We all have heard the somber COVID-19 coronavirus statistics for our state and nation.
The Ohio Department of Health director, Dr. Amy Acton, is projecting as many as 10,000 new coronavirus cases every day at Ohio's peak.
March 24 was the day we learned about New Albany's first positive COVID-19 test. The coronavirus is here in New Albany, and we must all do our part in this fight.
With the possibility of coronavirus fatigue setting in, now is the time to remain steadfast in our efforts to strictly maintain appropriate social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who is not an immediate family member.
By all means, continue to get outside to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, either by yourself or with your immediate family. Just do so responsibly, which means distancing yourself from others, not allowing your children to play on playgrounds and not holding any parties or play dates.
Community still connects us in New Albany, but now it is our collective action of social distancing that will allow us to gather again soon as the community we know and love. Until then, stay connected with friends through technology, and make sure your children are doing the same.
It also is a time to be great neighbors, whether it is people taking part in our community wave at 7 p.m. or calling or texting their elderly neighbors to see if they need anything. Remain connected, but just be smart about it.
Speaking of staying connected, I want to thank Superintendent Michael Sawyers for creating the local COVID-19 task force consisting of the New Albany-Plain Local School District, city and Plain Township staff members, Healthy New Albany and many medical professionals who reside in New Albany. This task force will continue to keep us updated with tips to keep you and your family healthy, with continued social distancing being the key to ultimate communitywide success.
What happens if you or a loved one falls ill? Know what to look for and what to do by self-monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19: a fever above 100.4 degrees, a cough and shortness of breath.
Call your primary-care provider if you think you may have coronavirus symptoms. Do not go to the emergency room unless your symptoms are life threatening (i.e., you are unable to breathe or you have a high fever that will not come down even with medication). If you make an emergency call for first responders, please tell them that you are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms so they can don proper personal-protective equipment.
Be sure to visit newalbanyohio.org/covid-19 for helpful information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and our local health partner, Franklin County Public Health.
Lastly, as a reminder, don't forget to stay true to the basics -- they work:
* Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
* Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry.
* Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
* Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
* Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
* Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surface areas in your home.
We are all in this together.
Sloan Spalding is mayor of New Albany.