Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams Speaks About COVID-19 Issues at the Local Level

CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Similar to countless other areas throughout the country, Canton hospitals have a limited number of COVID-19 test kits available for use.

Despite the coronavirus numbers continuously rising in Stark County, numerous citizens in the area have been vocal about their inability to receive testing.

Some have said that they have the symptoms and fall into the “high-risk” demographic, due to factors like age and preexisting health issues. Yet, as time goes on, the problem remains.

Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams spoke with WHBC News this afternoon, where he explained how the limited testing is being rationed, and who it goes to first.

“Right now our testing is targeted toward people who are ill in the hospital, health care workers, like people who care for people in the hospital or first responders,” Adams Said.

Adams says that by taking care of those who are the sickest and those who take care of the sick first, it will buy time for more testing to arrive.

The next question is: when does more testing arrive? Adams says he isn’t completely sure but maintained that steps are being taken to fix that problem as soon as possible.

“I don’t have a good time frame for more testing and when it will become available,” said Adams. “I do know that (testing) is being worked on very quickly and that more testing is becoming available every day.”

Adams added that if your doctor believes you need testing, Canton hospitals will find a test kit for you.

“If a physician feels that they have a patient that that their clinical symptoms indicate that they need to be tested, testing is available for those people,” said Adams. “They need to follow the advice closely from their physicians.”

Another major issue that local health officials have had their eyes on are area businesses and their willingness or lack there of, to comply with the Stay at Home orders from the state.

Adams says that just because a business is allowed to remain open, does not mean changes aren’t required.

“If a business has determined essential it still has to follow the rules of the order,” said Adams. “They have to be able to enforce social distancing at the work place, they need to try to have people work from home as much as possible, they need to make sure that they’re cleaning surfaces frequently, and that they have hand washing and hand sanitizer available.”

Some businesses are having a tough time deciding if they are essential or not. However, Adams says if you have to think about it, you already have your answer.

“If someone has to go through a fairly complicated thought process to try to justify whether if they are essential I would suggest they are not,” said Adams. “We shouldn’t be looking for ways to get around the order, we should be looking for ways to comply with it.”

You can listen to the complete interview with Health Commissioner Adams below.