There are no new cases confirmed in Highland County. I think that’s a great way to open this press release. This isn’t to say we let our guard down. We still need to be staying at home, washing hands, covering coughs and observing social distances.

The new numbers have come from the Ohio Department of Health. We continue to climb and see more cases in our state. As of today, there are 704 confirmed cases. That’s up from 564 cases yesterday. Deaths increased from eight to 10.

A new metric they released today was the number of sick that require ICU care. That number stands at 75. The troubling statistic from today is that of the 704, 116 are healthcare workers. These are our front line people that we vitally need to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

We want to remind everyone of the Facebook live event scheduled for Thursday, March 25 at 3:30 p.m. It will be hosted on the Highland County Health Department’s Facebook page and will give Highland County residents the opportunity to ask questions of Health Commissioner Jared Warner, Emergency Management Director Dave Bushelman and Paint Creek Fire Chief Dave Manning, along with Public Information Officer Branden Jackman of the Highland County Emergency Operations Center. Please join in at 3:30 tomorrow to get local information for Highland County.

As we progress, more people we know and maybe even we ourselves will become infected with this virus. The symptoms are a dry cough, fever above 100.4 and trouble breathing. If you can manage your symptoms from home, stay home. When the symptoms get too bad, call your physician’s office. If you can’t reach them, call 911. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with the health care provider of your choice prior to showing up at that location.

This stay at home order is intended to make us use social distancing but doesn’t say we can’t enjoy this beautiful day with our families by going for a walk or taking the kids fishing. These are all acceptable activities within the governor’s stay at home order.

Remember how you felt on Sept. 12, 2001. Remember how it feels to have an outward focus instead of an inward one. Remember what it feels like to help someone in need.

President Trump stated he wanted to see us opening back up by Easter. That is truly up to us and how well we follow the mandates from the state. We can be getting better or we can be slipping deeper … it’s totally our decision.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Be nice.