Commissioner Driehaus: 'Uneven Application' Of Stay-At-Home Order Is 'Challenging'

Mar 27, 2020

As of Friday at 2 p.m., there are 63 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County. Five of those patients are hospitalized, and there have been no fatal cases in the county.

Commission President Denise Driehaus has been holding a daily briefing with reporters to provide updates on the county's response to the coronavirus.

Driehaus, in her remarks, had two requests from local hospitals.

"First, if you have a minor ailment or injury, do not go to the emergency room. Go to your primary doctor or call your primary doctor or urgent care," Driehaus said. "Second, delivery wards are safe for pregnant women. There have been a few women who have elected to stay home and had unplanned home births, which we would like to avoid."

The commissioner said the public can continue to do its part by following the stay-at-home order. She said there's evidence it's working to slow the spread of the virus.

Driehaus said the Hamilton County Health Department has been "overwhelmed" with phone calls from businesses who don't understand the statewide stay-at-home order.  She said there's no statewide approach and local health departments are interpreting the order differently. 

Driehaus said she shared her concerns with the governor and lieutenant governor during a conference call Thursday.

"The uneven application of the stay-at-home order has been very challenging, and that our local health department now is becoming overwhelmed because of some of the confusion that's been created," Driehaus said. "We are pleading with them to create a statewide hotline that can be utilized by everyone throughout the state of Ohio, so that we have consistent application of the stay at home order."

Driehaus said essential county services are continuing even though many employees are working remotely.  She noted the county's Job and Family Service Department is responding to a nearly 100% increase in food assistance applications.