County COVID-19 cases drop by more than half


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have fallen, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Monday that the county was seeing 3.6 new cases per day, which is about 8.3 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Jan. 16, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 7.4 new cases per day, about 17 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 Jan. 19.

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

The tracker said the test positivity rate in Highland County is “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 also said an average of four cases were reported each day in the county, which was a 73-percent decrease compared to the average two weeks ago. It also said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 13,253 reported cases.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on Jan. 20 for the U.S. as well. The tracker said that “most metrics” are on a downward trend nationally, following a period of growth after the holiday season.

It also said that cases, hospitalizations and test positivity were all down by about 20 percent in the last two weeks, with new deaths “slightly higher” in those two weeks. However, it also said those figures were down in recent days.

“These improving conditions are most pronounced in the Northeast. New Jersey and New York had some of the country’s worst outbreaks for much of December and early January, but in recent weeks, reported cases have fallen by around 30 percent in both states,” the tracker said.

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 above the state average of 132.7 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 23rd among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.18 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 64.67 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 59.94 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.17 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 8,180 “first booster” doses and 3,126 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 2,998 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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