DPHD now weighing COVID-19 factors


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



The Delaware Public Health District issued its first COVID-19 Critical Factor Report Card Tuesday.

The new weekly report card is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to inform local decision-making and community guidance.”

Five critical factors in the county will be examined on a weekly basis by the health district. If two or more of the five critical factors are reported as failing by the district, “a recommendation will be made that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings.

“In addition, everyone should comply with the practices of facilities and businesses that require masks,” the DPHD continued. “Fully vaccinated individuals should make the decision to wear a mask based on their own risk assessment or that of their family and friends.”

Based on the first report, there was only one failing grade, which was the level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission in the past week. The county passed or had satisfactory marks on the rest. As the reports continue, The Gazette will highlight the five factors in more detail.

The weekly COVID-19 numbers issued by the health district said there were an average of nine new cases per day per 100,000 population (up from six last week); 17,174 total cases (up 103 in the past week); 169 cases placed in isolation within the last 10 days (up from 146 last week); and 27,113 total vaccine doses administered by the district (up 23 from last week).

On Monday, the DPHD posted on Facebook a link — https://publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ — that answers a lot of the questions people may have about the coronavirus, the Delta variant, vaccines, masking and policies.

Here is an example of a question from the link, and its answer:

“I already had COVID-19, why do I still need the vaccine?

“Not enough is yet known about how long immunity from natural COVID-19 illness might last and protect you from becoming re-infected and spreading the illness to others. For that reason, even if you have already been infected, vaccination is an important step to protect yourself and those around you.”

The Ohio Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Dashboard on Wednesday said Delaware County still leads the state’s 88 counties in the percentage of population who have started the vaccine, with nearly 64% (133,653 people). Ohio’s totals are 5.8 million people, or almost half of the population, have started on the vaccine.

Delaware County also has the highest percentage of population who have completed receiving the vaccination, with almost 61% (127,096 people). The state totals are 5.4 million people, or 46% of the population, have completed receiving the vaccine.

Delaware County is 14th-most in the state with 19,327 cases. The ODH said 346 Delaware County residents have been hospitalized, and 138 people have died. The discrepancies in the county totals by the two agencies (DPHD and ODH) is based on additional jurisdictions reporting to ODH.

The ODH is also reporting there have been more than 1.1 million cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 62,242 hospitalizations and 20,530 deaths.

The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows cases and deaths in the United States have risen sharply in the last 30 days. As of Wednesday, there have been 35.1 million total cases of the coronavirus in the United States, resulting in 611,791 deaths. There have been 347.3 million total vaccines administered.

President Biden said Tuesday of the Delta variant, “This is a very different variant than what we’ve dealt with previously. It’s highly transmissible, and it’s causing a new wave of cases. It accounts for over 80% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States today. Experts tell us that we’re going to see these cases rise in the weeks ahead — a largely preventable tragedy that will get worse before it gets better.”

Also on Tuesday, it was announced that more than 100 million US COVID-19 vaccine doses have been donated and shipped abroad. In addition, the Associated Press reported the U.S. has hit the 70% vaccination rate.

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By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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