Coronavirus: Over 500 tested at Kenton Ridge pop-up clinic

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Over 500 people were tested for COVID-19 at a free pop-up clinic as part of an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus cases related to an outbreak in the Northeastern Local School District.

The Clark County Combined Health District had hoped to test 500 people at the event that was held Friday at Kenton Ridge High School in Moorefield Twp., CCCHD Commissioner Charles Patterson said.

Of the 520 total who were tested at the event, 4.04% tested positive for COVID-19, according to data from the CCCHD. Not all those who were tested were Clark County residents.

As of Wednesday, Ohio’s positivity rate was 4.9%, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The health district has frequently said it’s impossible to know the county’s overall test positivity rate because county residents can be tested for COVID-19 in other parts of the state and the district doesn’t receive that information. For example, a Clark County resident could be tested at a pop-up clinic in Montgomery County, but the health district would only receive word of the test if the results were positive.

The pop-up testing was hosted with the help of ODH and the Northeastern school district. The health district reached out to the state to coordinate the testing because of an increase in cases in Moorefield Twp. more specifically at Kenton Ridge High School and Northridge Middle and Elementary School, Patterson said.

According to Northeastern’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Monday, the district reported 27 total positive cases of the virus, nine probable cases, and a total of 340 current quarantined cases.

Kenton Ridge had 19 confirmed cases, six probable cases and 237 current quarantined cases. Northridge had six confirmed cases, three probable cases and 81 current quarantined cases. It’s unclear which of those cases are students and which are staff members.

Patterson said by having held the testing clinic at Kenton Ridge, the health district hopes to have a better shot at finding out who is carrying the virus within the district and getting those people quarantined.

Northeastern was also one of two Clark County school districts to have discrepancies in their weekly state COVID-19 dashboard last Thursday.

Both Northeastern and Greenon Local School District were listed with more student cases in the most recent week than in the cumulative five-week reporting period. For example, according to the state dashboard, Northeastern reported 19 new student cases but just five cumulative student cases.

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The discrepancies occurred in numerous other districts across the state as well, including many in Montgomery County.

Officials from ODH said they looked at the discrepancies and confirmed that the data posted on their website on Thursday “is what has been reported by the local health departments.”

Dan Suffoletto, the spokesman for Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County, said the agency’s staff is working on the problem with ODH.

“There is a problem with the way the cumulative totals are adding up in the spreadsheet,” Suffoletto said. “We anticipate the numbers will update correctly on Thursday.”

Kyle Trout, the Communications Coordinator for the CCCHD, said no discrepancies had been brought to the health district’s attention until the Springfield News-Sun’s inquiry about the numbers.

“We do know that the reporting system may not always line up from the state to the local level because the state updates at different times during the week. The local level will generally, barring a mistake, be the most accurate reporting,” Trout said.

Trout encouraged those curious about their district’s case count to check with their individual district. He said the health district has a “great working relationship” with all of the county’s school districts and continues “to collaborate with them on this reporting.”

“Even so, there will always be discrepancies between the state and local reporting systems due to the difference in times that each system is updated," Trout said.

The state dashboard is the result of an ODH order requiring schools to report cases to their health department within 24 hours of learning of them. Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled the dashboard on Sept. 17.

The dashboard tracks cases of COVID-19 in all public and private K-12 schools across the state. Data displayed on the board includes all student and staff cases broken into two categories: new and cumulative. The board is updated each Thursday.

Clark County had 2,451 cases, 65 deaths and four probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon, according to ODH.

Ohio set another record for daily cases reported in the state with 2,366 new cases reported on Wednesday. The last record was set on Saturday with 2,234. It’s the fifth time in the last seven days Ohio has reported more than 2,000 cases a day and the fourth time the state broke the daily case record in less than two weeks.

In total, the state reported 188,005 total cases and 5,149 total deaths on Wednesday, according to ODH.