Coronavirus: Cases on the rise in county, state as holiday season begins

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

At the middle of this week, new COVID-19 cases outpaced the total for last week, according to the health district.

As of Wednesday morning, 239 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Clark County. Last week, 230 cases were confirmed in the county, and 253 cases were confirmed the week before.

“I guess we’re on the roller coaster,” Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said. He pointed to a six-week span of time during September and October where the county saw a decline in cases, with a recent uptick reported in the county.

Patterson, joined by health district communications coordinator Nate Smith, updated the community on the state of the pandemic in the county during the district’s weekly livestream. The health district typically streams its update on Fridays, but provided an earlier update this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, 21,501 total cases have been reported in Clark County.

The virus’ transmission remains high in the county and state, Patterson said, with roughly 6,000 new cases reported per day in Ohio.

Clark County residents continue to die from COVID, the health commissioner said.. As of Wednesday, ODH reported 387 COVID-19 deaths in Clark County.

With the exception of Memorial Day this year, too, every holiday has been followed by a rise in cases locally.

“It’s something that we’re sort of bracing for,” Patterson said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 47.1% of Clark County has completed its vaccine series.

The Food and Drug Administration last week authorized both the Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults (those aged 18 and older). Clark County residents can receive a booster dose by scheduling an appointment at the district’s 110 W. Leffel Lane vaccine distribution center.

Patterson said that between Nov. 19-23, the district administered 401 first doses, as well as 660 booster doses.

Patterson and Smith also discussed ways to safely gather this holiday season: as families come together, especially relatives who may be coming from out of town or are immunocompromised, rapid testing should be considered.

Rapid testing for the virus is widely available: rapid tests can be purchased at local drug stores, for example, and they can be picked up for free from branches of Clark County Public Libraries, Patterson said.

“We’re very clear, we’re not saying to people, ‘don’t get together... don’t be with your family,’” Patterson said. “We’re saying, ‘let’s mitigate that risk the best we can.’ We know that loneliness and depression is a very serious disease, as well.”

By the Numbers:

47.1: Percentage of Clark County residents who have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series

21,501: Total number of coronavirus cases reported in Clark County

387: Total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Clark County

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