID-19. The patient is a female in her 50s and is currently hospitalized. The patient had no known travel associated risk or known exposure to someone infected with the virus. Therefore, this is most likely the result of spread of the virus in our community.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda wants to emphasize SCPH will not be releasing any additional demographic information relating to our case. We want to protect the privacy of the individual, and will we be working on contact tracing and will be in touch with anyone who needs to take action.

Please remember these simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of viruses:

 Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based hand

sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

 Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands)

 Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

 Clean high touch surfaces frequently – phones, doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, etc.

 If you have any signs of sickness, stay home!

As this disease spreads, SCPH supports the directive and recommendations of Governor Mike Dewine and Dr. Amy Action, ODH Director to ban mass gatherings and to limit unnecessary exposures. While challenging, limiting the community’s exposure to this disease will make a lasting impact on reducing deaths associate with the virus.

SCPH has been actively involved in planning/coordination efforts with our partners throughout the county to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. With the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC we will continue to update Summit County residents with new information as it becomes available.

General public questions can be answered by calling:

SCPH call center Sat/Sun 9a-3p and M-F 9a-5p - 330-926-5795 OHD call center 7 days 9a-8p - 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

Summit County Public Health Emergency Declaration

DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR SUMMIT COUNTY WHEREAS, on this 13th day of March 2020, the life, safety and welfare of the residents of Summit County may 

be at risk due to the infectious respiratory disease identified as the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and, 

WHEREAS, COVID-19 presents a threat to our community, as individuals in Northeast Ohio have been positively diagnosed with the disease. The danger of serious illness exists, primarily for elderly and the immunocompromised population. Additionally, the collateral effects of the disease present serious financial concerns for businesses; and, 

WHEREAS, local resources in the area affected by these events have been or are likely to be exhausted and capabilities exceeded; and, 

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-01D, declaring a State of Emergency in Ohio to protect the well-being of Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19. The Ohio State of Emergency allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response and the County of Summit must also engage in that effort. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ilene Shapiro, County Executive of Summit County, Ohio, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Charter of Summit County, and the laws of the State of Ohio and Summit County, and by virtue of the Ohio Emergency Management Act, do hereby order and declare a Public Health Emergency within the County of Summit. 

I further order and declare that all departments and agencies, charged with response activities under the Summit County Emergency Operations Plan, are hereby directed to take appropriate actions, in the best interest of Summit County residents until the conclusion of this emergency and pursuant to the Ohio Emergency Management Act. 

I further order and declare that all available emergency relief efforts be coordinated through the Summit County Emergency Operation Center to provide appropriate assistance and coordination for required emergency measures to save lives and ensure the public health and safety in the County of Summit. 

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