COVID-19 cases are on the rise


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have gone up slightly, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Tuesday that the county was seeing 5.6 new cases per day, which is about 13 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Oct. 17, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 4.1 new cases per day, about 9.6 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. 3.

It also said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has stayed at about the “same level” in the county. 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 12,670 reported cases, and at least one in four residents have been infected.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on Nov. 4 for the U.S. as well. It said that cases and hospitalizations “are both rising for the first time in several months.” It said the rise is “modest” at the national level at the moment but has also been more “pronounced” in some specific areas.

The tracker said in states in the South and West like Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, there have been case increases of 50 percent or more over the last two weeks. It also said hospitalizations have climbed by 20 percent or more in eight states.

“Daily deaths from the coronavirus are still seeing a sustained decline,” the tracker said. “While still troublingly high, the average number of deaths announced each day recently fell below 350 — a marked improvement from the nearly 500 deaths per day seen for much of the summer.”

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 164.5 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 below the state average of 182.0 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 53rd among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 40.96 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 64.24 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.54 percent, while the Highland County average is 37.96 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 7,979 “first booster” doses and 2,473 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 1,825 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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