COVID-19 cases up slightly


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have risen slightly, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Tuesday that the county was seeing 5.4 new cases per day, which is about 12 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Nov. 22, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 4.9 new cases per day, about 11 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. 24.

It also said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen in the county, with the number of deaths staying at “about the same level.”

The tracker also said the test positivity rate in Highland County is “very high.”

“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 said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 12,781 reported cases, and that since the beginning of the pandemic, “at least 1 in 226 residents have died of Covid-19,” with a total of 191 deaths reported in the county.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on Nov. 23 for the U.S. as well. The tracker said conditions have been “fairly stable,” but that cases have gone up “modestly” in the last two weeks to about 42,000 per day across the country, with hospitalizations and deaths staying flat.

“The Southwest is an area of concern, as it has been throughout the month,” the tracker said. “Outside of that region, few states are seeing significant issues.”

It said because “many jurisdictions” don’t report new data on or around Thanksgiving, case and death counts “will likely be artificially low” while reporting those dates. But it also said hospitalization data doesn’t have that kind of barrier, so they should stay “reliable.”

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 157.5 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 159.5 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 38th among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.06 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 64.42 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.71 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.05 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 8,070 “first booster” doses and 2,748 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 2,338 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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