Every resident of Franklin County should be very concerned about the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. What each one of us does can tip the scales in one direction or the other. Right now, what we are doing is tipping it in the wrong direction. If the current trends continue, we could see over 10,000 cases a day in Ohio in a matter of weeks. In our health jurisdiction, we have increased almost five times the number of new cases per day. The current number of cases are already taxing our public health system and we are very troubled about what may be around the corner as we enter the holiday season.
You hear talk about your “bubble” and that you should only be near the people in your bubble. Whether you realize it or not, your bubble is likely much bigger than you think, which you may not know as you go about your lives. New cases are skyrocketing, and a good number of those cases are from informal social gatherings, many times from within our own bubbles. Our bubbles need to get smaller if we are going to turn the tide and slow the spread of the virus.
Each one of us needs to recommit to set the example for our family, friends and coworkers. For now, please don’t go to gatherings of any size with people outside of your household. These types of gatherings are also where we are identifying many of these cases. We ask you now to stay home more, not just when you are sick. In addition, always wear a mask anytime you are with others outside of your home, keep a safe social distance from others and wash your hands often.
Franklin County is now on the watch list and is at risk of becoming “purple.” Our hospitals are filling up. Our employers are having trouble keeping staff on the job. Our schools are finding it challenging to keep educating our kids. Our community needs to dramatically change our individual behavior so that we can all get back to the things we need and want to do. We are all tired and want to get back to normal. But there is still more work to be done before we get there. Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to keep going. For up to date, local COVID-19 information, be sure to continue to follow us, share our social media platforms or visit our website often.
Joe Mazzola, MPA
Franklin County Health Commissioner