Veterans Service Commission responds to COVID-19 pandemic


SIDNEY — The Shelby County Veterans Service Commission meet in emergency session Tuesday morning to determine how the office will handle the current OCVID-19 pandemic.

“As you are all aware, at the direction of State and Federal health officials, the State of Ohio is taking measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to reduce or flatten the number of those contracting the virus. This effort is vital not only for the health of our residents, but also to lessen the burden on our medical resources as the number of individuals requiring care is excpected to increase.

“Social distancing and overall limitiation of physical interactions with others is the method being recommended in order to achieve this flattened affect,” he said. “In order to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and the general public we have implemented the following practices and adjusted hours.”

Office hours will now be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone numbers of officials who might need to be contacted are Veteran Service Officer Sherrye Lamma, Office: 937-498-7282; Veteran Service Officer, Office: Theresa Mantueffel 937-498-7283; Excutive Director Chris North Office: 937-498-7284 Cell: 937- 541-5015

All services will be rendered by appointment only at this time.

Financial assistance will be a priority, if you are a current client call for an interview and appointment.

If you are a new financial assistance client, call for directions on how to make application and what is needed.

Our food pantry is still up and running but we are limited. Please call when you feel you are in need and we will do our best to fill your request.

All VA compensation and pension claims will be accomplished via phone interview and by dropping off the needed documents for us to complete as much as the claim as possible for

submission. An “Intent to File” may be submitted by us to secure your date of claim.

All other services will be handled on a case by case basis.

Transportation

The transportation service will remain in effect for essential appointments only unless otherwise directed by the VA Medical Centers of the County. The office will only transport one veteran per vehicle at a time. They will do their best to get veterans to their appointments but if they have other transportion the office ask that the veterans use that.

Note: Try calling the VA Medical Center to see if a medical appointment can be completed via Telehealth.

Reminder, the goal is to limit contact as much as possible with others in order to safeguard yourself against the virus and to transmit it to someone who has a weakened immune system.

If whatever service, veterans need from the commission can wait until the current crisis passes please wait to see us.

“Please understand we will continue to ensure we maintain our highest degree of quality customer service and care to our veterans during this notable time in our history. Please be patient as we work through these changes. We are all in this together and our goal is to maintain a healthy staff in order to keep our office up and running throughout this current situation and be able to provide the most basic service. We feel as though these changes will help us accomplish that,” said North.

These questions are a quick screening to help protect the community:

• Have you had contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

• Do you have a sore throat?

• Do you have a persistent cough that is associated with a fever?

• Do you have any abnormal shortness of breath?

• And/or a fever greater than 100 degrees

If you answered yes to question 1, call your primary care provider or the Ohio Department of Health at 833.427.5634.

If you answered no to question 1, but yes to numbers 2, 3 or 4; please contact your healthcare provider if symptoms are severe. Please do not visit a medical facility unless you are severely ill. Please call ahead and let any medical facility know why you are coming. Meanwhile, do not get close to anyone with a compromised immune system or other underlying condition. (This information was sourced from the Ohio Department of Health website)

For preventative measures remember that the best thing you can do in the face of COVID-19 is to take precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community:

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air-dry hands.

• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.

• Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Avoid contact with people who are sick.

• Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, desks and tablets.