COVID-19 cases rise locally as Ohio rate drops | News, Sports, Jobs

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio has declined again over the past two weeks, but many local counties have seen significant increases.

According to two-week case totals released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health, Morgan County had the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 people — 468.7 — from June 2-15.

With a population of 14,508, the rate is the result of 68 new cases over the past two weeks. That’s up from 51 and 52 new cases in the previous two weeks, when Morgan’s rate was fourth in the state.

A message left with a Morgan County Health Department representative was not immediately returned Friday.

Athens County fell to fourth with a rate of 370.4 per 100,000 of 242 new cases among its 65,327 residents. From May 26 to June 8, Athens reported 178 new cases for a rate of 272.5, 23rd in the state.

“We have seen an influx of cases locally, and if you follow the longer-term trends, cases have been increasing for several weeks,” said Jack Pepper, administrator of the Athens city health department. “We are fortunate that to date, our healthcare system is not seeing a large number of COVID-positive patients requiring advanced care.”

Washington County, with a population of 59,911, fell from the eighth lowest rate in the state (146.9 per 100,000) last week to the 20th highest (280.4) during the longest period. recent. Actual new cases reported were 88 from May 26 to June 8 and 168 from June 2 to June 15.

Dianna Beck, a nurse practitioner with the Marietta-Belpre Health Department, said there has been an increase in cases in some long-term care and assisted living facilities.

“My educated guess (is) that this explains the increase here in Washington County (which) mirrors what we’re seeing nationally,” she says.

Beck said new cases have increased 8% nationwide since June 8, and the CDC has attributed that growth to the omicron variant and its subvariants.

According to data from the Ohio Department of Health, Harmar Place in Marietta reported five cases among residents and 13 among staff from Wednesday, June 8 through Tuesday, June 14. Muskingum Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Beverly reported 21 resident cases and three among staff. . Those are the highest numbers among Washington County facilities, according to the latest available data.

“We are taking all the safety precautions we need and wearing all personal protective equipment,” said Sue Boulton, administrator of Hamar Place.

Harmar Place is working to prevent the spread while allowing residents to continue to see their families, she said.

Given the contagion of the virus and the fact that people can be contagious without ever showing symptoms, “by the time you know it’s happening, it’s already widespread,” Boulton said.

A representative for Muskingum did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday morning.

Noble County has remained stable with 37 new cases among its 14,424 residents over the past two weeks (256.5 per 100,000, 27th). In the previous two weeks, Noble reported 38 new cases (263.4, 29th).

Monroe County, which has a population of 13,654, fell from 34 new cases to 30, and its rate fell from 249 (36th) to 219.7 (48th).

“While the number of cases and hospitalizations in Ohio remains a fraction of what we experienced over the winter, we have seen a slight increase over the past two months,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said Thursday during an online press conference. “It tells us that COVID-19 is still with us.”

Vanderhoff discussed the expected approval of COVID vaccines for children 5 and under and encouraged parents to talk to their children’s doctors about vaccination. He said the more Ohioans immunized, the better the chance of avoiding serious illness and disruption of daily life.

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