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COVID-19: Continuing Coverage

Welcome to our continuing media team coverage of COVID-19

In this series, you will find news stories and informational resources featuring OhioHealth physicians, nurses and other clinical experts who are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio while educating our community.

ABC6: Should Kids Stop Wearing Masks?

As mask requirements lift in many places for fully vaccinated people in Ohio and around the county, many parents are wondering what that means for children under 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Does this large portion of the population still need to be wear masks in public?

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NBC4: Is It Appropriate to Ask Friends and Family If They Have Been Vaccinated?

According to the CDC, it is safe for those people who have been fully vaccinated (two weeks past receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks past their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) to gather together indoors and unmasked in small groups. So now comes time for an etiquette question: is it appropriate to ask people if they are fully vaccinated before getting together? Continue reading

10TV: Questions to Ask Before Sending Children to Summer Camp

Last summer, many children missed out on attending summer camp as there were so many uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this summer, things look a little bit different with case numbers decreasing and Ohioans getting vaccinated.

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Athens Messenger: O'Bleness Adapts and Thrives Throughout the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic was challenging for hospitals across the country. This includes large city hospitals as well as smaller community hospitals. Recently, the Athens Messenger spoke to Mark Seckinger, president of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, about how the regional hospital was able to adapt and thrive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading



ABC6: Respiratory Therapist Urging People Not to Let Guard Down Against COVID-19 Spread

Positive COVID-19 cases increased in more than half of Ohio's counties over the last week. While cases remained relatively flat during March, numbers are now starting to trend slightly upward.

With one year of providing care for COVID-19 patients under his belt, Chris Mead, a registered respiratory therapist at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center says the past year has had an effect on healthcare workers. Continue reading

OhioHealth Partners with Columbus Urban League for COVID-19 Vaccinations

OhioHealth teamed up with the Columbus Urban League on Saturday, March 27, to operate a “pop-up” COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the traditionally underserved neighborhoods of King-Lincoln and Bronzeville. OhioHealth and the Columbus Urban League administered the first dose of the two-stage Pfizer vaccine to 240 people. Continue reading

ABC6: Accessing the Vaccine

ABC6 anchor Stacia Naquin recently spent the day at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the OhioHealth David P. Blom Administrative Campus as part of the station's "Accessing the Vaccine" initiative.  Stories ran live as part of various newscasts to help educate the community on the scheduling process as more age groups are becoming eligible to receive the vaccine.

The stories below will share important information as you begin to schedule vaccine appointments for you or a loved one. Continue reading

10TV: What You Need to Know About Travel as Restrictions Ease

The weather getting warmer means that spring break is here or right around the corner for many. With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations down statewide and more people getting vaccinated, is it now safe to head out of town for a getaway?

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Medical Minute: Breast Imaging and the COVID-19 Vaccine

One side effect that some people are noticing from the COVID-19 vaccine is swelling under their armpit. It's caused concern among some, as that can mirror a symptom of breast cancer.

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10TV: Social Impact of Masking on Children

This has been a difficult time for everyone. The global pandemic has changed the way we all live our daily lives. For children, there are so many changes and adjustments, including masking. While many families have adjusted, for younger children trying to determine how adults are acting and interacting with them can be a real challenge behind a mask. Continue reading

10TV: When Can We Hug Our Grandparents Again?

One of the biggest struggles for people during the COVID-19 pandemic has been social distancing and the lack of time together with friends and family. Maybe the hardest hit group by this is the elderly, many of whom have spent the past year isolated from their loved ones. And now with the COVID-19 vaccine available to Ohioans over age 65, many are wondering if it's finally safe for grandparents to be around their families. Continue reading

Spectrum News 1: Ohio's Equity Push Addresses Dismal Minority Vaccine Rates

In the state of Ohio, there is a racial disparity regarding COVID-19 vaccination rates.  According to the state's COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 11.6 percent of white Ohioans have been vaccinated, compared to 5.1 percent of Black Ohioans and 3.8 percent of Latinx Ohioans. These low vaccination numbers for minorities are concerning, because people in these demographics remain very vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Continue reading

10TV: What is Herd Immunity?  And When Will We Reach It?

Herd immunity is a term we've heard bounced around since the COVID-19 pandemic began. But do you really know what it means? According to Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, herd immunity is when there are enough people protected from an infection, such as COVID-19, that those who aren't immune from it are still safe. Continue reading

10TV: Long Hauler COVID-19 Cases Become More Common

Some people contract COVID-19 and feel back to their normal selves after a couple of weeks. But there's another group, called "long haulers" whose symptoms linger for weeks - even months - after their diagnosis."

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NBC4: How to Safely Date During the Pandemic

February is the month of love! But what does dating look like during the pandemic? Is it safe to swipe right with COVID-19 still very much a factor?

That is a question that OhioHealth physician recruiter Jackie Ning recently asked Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system director of infectious diseases. 

Continue reading

NBC4: Attemps to Reach Latinx Community with COVID-19 Vaccine

There has been some hesitancy in the Latinx community to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Three issues that impact this are access to healthcare, language barriers and lack of trust in the health system.

NBC4 reporter Kenya Ramirez recently interviewed OhioHealth infectious disease physician, Edwin Vargas, MD, about what he experiences with his Latinx patients.

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Spectrum News 1: COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Explained

Healthcare workers received the COVID-19 vaccine beginning in mid-December and now many have received both of their doses. Some are reporting noticing more side effects from the second shot than they did from the first dose.

Spectrum News 1 reporter Taylor Bruck talked to a couple of OhioHealth providers to learn more about their side effects. Continue reading


ABC6: OhioHealth Transforms Administrative Office Into Public Vaccine Clinic

The time has come, the public is starting to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Leading up to the start of the public vaccine clinic that started this week, the teams at OhioHealth spent countless hours getting the OhioHealth David P. Blom Administrative Campus ready to handle hundreds of people coming through for vaccines daily.

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ABC6: OhioHealth Physician Gives Inside Look at Second Vaccine

With the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, there is a first, and then 28 or 21 days later, a second dose.

Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth infectious diseases medical director, has now received both doses of the vaccine. He says the second dose did have a little different impact on him than the first.

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OhioHealth to Begin Vaccinating the General Public at Multiple Sites Across Ohio on Tuesday, Jan. 19

OhioHealth announced today that it will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to patients who are 80 years of age and older on Tuesday, January 19, in accordance with guidance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health.

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ABC6: Pregnant and on the Frontline

When OhioHealth nurse practitioner Jennifer Wagner found out she was pregnant in October, she wasn't working on the COVID-19 front lines.

Then in November, she was asked to redeploy to help out another area, which meant she would be working with COVID-19 positive patients most days at OhioHealth Urgent Care - Dublin.

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The Athens News: Holding Down the Frontline

OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital ICU nurse Lauren Herpy was interviewed by the Athens News, sharing a “day in the life” story of her experiences working throughout the pandemic. Though the day to day work in the hospital has changed and is full of new challenges, “helping people is exactly what we signed up for," said Herpy in the interview.

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Dr. Gastaldo Endorses COVID-19 Vaccine by Getting Vaccinated

You've likely seen Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases on the news or on social media, touting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. On Monday, Dr. Gastaldo showed the community just how much he believes in the vaccine by getting vaccinated himself at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.

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Columbus Dispatch: OhioHealth Begins COVID-19 Vaccinations for Associates

Less than 24 hours after receiving its shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, OhioHealth began vaccinating frontline associates at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. Frontline workers include doctors and nurses, but also associates like housekeeping and food delivery, who have interaction with patients. The plan was to vaccinate about 40 associates during the first day, with the first two shots of the day happening just after 8 a.m. Continue reading

ABC6: ICU Nurse Says COVID-19 is Impacting Staff

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state, the number of hospitalized patients continues rise as well. And sick patients include caregivers, who are contracting it not at work, but out in the community.

ABC6 reporter Kalea Gunderson interviewed an OhioHealth associate who is battling the virus on the front lines.

Continue reading

610 WTVN: Ohio's COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

Every Monday morning, around 6:07 a.m., Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, is live on 610 WTVN with the latest COVID-19 news you need to keep you and your family safe.

On November 16, he talked with host Brandon Boxer about how Ohio is currently experiencing a surge of positive cases, and the numbers are continuing to rise.

"We are still going up the mountain," said Dr. Gastaldo. "We're not at the peak of the mountain yet. We also clearly have more hospitalized patients in Ohio." Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: Living Alone Adds to Social Isolation During COVID-19

While social distancing and avoiding gatherings are important during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can also be quite challenging for many.

“Being socially isolated is a significant risk factor for suicide, and we know that it can also really contribute to depression for many people. And it can really worsen anxiety for some people,” said Megan Schabbing, MD, medical director of psychiatric emergency services at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch. Continue reading

FOX28: College Students Urged to Take Caution Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when college students come home for the first time since they moved into school. But, because of COVID-19, this year's trip over the river and through the woods needs to look different from a typical trip home. And the time to start planning is right now. Continue reading

ABC6: Masks Are Needed in Private Settings

COVID-19 numbers are continuing to grow in Ohio, putting a straing on hospitals and frontline workers. On Nov. 11, Gov. DeWine made a plea to Ohioans to take responsibility to help stop the virus from spreading by masking and social distancing.  But as the weather begins to get colder, there are more concerns about people following those recommendations. 

Continue reading

WMRN: Latest COVID-19 Developments

On November 10, Ohio set another record for daily positivie COVID-19 cases with 6,508 new cases. Why are cases continuing to rise?

Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, spoke with WMRN radio this week about the latest developments in the pandemic.

Continue reading

NBC4: It May Be Time to Rethink Holiday Plans

On Wednesday, October 21, Ohio reported 2,366 new cases of COVID-19, a new record high for the state. The number of patients needing to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 is also on the rise.

With a number of factors in play - espcially colder weather leading to indoor gatherings, holidays and getting together to watch football games - healthcare leaders in Ohio say that now is not the time to let our guards down and get complacent.

Continue reading

10TV: It's Still Important to Wear a Mask

As restaurants, bars, hair salons and shops continue to open, things might start to feel a bit more "normal." However, one day-to-day aspect of many that is different from a year ago is the importance of wearing a mask when out in public.

10TV medical reporter Tracy Townsend recently spoke with Dr. Gastaldo about why this is especially important for younger people. Continue reading

ABC6/FOX28: Younger Adults Testing Positive for COVID-19 at Higher Rate than Other Age Groups

At his press conference on June 24, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine noted that positive coronavirus numbers are trending up for young adults in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups. Gov. DeWine also noted that overall numbers in Ohio are increasing.

ABC6/FOX28 reporter Mary Smith spoke with Jospeh Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, about why we are seeing an increase, especially in these younger age groups. Continue reading

OhioHealth Gives Back Portion of Donated COVID-19 Supplies

OhioHealth announced today it will give back a portion of the supplies so generously donated to area hospitals in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March and April, supplies of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and other needed items were in short supply due to the worldwide demand and the scope of the pandemic. Continue reading

10TV: Could Protests Bring a Second Wave of COVID-19?

As Americans exercise their rights to protest, there is a concern about a second wave of COVID-19, due to the challenges of social distancing while in a large crowd.

"Respiratory droplets occur with coughing and sneezing, but they also occur with normal conversation - talking, yelling and screaming - and the droplets are spread that way," said Jospeh Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infections diseases in an interview with 10TV's Tracy Townsend. Continue reading

Medical Minute: How OhioHealth is Keeping You Safe

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, people still need to receive medical care, whether it be in the emergency department, a screening mammogram, an elective surgery and more. But as we continue to get used to a "new normal" many are wondering just how safe it is to enter a medical facility. As always, OhioHealth is prioritizing the safety of our patients, physicians and associates. The latest OhioHealth Medical Minute shares ways we are working to keep you safe. Continue reading

Local Artists Create Chalk Mural at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital

On May 23, Mankind Murals, a local non-profit, paid a visit to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital to help spread some cheer to our associates and visitors.

The group of local artists created a temporary chalk art mural outside the hospital's emergency department along Glessner Avenue. The mural, entitled “We Flatten the Curve,” features colorful illustrations of physicians, nurses and staff, along with a huge message of thanks to our frontline healthcare workers. Continue reading

10TV: Hospital Staff Helps Comfort Grieving Families

Nurses and staff are creating personal cards for families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.They stamp their own thumbprints, shape them into a heart and write their names underneath. The cards are then laminated and sanitized before being given to the patient's family.

Nurses and staff are creating personal cards for families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. They stamp their own thumbprints, shape them into a heart and write their names underneath. The cards are then sanitized before being given to the patient's family. Continue reading

NBC4: How to Fight Childhood Obesity During COVID-19

COVID-19 has led to a lot of closures throughout Ohio, and including schools. While remote learning works for most types of classes, some courses, like physical education, are harder to teach online.

Benjamin Bring, DO, a family physician at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, spoke with NBC4 about some of the concerns doctors are having over childhood obesity rates now that children have a lack of access to recess and physical education. Continue reading

Modern Healthcare: The Check Up with Steve Markovich

In the midst of leading central Ohio's largest healthcare system through the COVID-19 outbreak, Stephen Markovich, MD, president and CEO of OhioHealth, appeared on an episode of Modern Healthcare's "The Check Up" to talk about the organization's incident command center and how the pandemic has impacted his leadership skills. Continue reading

10TV: Wearing a Mask Isn't About You

It's the big question circling everyone's minds these days, especially as restaurants and retail stores start opening back up: should I wear a face mask when I leave my home? Despite the political dilemma surrounding the decision to wear a mask, medical experts are urging everyone to continue wearing them, not for the safety of yourself, but to protect others. Continue reading


WMFD-TV: Treating COVID-19 Patients

We've heard firsthand accounts from patients diagnosed with COVID-19, but have you ever wondered what it's like to be a medical professional treating someone with the virus?

Ryan Kamp, MD, a pulmonologist at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, talked with WMFD-TV about some of procedures put in place for treating a COVID-19 patient. Continue reading

Medical Minute: What Cancer Patients Need to Know About COVID-19

How can cancer treatment and the daily lives of cancer patients and survivors be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We sat down with Alfred Vargas, MD, OhioHealth system chief of medical oncology, for a virtual OhioHealth Medical Minute to talk about whether cancer patients are more at risk for contracting COVID-19 and whether their cases of the virus are more severe. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: More Women Asking About Home Births

Though hospital systems have stricter patient safety measures than ever before, expectant mothers are carefully weighing their options between in-hospital or at-home births.

Jason Melillo, MD, medical director of women’s health at OhioHealth, spoke with Columbus Dispatch reporter Danae King about hospital safety and delivery during this time. Continue reading

10TV: COVID-19 and Stroke Risk

COVID-19 has been linked to things like pneumonia and other types of respiratory illness, but now stroke has also been added to the list of medical problems the virus can cause.

More and more young people have been experiencing an uptick in stroke symptoms, yet they haven't been seeking medical care. B.J. Hicks, MD, a vascular neurologist at OhioHealth, spoke with 10TV about the issue. Continue reading

610 WTVN: The Risks of Re-Opening

Even as Ohio slowly starts moving toward a back-to-business model, the impact of re-opening still poses great risks to medical professionals, as well as the general public.

Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, spoke with 610 WTVN's Joel Riley about the risks of re-opening and the continued importance of masks and social distancing. Continue reading

COVID-19 Means a Mother's Day to Remember

Mother's Day usually means a nice breakfast in bed, flowers and handmade cards by the kiddos, but for some mothers, the holiday was spent in the hospital welcoming their newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Columbus CEO: OhioHealth CEO Tackles COVID-19 Crisis

Soon after Stephen Markovich, MD, a retired Air Force veteran and family and emergency physician, took over as president and CEO of OhioHealth last July, his abilities as a leader were heavily relied upon when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation.

Over the past few months, Dr. Markovich has led OhioHealth through unforeseen circumstances, using a few skills he picked up in the military along the way. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: Making Redeployment Rewarding

When COVID-19 turned the healthcare industry upside down, it took everyone pitching in to get the job done.

James Jeansonne, a digital marketing employee at OhioHealth, experienced this firsthand when he traded in his normal desk job for a slot working the overnight shift and taking temperatures at OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital. Continue reading

ABC6: Is it Safe to Make Summer Vacation Plans?

The weather is warming, school-from-home is in its final weeks and summer is just around the corner. But before we start to make vacation plans, it's important to account for the risks associated with traveling due to COVID-19.

Continue reading

610 WTVN: Keeping Elective Surgeries Safe

With elective surgeries now making a gradual return to OhioHealth, the need to keep patients safe remains as important as ever.

Shay O'Mara, MD, OhioHealth system chief for trauma surgery, spoke with Joel Riley on 610 WTVN to answer some questions surrounding what elective surgeries will look like and the steps healthcare providers are taking to keep everyone safe.

Continue reading

ABC6: Curing Insomnia During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, it can be hard not to lose sleep over all the new stress we're experiencing. Finding a way to battle restless minds and anxious thoughts with some simple meditative exercises can be key to getting rest.

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ABC6: What You Need to Know About Antibody Testing

As antibody tests, a new way to detect whether you have had COVID-19, rise in production and availability, health officials still have concerns over their accuracy compared to other types of testing.

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Columbus Dispatch: Telehealth's Role in the Future

Instead of walking into the doctor's office, picking up the phone and chatting about your health virtually has become the new normal over the past few months.

As hospital systems start to embrace telehealth, Obi Moneme, MD, OhioHealth neurologist and medical chief of telehealth, and Megan Schabbing, MD, OhioHealth psychiatrist and director of psychiatric emergency services, spoke with the Columbus Dispatch about its role in the future of healthcare. Continue reading

10TV: Snack Smart While Working From Home

Are you hungry, or are you just bored? That's the question Americans keep asking themselves now that they're moving less and working from home - many just steps away from their refrigerators!

Prya Patel, a registered dietician with OhioHealth, is all too familiar with "bored snacking," and she recently spoke with 10TV about some of the ways you can avoid becoming elbow-deep in a bag of chips the next time the cravings hit. Continue reading

USA Today: Battelle Recycling Millions of N95 Masks Each Day

After a post-dinner conversation between Laurie Hommema, MD, OhioHealth medical director of provider and associate well-being, and her husband, Kevin, the idea to clean and re-use N95 masks has now become a reality that's keeping thousands of frontline healthcare workers safe.

Continue reading

10TV: Do You Need a Pulse Oximeter?

As more and more COVID-19 patients present with low oxygen levels, it turns out a tiny device used to monitor oxygen could be an early indicator of the virus.

Pulse oximeters measure the amount of oxygen in your blood. A percentage above 95 percent is considered normal, although it's natural for this number to decrease while you're asleep. Continue reading

10TV: Can You Get COVID-19 More Than Once?

Once you've been diagnosed with COVID-19, can you test positive a second, or even third time? Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, recently spoke with 10TV about how testing positive multiple times is possible - but it might not mean you've contracted the virus multiple times. Continue reading

NBC4: Healthcare Openings Aims to Keep the Public Healthy

As OhioHealth works to make certain elective surgeries and procedures available beginning May 1, public safety and risk mitigation remain top priority.

Currently, all operations and procedures must be outpatient. Per orders from Gov. Mike DeWine, elective surgeries that would require overnight stays in the hospital are not permitted at this time. Continue reading

ABC6: Don't Ingest Disinfectants to Fight COVID-19

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Precention (CDC) shows that calls to poison control centers around the country have increased by about 20 percent during the COVID-19 outbreak, as compared to this time last year. Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, spoke with ABC6 reporter Mike McCarthy about how dangerous these chemicals can be when ingested or injected. Continue reading

10TV: How to Modify Your At-Home Workouts During COVID-19 Outbreak

Being stuck at home behind a computer screen all day can make finding the motivation to exercise tough.

Luckily, Amy Kleski, a clinical exercise physiologist at the OhioHealth McConnell Heart Health Center, has a few tips and tricks for getting your body up and moving during the stay-at-home order. Kleski shared those tips with 10TV Commit to Be Fit reporter Molly Brewer. Continue reading

10TV: Urgent Need for Convalescent Plasma

We've all heard about giving blood before, but did you know you can donate your plasma too? Right now, there is an ask for confirmed COVID-19 survivors, who have been symptom free for at least 14 days, to consider donating theirs. This convalescent plasma, a special component of the blood, is now becoming a major factor for treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Continue reading

ABC6: Caring for Your Mask

As face masks have been recommended for use in public, more questions keep popping up about how to care for your mask and if they actually help slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, masks may not necessarily keep you from contracting COVID-19, but they will help keep others safe from it.

Continue reading

NBC4: Should You Wear Gloves?

With masks now being recommended for public use, donning gloves seems like the logical next step to protecting yourself against COVID-19.

However, Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, spoke with NBC4 on April 14 about how they might just be giving people a false sense of security instead. Continue reading

10TV: African Americans and COVID-19

As more numbers and data becomes available about COVID-19, the pandemic has revealed certain disparities within our public health system. Public health and community leaders have found that African Americans are being infected with and dying from COVID-19 at higher rates compared to others.

According to information from Columbus Public Health, African Americans make up 38% of hospitalizations from COVID-19, but just 28% of the city’s total population.

Continue reading

10TV: Not All Heroes Wear Capes - OhioHealth Nurses

As OhioHealth prepares for a potential COVID-19 patient surge, nurses at OhioHealth are rolling up their sleeves and going all in.

“It’s part of the job,” Jennifer Wenger, RN, a nurse at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital told 10TV in a recent interview for their "Not All Heroes Wear Capes" special. “We signed up to be here. We signed up to help our citizens of Columbus.” Continue reading


Today Show: Young Couple Creates System to Clean and Reuse N95 Masks

One of the biggest challenges in the fight against COVID-19 has been the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages for frontline healthcare workers. But that's started to change once Laurie Hommema, MD, OhioHealth medical director of provider and associate well-being, and her husband, Kevin, came up with a life-saving idea at the dining room table one night.

Contine reading


The New York Times: Where Thousands of Masks a Day Are Decontaminated to Battle the Virus

Employees from central Ohio's own Battelle have recently decontaminated over 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline providers who are treating COVID-19 patients. This includes PPE for OhioHealth and over 100 other enteties.

Following the decontamination process, the masks are sent back to the facilities they came from. The PPE can be decontaminated and reused up to 20 times, which helps conserve this vital resource for frontline providers. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Hospitals See Spike in Mental Health Telehealth Visits

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, many people remain stressed and need help coping with their concerns. Because of this, calls to crisis hotlines and behavioral health telemedicine appointments are on the rise.

In a recent interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Megan Schabbing, MD, OhioHealth medical director of psyciatric emergency services, said that while overall emergency room volumes for medical patients have decreased at OhioHealth, there has been a fairly consistent volume of psychiatric patients coming to the emergency rooms and inpatient psychiatric units. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: What Pregnant Women Need to Know About COVID-19

Medical experts are continuing to research more about how COVID-19 might impact pregnant women, deliveries and their babies. For now, the most important thing expectant mothers can do is stay calm and not panic.

On April 5, Jason Melillo, MD, medical director of women’s health at OhioHealth, spoke with the Columbus Dispatch about some of the questions surrounding COVID-19 and pregnancy.

Continue reading


Safeguarding Your Zoom Meeting/Telehealth Visit

Use of Zoom has skyrocketed in recent weeks as co-workers, friends and families use the video-chat platform to stay in touch. But this increase in use has also led to an increase in instances of what people are calling Zoombombing.

Definitely disruptive and often offensive, Zoombombing occurs when an unauthorized person or people gain access to your Zoom meeting, most likely with malicious intent. But don’t give up on Zoom just yet. Continue reading

Columbus Business First: Hospitals Brace for the Storm

In anticipation of the expected surge of COVID-19 patients, Ohio’s health systems are doing everything they can to make sure their facilities are as prepared as possible.

Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, OhioHealth senior vice president and chief medical officer, was recently interviewed by Columbus Business First about how OhioHealth is collaborating with other health systems to take on this unprecedented pandemic for a recent front page story. Continue reading

ABC6: What to Know About Malaria Drug and COVID-19

Finding treatment options for COVID-19 is a top priority in the medical community right now, and hydroxychloroquine, a type of drug used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, has been mentioned frequently in the news.

Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, sat down with ABC6 to talk about whether this drug is safe and effective at treating COVID-19 patients. Continue reading


10TV: How to Properly Wear a Facemask

When it comes to wearing a face mask and gloves, there are dos and don’ts to make sure you’re properly protecting yourself against COVID-19.

Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, shared some of his tips and tricks with 10TV on how to wear, care for and take off both face masks and gloves.

His first piece of advice? Don’t go for the surgical face masks. Continue reading

Mansfield News Journal: Shelby Woman Recovers From COVID-19

As Ohio bands together to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19, one patient at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital shares her story about recovering from the virus.

After feeling sick for weeks, Donna Bourne, 54, was hospitalized for five days at Mansfield Hospital, where she tested positive for COVID-19.

One of her first symptoms was pain in her upper arms and upper thighs, followed by muscle aches in her back, headaches and pain across the bridge of her nose. Continue reading

10TV: How COVID-19 is Challenging Healthcare Providers

With over 3,300 positive tests for COVID-19 in Ohio as of April 3, the virus has posed new challenges to healthcare workers as they prepare for what's to come.

Laurie Hommema, MD, OhioHealth medical director of provider and associate well-being, spoke with 10TV about how the industry is handling the rapidly evolving situation. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: COVID-19 Food Safety

Suddenly, going to the grocery store became a lot more nerve-wracking than ever before. But if you’re worried about contracting COVID-19 from your food, experts say you should be more worried about the people handing it to you and the packaging of the food itself.

When it comes to going on a grocery run, it’s best to follow this simple rule: get in, get your food and get out. Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: Anticipating COVID-19 Patient Surge

As cases of COVID-19 reach into the thousands, central Ohio healthcare providers are planning for both the best and worst case scenarios. At OhioHealth, doctors and hospital leaders have spent the past several weeks on conference calls and in video chats putting together contingency plans.

OhioHealth and other area hospitals have asked patients to call ahead for appointments, restricted visitors, postponed elective procedures and boosted their reliance on technology. Continue reading

NBC4: Making Room for COVID-19 Patients

With new cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed every day, OhioHealth is making sure its hospitals are well prepared for a potential surge of patients. As of March 25, OhioHealth has all the necessary space to treat its current COVID-19 patients.

“We have freed up at least 35 percent capacity at every care site, some more and some less than others,” Stacey Armstrong, chief operating officer at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, told NBC4 reporter Dan Pearlman. Continue reading

10TV: Dr. Gastaldo Takes Part in COVID-19 Q&A

Wondered what's going on with COVID-19 testing in Ohio right now? Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, recently took part in a live phone interview with 10TV on March 23 during the 5:30 p.m. newscast to answer viewer questions.

Dr. Gastaldo told viewers that OhioHealth currently has a variety of mechanisms to test people. Continue reading

10TV: What Pregnant Women Need to Know About COVID-19

As medical experts continue to research COVID-19, questions about how the virus affects pregnant women are becoming more and more pressing.

Jason Melillo, MD, OhioHealth director of women’s health, talked with 10TV for a story that aired on March 23 about what women who are expecting need to know to keep themselves and their babies safe.

While pregnant women are typically more susceptible to respiratory viruses like the flu, preliminary data about COVID-19 indicates that pregnant women aren’t at any more risk for contracting the virus than anyone else. Continue reading

Modern Healthcare: Preserving Personal Protective Equipment with Telemedicine

OhioHealth is working to conserve PPE by giving around 500 iPads to its intensive-care and surgical units who have patients with COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. This strategy is expected to cut in-person visits in half. Where possible, OhioHealth is also replacing face-to-face appointments with audio or video connections, with the goals of reducing infections and preserving PPE. Continue reading

NBC4: How to Talk to Your Kids About COVID-19

As scary as COVID-19 is for adults, its impact on children can be just as severe. Kristen Hicks, a bereavement counselor with OhioHealth, spoke with NBC4 on March 23 about how parents can talk about COVID-19 with their kids.

According to Hicks, it all starts with asking questions and being honest. Start by asking your child what they already know about the situation and be ready to answer any questions they might have. Continue reading

NBC4: COVID-19 Testing Capabilities

It's one of the most common questions in the country right now - can I get a COVID-19 test? Health systems nationwide have a limited number of tests they are able to provide each day. And once the test sample is obtained from the patient, there's a process it must go through. Currently, it's taking patients up to five days to get their test results back.
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Coping With COVID-19 - How to Protect Your Well-Being

Working from home, cancelling birthday parties and not having regular get togethers can take its toll during the quarantine. Columbus Dispatch reporter Holly Zachariah recently wrote a story about ways to cope with stress and anxiety during the outbreak.

She spoke to Megan Schabbing, MD, medical director of psychiatric emergency services for OhioHealth. Continue reading

NBC4: Blood Donations Still Needed During COVID-19 Outbreak

During the COVID-19 outbreak, one thing that definitely doesn't stop is the need for blood donations. With schools closed and large gatherings discouraged, many blood drives have been cancelled. The American Red Cross says that nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives from around the county have been cancelled, resulting in about 86,000 less blood donations than normal. Continue reading

ABC6: Construction Companies Donating Masks to Hospital Workers

Construction companies in central Ohio have been stepping up and donating their unused masks to hospitals for healthcare workers.

“We’ve actually had dozens of our partners already reach out,” Roland Tokarski, OhioHealth VP, Construction Real Estate and Facilities told ABC6 reporter Tara Morgan.

Those same masks construction workers where to proctect tmeselves from debris can also be used by doctors and nurses. Continue reading

ABC6: Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

ABC6 recently asked viewers to submit questions about the COVID-19 outbreak to be answered by experts. They connected with Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, to answer a few of them. Continue reading

Columbus CEO: Healthcare Workers Remain Strong Against COVID-19

With close to 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio as of March 18, OhioHealth is taking the necessary measures to stay on the front line of this growing pandemic, including visitor restrictions, hourly bed planning and equipment and containment measures.

OhioHealth is also continuing to explore new options, like expanding bed capacity by converting private rooms into two-occupancy ones. For patients who need not only a private room but sterile air, we are also considering creating a negative-air-pressure unit with portable systems.

For now, resources remain the top priority. Continue reading


10TV: What Social Distancing Means for Cancer Survivors

COVID-19 prevention isn’t just about protecting yourself: it’s about protecting everyone else around you too, even people you may not come into contact with every day. Some of the most at-risk populations for severe COVID-19 symptoms include those who have preexisting medical conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Mike Racey, an Upper Arlington resident, has been cancer-free for over a year. But the new threat that COVID-19 poses could land him back in the hospital. That’s why the choices we make as a society could have serious consequences for others in similar situations. Continue reading

ABC6: What Postponing Elective Surgeries Means

With the Ohio Department of Health’s recent order to end all elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio’s hospitals, conserving space and personal protective equipment for first responders and healthcare workers has become a top priority.

"We're trying to save beds, we're trying to reduce COVID-19 exposure," Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, told ABC6 reporter Mary Smith. Continue reading


ABC6: Keeping Yourself Safe Against COVID-19

When it comes to protecting yourself and others against COVID-19, it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.

On March 11, Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, sat down with ABC6 reporters Terri Sullivan and Adam Slinger to take a deeper dive into how the virus is spread, why it’s different from influenza and what populations are most at risk.

“Sneezes and coughs are no doubt how coronavirus and other respiratory viruses are spread,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “When somebody coughs or sneezes, we say there’s about a five or six-foot radius that their projectiles go to.” Continue reading

Columbus Dispatch: Weakened Immune Systems Keep Vulnerable at Home

One of the reasons people are being asked to stay home right now is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to those with suppressed or compromised immune system. Those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease are also at a higher risk to suffer from negative outcomes or have a more difficult recovery if they contract COVID-19. Continue reading

ABC6 and NBC4: Emergency Rooms Are Not for COVID-19 Testing or Advice

If you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the emergency department or urgent care is not the place to go to get tested. Testing kits are not available at these locations. And, by walking into those spaces, you could potentially be infecting other patients, physicians, nurses and staff.

If you are a patient who suspects you may have COVID-19, please call your primary care physicians’ office. You can also call Ohio's 24-hour coronavirus hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Continue reading

OhioHealth Medical Minute: COVID-19 Symptoms and Prevention

In this OhioHealth Medical Minute, we'll talk about COVID-19. This is a virus that we have never seen before, a novel virus. It is spread very similarly as the common cold or flu. Initial symptoms may look like the common cold: a cough, runny nose, fever and headaches. As time goes on, those symptoms can progress to shortness of breath. Continue reading

NBC4: COVID-19 Myths and the Media

Getting the facts straight about COVID-19 is as important as ever, and Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, clears up some of the confusion surrounding the virus in a recent interview with NBC4. Continue reading

NBC4: Common Questions About COVID-19

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reaching over 1,000 in the United States as of March 12, Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, answers everything you need to know about this virus, like where it came from and how to protect yourself from contracting it. Continue reading

10TV: Busting COVID-19 Myths

With all the questions and concerns floating around right now about the COVID-19 outbreak, it can be easy to fall victim to misinformation. On January 30th, Joe Gastaldo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, debunked some of the most common myths out there about COVID-19 on WBNS 10TV. Continue reading

NBC4: Negative Pressure Rooms Ready for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

OhioHealth has negative pressure hospital rooms for any patient that would be hospitalized at OhioHealth with COVID-19, to provide a safe environment for our patients, associates, physicians and visitors.

Jo Henman is the director of infection prevention for OhioHealth. In a recent interview with NBC4 reporter Ted Hart, Henman talked about the features of negative pressure rooms. Continue reading


10TV: Sorting Through the COVID-19 Facts

On March 5, 10TV invited medical experts from central Ohio hospital systems, including Joe Gastaldo, MD, medical director of infectious diseases at OhioHealth, to answer questions submitted by viewers about COVID-19 (coronavirus.) Continue reading

The Athens News: Local Agencies Prepare for COVID-19

While no cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Ohio University or in Athens as of March 11, health officials at the University and OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital are taking proactive steps. OU has suspended in-person classes through at least the end of the month. And O’Bleness is prepared in the event a case presents itself at the hospital. Continue reading

Mansfield News Journal: Treating the Flu and Preparing for COVID-19

As Richland County public health officials prepare for COVID-19, the area is also getting hit hard by the flu, with over 530 cases documented in January alone.

With both the flu and COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the country, hospitals in Richland County are keeping a close eye on the situation, including OhioHealth. Continue reading


NBC4: OhioHealth Discusses Systemwide COVID-19 Preparedness

With testing for new COVID-19 cases continuing throughout the country, OhioHealth is reviewing and bolstering its plans since the virus has hit Ohio. Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, OhioHealth senior vice president and chief medical officer, talked to NBC4 reporter Rob Sneed about how OhioHealth is preparing. Continue reading

WOSU: How Ohio Hospitals Are Preparing For COVID-19

On March 6, Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, OhioHealth senior vice president and chief medical officer, was interviewed on WOSU radio, where he said that OhioHealth has been preparing since January for possible cases. Continue reading

NBC4: Widespread Testing Provides Valuable COVID-19 Data

In an interview with NBC4 on March 3, about a week before the first cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) were confirmed in Ohio, Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, talked about how widespread testing of suspected COVID-19 cases helps provide valuable data to healthcare workers. Continue reading