Coronavirus: Champaign County ‘gathering information’ about high COVID-19 rate

The Champaign Health District is investigating and contact tracing all COVID-19 cases in an attempt to gather as much information as possible about the high rate of spread in the county, according to the county’s health commissioner.

Champaign County is ranked fifth in the state for the highest incidence of COVID-19 spread, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health.

“We are continuing to encourage all preventative measures and doing our best to gather as much information from case investigation and contact tracing as we can to identify any areas of spread,” Champaign Health District Health Commissioner Gabe Jones said.

The county recorded 203.2 cases per 100,000 people between March 7 and Saturday, according to ODH. Between that same timeframe, Champaign County confirmed 79 cases of the coronavirus.

Last week, Champaign County was ranked second in the state for its incidence rate, reporting 226.3 cases per 100,000 between March 3 and March 16. Between that timeframe, the county confirmed 88 cases of the virus, according to ODH.

The county’s incidence rates are now the highest they have ever been since the pandemic began last year. The CDC defines high incidence rates at 100 cases or more per 100,000 people.

Jones said the health district continues to “employ the same tactics as we have for the past year.”

“Only now we also have the vaccine, which we encourage everyone to take if able,” Jones said. “We continue to hold clinics to get to those eligible, which we opened up this week to include anyone 18 and over.”

Clark County has the most COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the state, according to ODH. The county recorded 232.7 cases per 100,000 over the last two weeks.

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Gov. Mike DeWine announced about a month ago that if the state could get below 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all public health orders, including the mask mandate, will be lifted. As of Monday, just three of Ohio’s 88 counties met that requirement.

Champaign County had 3,026 cases and 52 deaths of the coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to ODH.

Ohio recorded 1,628 daily cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, as the state’s total case numbers increased to 1,002,822, according to ODH.

After weeks of decreasing case numbers in the state, Ohio has started to plateau, DeWine said on Monday.

“Cases were dropping for a while and have leveled out - but we’ll have to keep watching this,” DeWine said. “some neighboring states are starting to see increases in their cases again.”

Though cases are hovering around 1,500 a day, state officials are monitoring COVID variants and their presence in the region, ODH Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff said Tuesday that Ohio 173 variant cases. Two weeks ago the state only 32.

Ohio recorded 42 deaths on Tuesday for a total of 18,382.

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