Wednesday, September 28, 2022

COVID-19 still retreating across Eastern Ohio

COVID-19 still retreating across Eastern Ohio

TL File Photo Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul reports on COVID-19 developments.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Robert Sproul, deputy health commissioner for Belmont County, said last week that COVID cases are declining to the point that officials are now seeing “single-digit positives per day.”

The county’s new cases dropped since the previous week to 79, down 10 from the earlier numbers. The positive test rate is just under 12 percent, and the percentage of the population fully vaccinated is at 49.9 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the county hsa fewer than six new COVID-related hospitalizations.

Harrison County Health Administrator Garen Rhome said his county is now well under 100 cases per 100,000 for the first time since possibly last July, at 66.5. That is a dramatic drop from just one week earlier, when he reported cases still over 100 per 100,000. He said Harrison County, as well as the immediate area, are following the same trend of fewer COVID cases being reported.

Rhome reported just 10 new cases last week and, according to the CDC, only two new hospitalizations. Rhome did say two new deaths occurred in February. The percentage of fully vaccinated residents in Harrison County is still 44-45 percent, according to the CDC.

Rhome reminded residents to be aware if they are symptomatic and to isolate themselves if feeling sick. He encourages anyone to take a test if they think they may have the virus and to “lay low to continue this low rate of cases.”

For Monroe County, 17 new cases were reported in the past week, according to the CDC, with an occurrence rate of 124.51 cases per 100,000 population. The positive test rate, though, is just 4.3 percent with no new deaths or hospitalizations reported. Monroe County is now showing 43.8 percent of its population fully vaccinated.

Jefferson County is also showing the same decline, though it reported 53 new cases last week, according to the CDC. But the case rate per 100,000 is also below 100 at 81.13.

Last week, Jefferson County Health Commissioner Andrew Henry repeated the other counties’ claims of declining numbers. Henry said 17 hospitalizations last week had come down significantly from a January average of 22 per week.

The county’s positive test rate is also low at 7.47 percent with six new hospitalizations last week. The percentage of fully vaccinated people over the age of 5 is the highest of all four local counties at 52.4 percent.

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