Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Clark County

Health officials confirmed 21 news cases of COVID-19 in Clark County this week.

The Clark County Combined Health District on Friday provided its weekly update on the state of the coronavirus. Health Commissioner Charles Patterson provided details about local confirmed cases and vaccination rates.

Last week, the health district reported 17 new, confirmed cases.

“It looks like it’s more of a trend,” Patterson. “And that trend line is, unfortunately, a rise in cases.”

ODH reported that as of Friday, nearly 41.5% of Clark County residents have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series, with 50.9 percent of the vaccine eligible county population (those over the age of 12) completing the vaccine series. The health district has been seeing a steady flow of people coming in for their vaccines, with the district vaccinating 150 to 200 people per week and administering vaccines six days per week, Patterson said.

“Every vaccine we do is one more person who is protected - protected against hospitalization and hopefully severe disease from COVID,” Patterson said during the video update.

Patterson also touched upon questions the department has received in terms of the pandemic and vaccinations. For instance, some county residents have asked about side effects and negative reactions to vaccines.

A small percentage of recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine -- primarily men aged 50 to 64 -- have developed a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a rare condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack its nervous system, within 42 days of receiving the vaccine, Patterson said.

“It’s a very slight chance,” Patterson. “The risk of that is far less than the risk of getting COVID and developing problems with that as well.”

The New York Times reported last week that 100 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome among Johnson & Johnson recipients were confirmed.

Patterson also discussed the Delta variant, a strain of COVID-19 that has been confirmed in Ohio. The Delta variant is 10-25 times more virulent than the original strain of the virus, Patterson said. This variant is much more likely to impact younger people, too, and it has been shown to cause greater illness, he said.

As of Friday, no cases linked to the Delta variant have been confirmed in Clark County, Patterson said. The health district has been cautiously monitoring cases and running case investigations on every positive case to identify who needs to quarantine, he said.

“Nobody likes quarantine or isolation,” Patterson said. “But it is still, after vaccination, the best way to slow the spread of a very contagious disease.”

Patterson reminded viewers that the Center for Disease Control recommends unvaccinated individuals wear face masks as protection against the virus, an act that may become the norm for employees at the health district -- vaccinated or not -- if cases of the Delta variant ramp up.

The health commissioner also noted the district may reopen its testing site if an uptick in cases occurs.

Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, Patterson said the health district has been meeting with the county’s school superintendents to prepare for fall. Patterson said the CDC has stressed the importance of in-person learning.

“There’s an interaction that you don’t get when you’re working from home, when you’re doing class at home,” he said. “It’s not just for their learning, it’s for their entire development process.”

As of Friday, 14,325 cases have been confirmed in Clark County, according to ODH. In addition, 529 hospitalizations and 308 deaths related to the virus have been reported.

More than 800 cases of coronavirus were reported in Ohio for the second day in a row Friday.

The state recorded 802 cases in the last 24 hours and 822 cases on Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. It’s the second highest and highest number of cases reported in Ohio this month.

In the last three weeks, Ohio is averaging 421 cases a day. That’s nearly 100 cases higher than the 21-day average of 330 cases reported on Monday.

Staff Writer Kristen Spicker contributed to this report.

Facts & Figures

14,325: Number of coronavirus cases as of Friday in Clark County

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

58,902: Number of vaccination shots given in Clark County

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

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