COVID continues downward trend


COVID-19 cases in Highland County have continued to go down, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. It said Tuesday 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 Feb. 27, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 5.1 new cases per day, about 12 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 March 9.

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 also 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 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 four cases were reported each day in the county, which was a 31 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 13,505 reported cases.

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave an update on March 9 for the U.S. It said that reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all decreased across the country in the last two weeks.

The tracker also said hospitalizations “have been falling steadily for several weeks,” with the number now just over 25,000 nationally, the country’s lowest since May. The tracker said tha in some states like Hawaii and Nevada, hospitalizations are lower than at any time in the last two years. It said test positivity has gone down “quite sharply” in the last two weeks.

“This is a promising sign that the declines in other areas are unlikely to change course in the immediate future,” the tracker said.

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 106.6 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 129.5 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 63rd among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 41.17 percent of the county’s residents that have started their vaccines, according to the ODH COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard. The state average for “vaccine started” is 64.80 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 60.07 percent, while the Highland County average is 38.14 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 8,191 “first booster” doses and 3,168 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

It also said 3,090 people from Highland County have received the updated bivalent booster.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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