COVID-19: Local health officials urge safe celebrations this Independence Day

Stephanie Johnson and Chris Cook, from the Clark County Combined Health District, pass out COVID-19 home test kits in a drive-thru Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in the parking lot at Springfield High School. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Stephanie Johnson and Chris Cook, from the Clark County Combined Health District, pass out COVID-19 home test kits in a drive-thru Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in the parking lot at Springfield High School. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

For the sixth consecutive week, Clark County has surpassed 100 new cases of COVID-19.

A total of 178 cases in the last week were confirmed, according to Clark County Combined Health District communications coordinator Nate Smith through positive at-home tests. He hosted this week’s public health livestream update alongside Bethel Twp. Fire Marshal Jim Snyder.

Four hospital admissions for COVID-19 were reported in the last several days, resulting in a “low” community level for the county per the Centers for Disease Control as of Friday afternoon. Residents with counties with low community levels should stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 series and get tested if they have symptoms, the CDC recommends.

Given the upcoming Independence Day holiday, Smith recommended families celebrating consider doing so outside.

“We know there’s ample community spread out there,” Smith said. “As we look into the holiday weekend, people getting together, there is opportunity for spread and infection.”

Explore4th of July fireworks: Your guide to local Independence Day events

As the county came down from the Omicron variant, 138 cases of the virus were reported to the health district in the month of April.

A total of 575 cases were reported to the health district in May and 684 reported in June, according to the health district.

“We are seeing a month-to-month increase, so it’s certainly something we want to be aware and cognizant of going forward,” Smith said.

Clark County’s health district recommends that those who are traveling check the COVID transmission levels of their destination counties and wear a mask if social distancing at rest stops isn’t possible or if they are visiting loved ones who may be particularly vulnerable to severe infections.

“These are a lot of the same tips that we have really advocated for and we continue to press that message going forward,” Smith said.

ExploreHundreds of young children start COVID-19 vaccine in the Miami Valley

As of Friday, more than 35,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Clark County.

Snyder also cautioned people to celebrate the holiday safely. Snyder offered safety tips for the weekend for fireworks displays. A new state law allows the use of some fireworks starting on July 3, but they are still prohibited for use within Springfield because of the city’s codified ordinances.

Snyder said that last year alone nationally, more than 15,000 people were treated in emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries and 18 people died from fireworks-related incidents.

The fire marshal said pyrotechnics are best left to professionals, particularly with larger items. He said children should not be allowed to play with or ignite fireworks, and adults should never attempt to reignite “dud” fireworks.

“Accidents happen,” he said. “And that’s why they’re called accidents: no one is planning or trying to get hurt, it just ends up that way.”

About the Author