Delaware County’s COVID cases lower than nearby counties


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



The Delaware Public Health District’s COVID-19 Monthly Report for November continues to show the value of being vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In a comparison of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per 100,000 population among surrounding counties, Delaware County has the lowest total in both categories, the health district reports. Of those same counties, Delaware County has the highest percentage of eligible population fully vaccinated.

As of Nov. 13, 80% of the eligible population in Delaware County was fully vaccinated. The percentage of those fully vaccinated in surrounding counties stand at Franklin with 68%, Union at 66%, Licking at 59%, Marion at 51%, Knox at 46% and Morrow at 44%. The number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in October were Marion with 1,476, Knox with 1,391, Licking with 1,318, Morrow with 1,273, Union with 1,148, Franklin with 712 and Delaware with 657. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 in October were Knox with 97, Union with 33, Licking and Marion with 26 each, Morrow with 20, Franklin with 13 and Delaware with four.

Another trend the DPHD is showing is that vaccinated breakthrough cases has risen from August to October as compared over the entire year. Of the total COVID-19 cases during that time span, 22% of them were vaccinated breakthrough cases; 40% of the hospitalizations were vaccinated; and 26% of the deaths were vaccinated. However, that is still much less in each category compared to those whose status is unvaccinated.

A bar chart showing cases by age from Oct. 30-Nov. 13 indicated that the most cases were among children 9 years old and under, followed closely by those aged 10-19. Third was ages 40-49. Of the age groups, those 80 and older had the fewest cases, the district reported.

On Nov. 24, DPHD posted on Facebook, “The COVID-19 weekly reports will be postponed due to the holiday week. Have a very happy & healthy Thanksgiving! Remember, families can take careful precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including staying home if sick and wearing a mask around those with weakened immune systems.”

The DPHD reported three failed factors on its COVID-19 Critical Factor Report Card for Nov. 17, which means it recommends that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, continue to wear a mask in public indoor settings. Five critical factors are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to inform local decision-making and community guidance.” When two or more of the factors are reported as failing, the health district will recommend continuing to wear the masks.

One failed factor is the positivity rate as measured by the CDC. The county’s rate was 8.92%, which is greater than the 8% threshold. Next, county transmission increased to 264 cases per 100,000 people in a week. Lastly, cases in county public school staff and students over seven days was 436 per 100,000 people. The transmission rate and new cases each should be less than 50 per week.

There are two positive factors. First, the CDC’s COVID data tracker said 66.7% of Delaware County residents have completed the vaccinations for coronavirus. Second is health system capacity, as measured by Ohio Hospital Association. In Delaware County, 14% of intensive care unit patients have COVID-19, less than the 20% that would merit a failing grade.

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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.