The Delaware Public Health District (DPHD) reported three out of five failed critical factors on its weekly COVID-19 report card, a drop from four failed factors last week. In addition, three of those four factors have dropped in the past week.
The failed factors are new cases of COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2), new cases in the schools, and the positivity rate.
This week’s critical factors are 1,066 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days (it was 1,843 last week); and 934 new cases per 100,000 staff and students in the past seven days (it was 931 last week). The county’s population was last estimated at 209,177. Both of those totals are well over the 50 or less needed for a satisfactory grade.
The positivity rate is 16.4%, down from last week’s 29.4%, yet above the 8% or less satisfactory mark.
The local health care system capacity, or the percent of intensive care unit patients with COVID-19, has fallen to 20%, which is considered satisfactory. The last two weeks it was at 25%.
“While this week’s school rate saw a slight increase, we’re happy to see an improvement in the other remaining factors!” the district posted Wednesday on Facebook.
The other passing factor, which Delaware County has been a statewide leader in, is the COVID-19 vaccination coverage. A total of 73.3% of county residents have had their full vaccination series completed, according to the web page covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.
A closer look at that page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website indicates that the transmission level of the coronavirus remains high in Delaware County. “Everyone in Delaware County, Ohio should wear a mask in public, indoor settings,” the CDC said.
The transmission risk is determined by taking into account the higher of two indicators. Those indicators are new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days, and the percentage of positive Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (which can detect the genetic material — ribonucleic acid sequences — of the coronavirus) during the past seven days. Each indicator is rated as being at a low, moderate, substantial or high level.
The critical factors included in the DPHD’s weekly COVID-19 report card were developed by the 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.
The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker said Wednesday there have been 71.8 million cases of the infectious disease in the United States, resulting in the deaths of 866,968 Americans. Cases and deaths are on the rise over the last 30 days, and the overall community transmission rate is high. The site reports 80.5% of Americans 5 years of age or older have had at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We continue to move toward a time when COVID won’t disrupt our daily lives,” said White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients at a press briefing on Wednesday. “A time when COVID is no longer a crisis, but rather something we protect against and treat.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.