Coronavirus: Clark County’s health commissioner says he’s ‘very happy’ with residents holiday behaviors

Clark County may have managed to dodge a post-holiday COVID-19 spike due to the cautious behavior of residents, the county’s health commissioner said.

Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said Friday he is “very happy,” with the holiday behavior of “most of our citizens.”

“I’m very happy with the behavior of most of our citizens during Thanksgiving because people had smaller Thanksgivings. During Christmas, many, many, many people had smaller Christmases, and of course, during New Years because there really wasn’t much to do,” Patterson said Friday in his weekly update on the coronavirus.

The county’s good news is a sharp contrast to the rest of the country, where U.S. deaths from the coronavirus hit 4,085 on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University project, as new cases neared 275,000 across the country.

The Associated Press reported Thursday as one of the deadliest days in U.S. history, with the COVID-19 toll far outstripping the nearly 3,000 killed on 9/11 and exceeding the combined total of nearly 3,900 U.S. lives lost on D-Day and at Pearl Harbor.

Experts have warned that cases, hospitalizations and deaths will increase as the result of holiday gatherings and colder weather that pushes more people indoors.

Patterson said he doesn’t believe Clark County will see a “big spike,” and if the county was going to see a large post-holiday COVID spike some signs would have already been shown. Instead, he said he believes the county will experience a more “gentle swell,” in cases like after Thanksgiving.

The week following Thanksgiving the county saw roughly 700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from the CCCHD. It wasn’t until the week of January 18 that the county’s weekly average bumped up to 800.

Between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, the county saw 605 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This week, the county saw 695 cases, averaging just under 100 positive cases a day.

Patterson said he expects those numbers to be where they are for this stage of the pandemic, and he expects to remain around 700 cases again next week.

“We will probably see something a little higher next week, but we don’t plan on a real heavy spike. Like I said, people did a good job. People had smaller things. We are going to see a gentle swell like we did after Thanksgiving. We didn’t see this huge spike because many, many people are doing the right thing within our community and they are wearing masks and lessening their exposure to other people in private settings,” Patterson said. “I don’t think we are going to see that big spike.”

Ohio recorded 9,535 daily cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the second-highest number of cases reported since Christmas, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Since the pandemic began, Ohio has reported 762,603 total cases.

Hospitalizations increased by 318 in Ohio. It’s the third straight day daily hospitalizations have decreased.

The state reported 82 more deaths Friday, and the total since the pandemic began reached 9,544. Nationally, more than 365,000 people have died from the virus that has left nearly 22 million people infected. More than 132,000 people nationwide are hospitalized with the virus.

Clark County had 9,758 cases of the coronavirus as of Friday, according to ODH. The county also had 241 deaths and 12 probable deaths according to data from the CCCHD.

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