Case numbers still falling


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have gone down considerably, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Tuesday that the county was seeing 4.7 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 Oct. 3, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 6.4 new cases per day, about 14 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 is “low” based on cases and hospitalizations, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) update on Oct. 6.

It also said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has fallen in the county, with deaths staying about the same. However, it also said that the test positivity rate for the 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 undercount 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 12,535 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 Oct. 6 for the U.S. as well. It said that the COVID conditions have continued to “improve” across the country, with reported cases “at their lowest point” since April and hospitalizations under 30,000 “for the first time since June.”

However, the tracker also said cases have “ticked up slightly” in the Northeast since early September and are continuing to rise in states. It also said, however, that cases have started to fall again in New Jersey and New York.

“That trend, coupled with stable test positivity rates, suggests that the region’s outbreak will likely remain mild,” the tracker said.

The tracker said that deaths are still “troublingly high” and officials are also seeing the first “sustained decline in several months.” The tracker said the number of deaths has gone down by 8 percent in the last two weeks, now amounting to about 400 per day.

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 187.7 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 155.4 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 27th among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 40.80 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 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.32 percent, while the Highland County average is 37.81 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 7,853 “first booster” doses and 1,871 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 715 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.
But COVID-19 positivity rate for county remains ‘very high’

By Jacob Clary

[email protected]

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