A message from the new city health director
To the great citizens of Salem and surrounding communities:
I would like to start by saying that I am truly honored to be appointed as the new medical director for the Salem City Health District.
Having been raised in Canfield, it has always been my goal as a physician to return locally and provide health care to the people in the surrounding communities that I grew up in. This is a unique time to be coming on as the new medical director. But I genuinely look forward to expanding my career into public health and meeting the challenges we face ahead. I would like to offer some information pertaining to coronavirus from a physician’s perspective.
With around the clock media coverage, restrictions on gatherings, various closures, and buzz words like “social distancing,” “quarantine,” and “pandemic curve,” it’s no wonder that we as a society are a little on edge and anxious over the coronavirus outbreak. To be certain, we should all be taking this emerging health threat seriously. This is a very contagious respiratory virus with the potential for critical outcomes – particularly in individuals who are more susceptible such as the elderly, immunocompromised, and in those who have underlying respiratory disease.
But we don’t need to panic. Health care professionals all over the country are implementing aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of this disease under the guidance of local, state and national health agencies. This is an unprecedented time in our medical offices, clinics and hospitals. A time for all personnel to rise to the occasion and care for the influx of patients who become seriously ill. With multiple community transmission cases in Ohio, it is believed that at least 1% of our population, in our case 100,000 people, already have the virus.
As a guidance, if you develop respiratory illness symptoms, first contact your primary care provider via phone for direction on how to safely and appropriately address your symptoms further. For milder symptoms, isolate yourself at home, implement supportive care measures and avoid unnecessary interaction with individuals in your home and in the community.
If you present with, or develop more serious symptoms such as high fever and difficulty breathing than proceed to the nearest emergency department (ED) immediately for further urgent evaluation and care – be sure to notify the ED prior to arrival and inform them of your symptoms due to the infectious nature of this respiratory virus.
We are all in this together, and together we will display the empathy and perseverance required to get through this pandemic.