COVID-19 cases ‘leveling out’ in Clark County, health commissioner says

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Cases of COVID-19 are ‘leveling out’ in Clark County, according to the county’s health commissioner.

Last week, the county confirmed 72 cases of the virus. It was the first time the county had recorded a weekly case count that low since May, 2020.

This week, the county recorded 79 confirmed cases, Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said.

“Cases have started to level out. We were on a couple of weeks of decline, and now they have leveled. But I wouldn’t say that they are raising again,” Patterson said.

While weekly cases ticked up slightly this week, Patterson said the county did see a drop in cases per 100,000 people.

On Thursday, the state average 140.2 cases per 100,000 people. That’s the lowest the rate has been since mid-October, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Gov. Mike DeWine has said If Ohio recorded fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people for two straight weeks all the state’s public health orders, including the mask mandate, will be lifted.

“Fifty is what we are focused on. That’s where we want to be if we want to do away with the public health orders,” Patterson said. “This week we came down to 118.6.”

The county is ranked 42nd out of Ohio’s 88 counties. That’s a big change from early March, when Clark County had the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state — for several weeks in a row.

“It wasn’t too long ago that we were sitting here two weeks in a row talking about us being in first place, then we dropped back to fourth, and then back up to first place,” Patterson said. “It’s super that we have dropped all the way down to 42nd.”

Patterson said he attributes the drop in cases to vaccinations.

“We know that a lot of it has to do with vaccinations,” Patterson said.

As of Friday, 50,540 vaccination shots had been given in Clark County, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Roughly 38% of the county’s total population has received at least one vaccine shot.

About 34% is fully vaccinated, according to ODH.

More than 4.8 million people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and more than 4,059,000 have finished the vaccine.

Clark County had 13,970 cases and 299 deaths of coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the ODH.

Fewer than 1,500 daily cases of coronavirus were reported in Ohio for the sixth day in a row Friday, according to ODH. The state recorded 1,397 cases in the last day, only 10 more than the 1,387 cases reported on Thursday.

Ohio reported 84 deaths on Friday. Deaths are reported by the state twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday. Throughout the pandemic, Ohio has recorded 19,428 resident deaths.

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