County sees slight Covid increases


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have gone up somewhat, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Tuesday that the county was seeing 6.7 new cases per day, which is about 16 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on Feb. 14, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 6.3 new cases per day, about 15 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 Feb. 16.

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 result is 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 an average of seven cases were reported each day in the county, which was about the same compared to the average two weeks ago. It also said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has seen a total of 13,423 reported cases.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on Feb. 17 for the U.S. as well. The tracker said that reported cases are going down across the country, “as they have been since the start of the year.” However, it also said that the decrease hasn’t been as steep in recent times because cases have gone up in around half of the states.

The tracker said Western states such as Montana and Wyoming have seen case increases of up to 55 percent in the last two weeks, with hospitalizations increasing in parts of the West as well, but the latter has “leveled off” nationally.

It also said deaths have stayed “persistently high,” as around 3,000 people die of COVID each week in the United States on average.

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 206.2 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 ninth among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.16 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 64.75 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 60.02 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.14 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 8,190 “first booster” doses and 3,151 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 3,058 people from Highland County have received the “updated bivalent booster.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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