COVID-19 cases in Highland County have increased, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Monday that the county was seeing 10 new cases per day, which is about 24 cases per 100,000 in population.
The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Dec. 5, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 6.9 new cases per day, about 16 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 “medium” based on cases and hospitalizations, according to the most recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) update on Dec. 15.
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 an average of 10 cases were reported each day in the county, which was a 52 percent increase compared to the average two weeks ago. It said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 12,969 reported cases.
The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on Dec. 15 for the U.S. as well. The tracker said that “by any metrics, conditions have worsened markedly at the national level this month.”
The tracker said that reported cases and hospitalizations have seen a “particularly large” increase as both of those areas have gone up by more than 40 percent compared to their numbers at Thanksgiving.
It also said most states have reported increases in cases and hospitalizations in the last two weeks, with population centers in New York City and Los Angeles continuing to be “troubling hot spots.”
However, the tracker said there are some “promising” signs in areas like the Southwest.
“The region was experiencing the worst outbreak in the country for most of November, but conditions there are now improving,” the tracker said. “Though cases remain high in Arizona and New Mexico, they have fallen by more than 10 percent over the past two weeks, and in New Mexico hospitalizations have decreased by more than 20 percent.”
In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 287.3 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 249.6 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 24th among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.
In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.14 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 64.53 percent.
In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.82 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.12 percent.
The dashboard also said there have been 8,124 “first booster” doses and 2,950 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.
It also said 2,678 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.