Coronavirus: Clark County high virus occurence rate attributed to rise in cases at Wittenberg

The Ohio Department of Health held a free pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic at the Rocking Horse Center in Springfield Tuesday evening. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The Ohio Department of Health held a free pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic at the Rocking Horse Center in Springfield Tuesday evening. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

More than half of the state’s top 10 counties with the most cases of the coronavirus reported in the last two weeks are in the Miami Valley, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Clark County came in just outside of the top 10 at 11th. The county recorded 141 cases per 100,000 people between Aug. 31 and Sept. 13, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Putman County was first in the state with 280.6 cases per 100,000 .

Butler County home to Miami University ranked third with 216.9 cases and Montgomery County where the University of Dayton has been dealing with an outbreak on its campus ranked eight with 155 cases.

Miami County was 10th with 142.1 cases.

Gov. Mike DeWine said on Tuesday that one of the reasons some of the top counties were seeing such a high influx in cases was due to outbreaks on college campuses.

DeWine said he has spoken with a number of university presidents across the state who have told him that spread of the virus is occurring outside of the classroom at social gatherings and parties. He warned students that if they want to remain on campus for the rest of the semester, they need to practice COVID-19 preventative guidelines like wearing a mask, social distancing and gathering outside when group work is needed.

“Colleges and universities have gone to great lengths to limit spread among students, staff and faculty,” DeWine said. “It is critical that students continue to take preventative actions both on-campus and off-campus. Wear a mask, keep your distance and be careful.”

Of the Clark County’s 189 cases reported between Aug. 31 and Sept. 13, roughly 160 can be attributed to Wittenberg University. As of Tuesday, Wittenberg University had 89 active cases, according to the university’s website.

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The university temporarily moved to remote learning last week after cases seemed to spike overnight. As of Tuesday, Wittenberg plans to resume in-person classes on Sept. 21.

Last week, the university held a free mass testing event with the help of the Ohio National Guard and in partnership with the Clark County Combined Health District. At the event, 446 people were tested for the virus and roughly 30 tested positive, CCCHD Commissioner Charles Patterson said previously.

The county’s recent high occurrences of cases has led to an ODH free pop-up testing clinic on Friday in Springfield. The clinic will be the fourth pop-up testing site the county has hosted.

The drive-thru and walk-up testing clinic will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday at Life in Christ Community Church (formerly New Life of Springfield Church) at 1100 Sunset Ave. in Springfield.

Results from tests will be ab available to patients within 48 hours, Patterson said previously.

“The great thing about it is that two-day turnaround, so if we do find positive cases, which we will, we are able to take action right away,” Patterson said.

Clark County had 1,665 cases, 36 deaths and two probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio reported 139,485 total cases and 4,506 deaths of the coronavirus on Tuesday, according to ODH. Between Monday and Tuesday, the state reported 1,001 new cases and 87 new deaths.

The number of daily deaths reported on Tuesday was nearly double the 21-day average of 24, according to ODH.

Tuesday marked the third-highest number of deaths reported in one day since the pandemic began in March, DeWine said. However, he noted that the date deaths are reported does not reflect when the deaths occurred.

Of the deaths reported Tuesday, 83% happened in the last month, he said.

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Next local pop-up clinic:

1 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18

Life in Christ Community Church (formerly New Life of Springfield)

1100 Sunset Ave. in Springfield