COVID numbers on downward spiral


The Delaware Public Health District (DPHD) is still reporting three out of five failed critical factors on its weekly COVID-19 report card, yet the outlook continues to improve.

“This week, we’re again reporting three failed factors, however all saw a significant statistical improvement!” DPHD posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

The failed factors are new cases of COVID-19, new cases in the schools, and the positivity rate.

This week’s critical factors are 160 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days (it was 314 last week and 689 two weeks ago), and 150 new cases per 100,000 staff and students in the past seven days (down from 828 the last two weeks). The county’s population was last estimated at 209,177. Both of those totals are still over the 50 or less needed for a satisfactory grade.

The positivity rate is 11%, down from 15% a week ago and 20% two weeks ago, and above the 8% or less satisfactory mark.

The local health care system capacity, or the percent of intensive care unit patients with COVID-19, fell to 8%, which is considered satisfactory, down from 14% the last two weeks.

The other passing factor, which Delaware County has been a statewide leader in, is the COVID-19 vaccination coverage. A total of 74.2% of eligible county residents have had their full vaccination series completed, according to the web page

The critical factors included in the DPHD’s weekly COVID-19 report card were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help local agencies provide community guidance. If two or more of those factors are positive, the DPHD has recommended residents wear masks in public, even those who are vaccinated and boosted.

On Feb. 11, DPHD released its monthly COVID-19 report. Cases spiked in January, with the most in the 30-39 age group. From January 2021 to January 2022, 79% of the hospitalizations and 83% of the deaths in the county from coronavirus were among the unvaccinated.

Delaware County still has more of its population vaccinated than surrounding counties in central Ohio, the district’s report said. This has resulted in fewer hospitalizations than those other counties.

Also in the report was a graphic about a study that shows “wearing a mask indoors helps protect against COVID-19,” the DPHD said. “Compared with those who reported not wearing a face covering, people who reported always wearing one in indoor public settings were less likely to test positive for COVID-19. Respirators (N95/KN95) were most protective.”

The CDC released the mask study.

The CDC’s website said the transmission level of the coronavirus remains high in Ohio. It said over the last seven days, 20,929 cases were reported, 788 Ohioans have died, an average of 326 Ohioans per day have been admitted to a hospital due to the infectious disease, and 10-15% of the population is considered positive.

Community transmission is also high in Delaware County.

“Everyone in Delaware County, Ohio should wear a mask in public, indoor settings,” the CDC said on Feb. 16. “Mask requirements might vary from place to place. Make sure you follow local laws, rules, regulations or guidance.”

The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker said Wednesday there have been more than 77.8 million cases of the coronavirus resulting in 920,097 deaths in the United States. However, cases are trending down over the last 30 days. In addition, 80.8% of people 5 or older have had at least one vaccination shot.

Data from the Ohio Department of Health indicates the COVID-19 viral load in the number of N2 gene copies per liter in Columbus metro area wastewater has dropped dramatically at two plants after a spike in early January. Axios Columbus reported Tuesday this means “that the worst of the Omicron variant has likely passed.”

The U.S. is now averaging 151,056 new COVID-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — a stark difference from the peak of more than 800,000 cases per day a month ago. Vaccinations across the U.S. are also slowing down. About 64% of Americans are fully vaccinated, but only 28% have received a booster dose, according to latest CDC data.

Pictured is the Delaware Public Health District’s COVID-19 critical factor weekly report card. is the Delaware Public Health District’s COVID-19 critical factor weekly report card.

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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