“That’s averaging four deaths a day. We were averaging one death a day back in October and November so that certainly does not bode well for us at this point,” Patterson said.
Roughly 55 county residents died of the virus in November, however, final numbers for the month are still being tallied as the health district continues to finalize death certificates.
Despite the record-breaking number of COVID-19 deaths in Clark County in November, Patterson said the past 11 days in December have “been the most significant that we have had so far during this pandemic.”
“We know that we probably have some additional dark days ahead. We are seeing and feeling some of those dark days right now,” Patterson said.
The increase in deaths in December has caused Springfield Regional Medical Center’s morgue to fill up, “more than once a week,” Patterson said. It has also caused issues for funeral homes.
“Funeral homes are having trouble transferring the bodies out because they are full,” Patterson said.
The county currently does not have any active outbreaks of the virus outside of a handful of long-term care facilities, Patterson said, meaning nearly all of the virus’s spread in the county is “person-to-person.”
Patterson said he believes one of the reasons for the increased number of deaths is because many people in the community still have the mind-set that COVID “won’t kill them so there is no reason to wear a mask.”
“They may forget the second degree of people, people they may pass it on to, and the third degree, people that those people may pass it on to and how it may devastate their lives,” Patterson said. “It’s not just about what the disease could do to you. But it might be the second or third person away from you if that disease is passed on. Think about how it might affect them.”
Clark County had a total of 7,081 cases, 182 deaths and five probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Ohio recorded over 10,000 cases of the virus on Friday, making it the fourth day in a row to do so, according to ODH. With the addition of 10,359 cases, the state’s total number of cases was 542,209 as of Friday.
The state recorded 128 deaths, bringing the total to 7,426.
Facts & Figures:
25: Clark County COVID-19 deaths between Dec. 4 and Friday
29: Total COVID-19 deaths in Clark County for the month of December
187: Total COVID-19 deaths in Clark County since the pandemic began in March