Clark County health commissioner: ‘We still need more people to get the vaccine’

The Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner is calling on residents to get the coronavirus vaccine as the vaccination rate still has not hit 50 percent.

“I want to urge people to consider getting vaccinated... we still need more people to get the vaccine,” said Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

The county has had 48% of people receive at least their first shot and 43% have received both shots.

“We are still doing clinics. We’re doing 30 to 35 clinics per week. We’re going everywhere, everywhere people are,” Patterson said in his weekly update on the status of the coronavirus in the county.

Patterson said the good news is that the county had only 15 confirmed cases last week, which is 24 down from the week before when there were 39 cases. He also reminded people that Gov. Mike DeWine said when the state got to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, health orders would be lifted. The orders were lifted and Patterson said we are now roughly 40 cases per 100,000 people.

Patterson did however urge the public to exercise because the coronavirus is still here.

“I think one of the things that we want to caution people is that just because we’re down to 15 cases doesn’t mean it’s over… it is going on,” he said.

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The bad news, Patterson said, is that the county did lose two more citizens, totaling 304 deaths. He specified that those deaths only included people who died of COVID-19, and not those that had other issues as well as COVID-19 and died due to those other conditions.

“I can’t wait for a month or two to go by and we can report no deaths,” he said.

Although Ohio lifted the health orders of wearing a mask and social distancing, Patterson reiterated the CDC’s recommendations that for those who are fully vaccinated, it’s safe for them to not wear a mask, but those who are not fully vaccinated are still encouraged to maintain social distance and wear a mask.

Springfield NAACP President Denise Williams said she “felt uncomfortable” about not wearing a mask, even though she’s fully vaccinated, because she doesn’t know who is vaccinated.

“How do I know if a person coming in (a store) isn’t vaccinated?” she asked.

Patterson said there isn’t a way to know if someone is vaccinated or not because now “we’re on the honor system,” he said.

Even though almost half of the county’s population is vaccinated, Patterson urged that the coronavirus is “still active, still out there.”

“We’re outside a lot more now when it’s good weather. That’s going to be helpful in slowing the spread. Now that we have 48% with at least one shot, they have some protection, but we could really knock this up more quickly if more people got vaccinated,” he said.

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Clark County had 14,202 cases and 304 deaths of the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

As of Friday, 55,781 vaccination shots have been given in Clark County, according to ODH. Over 41 % of the county’s total population has received at least one shot. Just over 37% has been fully vaccinated.

Facts & Figures

14,202: Number of coronavirus cases as of Friday in Clark County

304: Number of coronavirus deaths as of Friday in Clark County

55,781: Number of vaccination shots given in Clark County

37: Percentage of Clark County residents who have been fully vaccinated

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