COVID-19 case rates in the county falling slightly


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have fallen slightly, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Tuesday that the county was seeing 4.9 new cases per day, which is about 11 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Nov. 8, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 5.6 new cases per day, about 13 cases per 100,000 in population.

The tracker gave some of the latest trends for the county. It said that the community level of COVID-19 in the county is “low” based on cases and hospitalizations, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) update on Nov. 17. It also said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients fell in the county, with the number of deaths staying at “about the same level.” Also, the tracker said that “recent” data on the county’s test positivity rate wasn’t available at the time.

“Higher test positivity rates are a sign that many infections are not reported — even if they are tested for at home,” the tracker said. “This results in a more severe under count of cases. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID is a more reliable measure because testing is more consistent in hospitals.”

The update also said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 12,745 reported COVID-19 cases, and at least one in four residents have been infected. It also said that since the beginning of the pandemic, “at least one in 226 residents have died of COVID-19,” as a total of 191 deaths have been reported in the county.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave an update on Nov. 17 for the U.S. as well. The tracker said reports of new cases have been “roughly flat” in the last two weeks, but the rising test positivity “suggests that they may not stay that way.”

It also said cases are going up in half of the states and falling in the other half.

“In most places, these shifts have been minor, though the Southwest, particularly New Mexico, remains an area of concern,” the tracker said.

The tracker also said recent hospitalizations have been flat nationally. However, it also said daily deaths have been falling, with deaths going down nationally by 13 percent in the last two weeks, amounting to about 300 per day.

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 171.5 cases per 100,000 in population over the previous two weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Dashboard, which was last updated Thursday. The case rate was above the state average of 158.6 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 26th among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.0 percent of the county’s residents that have started their vaccines, according to the ODH COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, which was last updated on Thursday. The state average for “vaccine started” is 64.37 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.67 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.03 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 8,046 “first booster” doses and 2,678 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12 to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 2,199 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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