County’s COVID-19 critical factors remain same


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



The Delaware Public Health District announced Wednesday there are still two critical factors present with regards to the resurgence of COVID-19.

The two failed factors are responsible for the mask advisory: the level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission (new cases per 100,000 persons in the last seven days), and the capacity for early detection of increases in COVID-19 cases (new cases per 100,000 Delaware County public school staff and students in the past seven days).

However, the county continues to have a passing mark in positivity rate, health system capacity (percent of ICU patients with COVID-19 according to the Ohio Hospital Association), as well as a satisfactory mark in COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

Unfortunately, the data shows that 81.44% of ICU beds in the Ohio Department of Health’s Region 4 are in use.

“With over 80% of ICU beds in use, that means that less than 20% of ICU beds are available should a person – regardless of COVID-19 infection – need that bed,” the DPHD said on Facebook.

The weekly report the DPHD issues said there are now an average of 21 new cases per day per 100,000 population (up from 15 last week), with 17,949 total cases (up 237 from last week), 424 cases placed in isolation within the last 10 days (up 63 from last week), and 27,220 total vaccine doses administered by DPHD (up from 27,176 last week).

A teen vaccine clinic for COVID-19 and school immunizations will be held from 3-6 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Genoa Township Fire Department, 7049 Big Walnut Road, Galena. The Pfizer vaccine will be offered. The clinic is by appointment only by calling 740-368-1700 or scanning QR code Teen2021.

Next month, there will be clinics for seventh and 12th graders at Buckeye Valley High School (Sept. 10) and Big Walnut high and middle schools (Sept. 15). Use code TEEN2021 to register your student at DelawareHealth.org/school-clinics.

Another walk-in COVID-19 clinic open to the public will take place from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Elm Valley Fire District Touch-a-Truck Event, 9821 U.S. Route 42, Ashley.

Recently, the Delaware Public Health District advised people to wear masks indoors and in crowds. However, “We are without authority to issue an order mandating schools to require everyone wear masks,” wrote Health Commissioner Shelia L. Hiddleson.

The Ohio House Health Committee is holding hearings for House Bill 248, which prohibits employers from requiring or requesting employees get any vaccine.

The ODH said Delaware County has exceeded 20,000 cases with 20,149, still 14th-most in Ohio. There have been 356 residents hospitalized due to the coronavirus and 138 deaths in the county. 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 64,853 hospitalizations and 20,729 deaths.

The ODH’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Dashboard on Wednesday said Delaware County continues to lead the state’s 88 counties in the percentage of population who have started the vaccine, with 65.5% (137,203 people). No other county has 60%. Ohio’s totals are more than 6 million people, or 51.4% of the population, have started on the vaccine.

Delaware County also has the highest percentage of population who have completed receiving the vaccination, with 62.1% (129,964 people). No other county has 55%. The state totals are 5.5 million people, or 47.5% of the population, have completed receiving the vaccine.

In a statement issued last week, the Centers for Disease Control said “that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability. … We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of Sept. 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose.”

The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows that cases and deaths in the United States have risen sharply in the last 30 days. As of Wednesday, there have been 37.9 million total cases of the coronavirus in the United States, resulting in 628,000 deaths. There have been 363.9 million total vaccines administered.

The White House’s COVID-19 Response Team said Tuesday, “We have made remarkable progress on vaccinations in just seven months, with more than 200 million Americans now with at least their first shot and 171 million Americans fully vaccinated. But we can’t and we won’t let up. We’re now in a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and the way to end this pandemic is more vaccinations. More vaccinations — that’s exactly what we’re getting done. Nationwide, we’ve gotten a total of 6 million shots in arms in the last seven days. That’s the highest seven-day total in over a month and a half. And at the end of last week, for three straight days, we got more than 1 million shots in arms each day. That’s the first time that’s happened since June.”

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard said Wednesday afternoon that 3.4 million cases of coronavirus and 19,276 deaths from the infectious disease have hit the U.S. in the past 28 days.

To date, 213.6 million people worldwide have had COVID-19, and 4.4 million have died from the global pandemic.

Thus far, 5.2 billion total vaccine doses have been administered, with 1.1 billion doses administered over the past 28 days.

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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.