ODH director thanks Koester employees, public health


COLUMBUS — Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton spoke on the COVID-19 situation at UVMC’s Koester Pavilion nursing home during Gov. Mike DeWine’s daily press conference on Friday.

Acton thanked those all those working on the Koester outbreak for their hard work and dedication.

“I really want to take a moment to talk about the incredible work that is being done around the nursing home in Miami County and to the work being done by the local health department and Health Commissioner Propes and his colleagues in nearby counties,” Acton said.

Acton said she understand the fear, not only the workers, but the families of residents are facing at this time.

“This is a difficult situation, and I want to speak a bit about our front line health care workers. The folks who work in nursing homes. I can imagine how fearful it is, and how afraid families are when you hear of an outbreak where someone you love is,” Acton said. “The people who are doing this work are going to be exposing themselves to COVID, and they are still coming and going to work. These are the every day heroes that we are talking about.

“I’ve heard stories of these folks on the front lines. These are the folks that work in nursing homes that are facing some stigma just because people know that they work in a nursing home. It is just the opposite. These people are following all the rules we have set for them. We need to thank them every second. We need to help them keep doing there job,” she said.

Acton implored people to push through fear and to continue to reach out and help those affected in Miami County.

“It is so vitally important, especially in a situation where people are scared, as in this particular location, that we bolster everything. That we drop off more food. I heard a sad story of a bakery delivery that was stopped out of fear. That is the opposite of what we should be doing. That is not science, that is fear,” Acton said. “We need to make those deliveries. We need to deliver that food. We need to encircle that community with all the help we can give them.

“I want to thank everyone out there on the front lines of what is our first nursing home cluster,” Acton concluded.

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