An increased positivity rate has led the Delaware Public Health District to change its COVID-19 report card on Wednesday to indicate three of the five factors are failures.
These failures are leading the agency to continue to advise that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings due to coronavirus.
The last couple weeks, there were two failing factors: the level of community transmission (261.50 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days, which is more than the 50 required to be considered a fail), and capacity for early detection of increases in cases (202.47 new cases per 100,000 county public school staff and students in the past week, again greater than 50).
Now, there is a third failed factor: the positivity rate in the county is 9.15%, which is greater than the 8% threshold.
The county continues to have a passing mark in health system capacity (the percent of ICU patients with COVID-19 is 20% according to the Ohio Hospital Association), as well as a satisfactory mark in COVID-19 vaccination coverage at 63.2%.
The weekly report the DPHD issues said there are now an average of 36 new cases per day per 100,000 population (up 10 from last week), with 18,804 total cases (up from 18,314 last week), 738 cases placed in isolation within the last 10 days (up from 579 last week), and 27,297 total vaccine doses administered by DPHD (up 35 from last week).
From a low case rate in July, the district said the case rate is now at a critical level in September. The monthly report said the cases and hospitalizations in Delaware are much lower than neighboring Franklin, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morrow, and Union counties.
The district’s monthly report for September also shows the importance of being vaccinated for COVID-19. So far in 2021, 95% of the breakthrough cases, 76% of the hospitalizations, and 94% of the deaths from the coronavirus in Delaware County have occurred among the unvaccinated.
There will be clinics for seventh and 12th graders at Buckeye Valley High School (Friday) and Big Walnut high and middle schools (Sept. 15). Use code TEEN2021 to register 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.
Free rapid take-home COVID-19 antigen testing kits are available at the Delaware County District Library or Community Library in Sunbury drive-thru windows.
There was a delay in reporting some COVID-19 data to the Ohio Department of Health on Wednesday afternoon. However, Delaware County still has the 14th-most cases in Ohio with 21,004 (up from 20,603 last week). There have been 360 residents hospitalized due to the coronavirus and 140 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 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 66,982 hospitalizations and 21,020 deaths.
The ODH’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Dashboard said Delaware County continues to lead the state’s 88 counties in the percentage of population who have started the vaccine, with 66.4% (139,039 people). No other county has 60%. Ohio’s totals are 6.1 million people, or 52.5% of the population, have started on the vaccine.
Delaware County also has the highest percentage of population who have completed receiving the vaccination, with 63.1% (132,118 people). No other county has 60%. The state totals are 5.6 million people, or 48.5% of the population, have completed receiving the vaccine.
The ODH also issues a COVID-19 breakthrough chart. Between Jan. 1-Sept. 1, there have been 21,584 hospitalizations and 7,167 deaths among Ohioans who were not fully vaccinated. By comparison, 548 hospitalizations and 80 deaths were reported among fully vaccinated individuals in Ohio during the same period.
The Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 page shows that cases and deaths in the United States have dropped in the last 30 days. As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been 40 million total cases of the coronavirus in the United States, resulting in 647,461 deaths. There have been 375.9 million total vaccines administered.
The CDC’s COVID-19 County Check said on Wednesday, “In Delaware County, Ohio, community transmission is High. Everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings. Mask requirements might vary from place to place. Make sure you follow local laws, rules, regulations or guidance.”
The CDC also said they can help you find where to get vaccinated for free by calling 1-800-232-0233 or texting your zip code to 438829.
The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard said Wednesday afternoon that 4.2 million cases of coronavirus and 32,190 deaths from the infectious disease have hit the U.S. in the past 28 days.
To date, 222.2 million people worldwide have had COVID-19, and 4.5 million have died from the global pandemic. In the last 28 days, 17.9 million people have contracted the coronavirus, with 272,104 deaths worldwide.
Thus far, 5.5 billion total vaccine doses have been administered, with 978 million doses administered over the past 28 days.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.