He and Denise Williams, the president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, updated the community on the state of the pandemic during the health district’s weekly livestream.
Clark County still has the highest case rate among the counties that border it, with a rate of 341 cases per 100,000 people reported as of Friday afternoon, Cook said.
“But we are coming down day after day,” Cook said.
Clark County has seen 34,440 cases confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
The COVID-19 positivity rate at the health district’s testing locations has also fallen slightly this week, sitting at 37%. A record number of tests were administered in January by the health district, Cook said, with more than 1,600 tests administered. The COVID-19 positivity rate at that time was 45%, meaning nearly 1 in 4 people tested by the health district for the virus tested positive.
A fall in hospitalizations has also been witnessed locally, Cook said: a 42% reduction from last week. As of Friday afternoon, a total of 887 COVID-19 hospitalizations have been reported in Clark County since the pandemic’s start.
Although cases and hospitalizations have fallen locally, Cook said residents should proceed with caution and not throw away their facemasks just yet.
“I think we need to be realistic,” Cook said. “These masks may play an important part of keeping community transmission down.”
The upcoming Super Bowl LVI, slated for Sunday, will be a time of gathering and celebration for many families in Clark County. Cook said that in similar weekends where families gathered indoors, such as holiday weekends, an uptick in cases was witnessed in Clark County a few weeks later.
“My hope is that we continue to trend down, and even if we have a little blip, it’s not going to be significant,” Cook said.
Cook offered tips for a safe Super Bowl Sunday: keeping the number of attendees small can help, as can frequently washing hands, physically distancing and wearing masks. Cook also recommended that people gathering together get tested for COVID, especially if they are symptomatic.
As of Friday, more than 50% of Clark County’s population has completed its COVID-19 vaccine series, according to ODH.
The Clark County Combined Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Springfield is offering vaccinations. Those seeking a dose can call 937-717-2439 to schedule an appointment.
By the Numbers:
50.3: Percentage of Clark County residents who have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series
34,440: Total number of coronavirus cases reported in Clark County
508: Total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Clark County