Now that we are more than a week into October, we may start to see some of our concerns come to fruition. For several weeks now, Franklin County Public Health, as well as our state and federal public health partners, have been concerned about how the fall season might present some significant challenges. After several weeks of declining cases, it appears that progress has stalled for our health jurisdiction. We are starting to see a small increase in COVID-19 cases locally, and we are seeing a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations across the state.
Here locally, we continue to see the leading demographic of new cases between 19-29 year-olds. A large number of these cases are tied to social gatherings and large events which adds concern as these activities move indoors. This kind of spread has been highlighted by Dr. Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, as well as from experts in various op-eds. As Dr. Birx recently said, “what we did in the spring is not going to work in the fall.”
So as the weather changes and people decide to come inside for those activities, we must be cautious when doing so. We ask our residents to limit those indoor gatherings and to continue to remain vigilant by wearing masks and practicing social distancing even when with your friends and family.
The theme we want to emphasize is that our actions across our community will continue to impact our opportunity to get back to or stay in school, work, worship and play, so let’s all continue to take the necessary precautions. We also ask our residents to get their flu shot as another precaution to keep themselves and their families healthy.
Joe Mazzola, MPA
Franklin County Health Commissioner