Coronavirus cases more than double in Clark County

The number of COVID-19 related cases in Clark County has more than doubled in the past week, according to local health officials.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been 64 cases, including six probable, one death and another probable death, according to the Clark County Combined Health District.

There has been two outbreaks that have impacted residents going into the week.

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One involved 22 Springfield residents who work at the same facility in another county, which has not been named by local health officials. Those individuals meet the criteria for COVID-19 and have either tested positive or are a symptomatic contact of a lab confirmed positive subject, said CCCHD spokesperson Emma Smales.

The first confirmed Clark County case from that outbreak was reported on Sunday.

Another outbreak involved seven county residents connected to the Southbrook Care Center who have tested positive. That included five residents of the home, and two employees. One of those residents passed away as a result.

There has been an increase of more than 30 confirmed cases in Clark County within a week period as the county had 28 confirmed cases as of April 24.

The uptick comes at a time when Ohio begins slowly opening back up portions of its economy. Friday saw the reopening of some medical, dental and veterinarian offices that had temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Businesses that deal with manufacturing, distribution and construction that were not deemed essential or had to close their doors during the pandemic will be allowed to reopen on Monday. General office businesses are also set to reopen that day.

CCCHD Commissioner Charlie Patterson said it is important for residents to take into account the uptick in local cases as some businesses began to reopen. He said that the county has seen a relatively low number of cases in the past month as residents have been following the state’s stay at home order as well as social distancing guidelines.

“We have done a great job over the past four to six weeks following those orders. We cannot let up now,” Patterson said.

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Amid the gradual reopening of some portions of the economy, the state has extended its stay at home rules through the month of May. People are still encouraged to stay at home, whenever possible, and outside travel should be limited to working at, traveling to or patronizing something that is permitted to be open.

Public or private gatherings of any number of people — outside their household group or family — are still prohibited, according to the order. Exceptions include wedding ceremonies, funerals, First Amendment protected speech and religious gatherings, this news organization previously reported.

However, Patterson said that as things begin reopening, the state may alter its order or close things back down if there is a sizable uptick in cases during that period.

He said the trend of COVID-19 cases in the county is on par with what is being seen in other counties. Communities closer to the county line saw cases in the beginning. Now the more populated areas are seeing an uptick. Approximately half of the county’s confirmed cases are in Springfield.

There has also been a sizable increase in cases for the city’s Latino population. Patterson said that is because a large number of members of that community that have tested positive for COVID-19 share the same workplace.

Public health officials said they have been working with community organizations as well as coalitions to provide support including the use of translators.

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Representatives of CCCHD said its agency as well as its community partners have worked to provide services such as grocery delivery, transportation for medial reasons as well as other miscellaneous support to quarantined individuals. The goal is to make sure they have what they need to stay in place.

Patterson said they have also been able to secure cabins at the C.J. Brown Reservoir for those that need a place to quarantine. He said they are also able to conduct extensive cleanings and sanitize those cabins after quarantine use.

In the comings weeks, he said the region will also be able to expand its test processing capabilities. He said Dayton Children’s Hospital is working to ramp up its testing capacity to around 3,000 a day over the next month.

However, regional providers must first take those samples before sending it to the lab to be processed.

Patterson added that the county currently has three testing sites and is looking to add a fourth one in the near future.

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