As of Friday, Highland County has had a total of 215 lab-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, according to the Highland County Health Department.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner stated that probable cases must “[meet] clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19” or “[meet] presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence.”
“In almost every probable case that we have recorded, the case is a household contact of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 patient that got sick after exposure in the home. These cases often decline to be tested, either due to limited insurance coverage, not wanting to pay a doctor’s office visit fee, or just not seeing the point in testing,” Warner wrote. “For example, if a wife tests positive for COVID-19, and 5 days later her husband becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms, he may decide that there is no point in testing. It is very probable that he has COVID-19, so he decides to save himself a $30 office visit charge, and recovers at home. This case would go into our “probable” case count. It isn’t a guarantee, but it is likely it is a case.
“Probable cases are included in our cumulative case count and are treated as if they are lab-confirmed, with the same isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine process.”
As of Friday, the health department had documented 19 such cases in Highland County since the pandemic began.
The health department also reported that as of Friday there were currently 11 actively sick patients and one COVID-19-related hospitalization, and the health department is currently monitoring 37 people for symptoms.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak reached Highland County, there have been a total of 24 COVID-19-related hospitalizations three COVID-19-related deaths, and 201 patients have recovered from COVID-19.
According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which reported 194 cases in the county as of Friday, of the cases in Highland County:
* 34 cases involved 40- to 49-year-olds, three of whom were hospitalized.
* 32 cases involved 60- to 69-year-olds, four of whom were hospitalized.
* 32 cases involved 50- to 59-year-olds, three of whom were hospitalized.
* 29 cases involved 70- to 79-year-olds, eight of whom were hospitalized and one of whom later died.
* 28 cases involved 20- to 29-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* 18 cases involved 30- to 39-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* 17 cases involved 0- to 19-year-olds, one of whom was hospitalized.
* Three cases involved someone 80 years old or older, all of whom were hospitalized and two of whom later died.
* One case involved someone of an unknown age range.
As of Friday, there had been 128,444 total COVID-19 cases throughout Ohio since the pandemic began — 13,731 of which resulted in hospitalization and 4,248 of which resulted in death. A total of 107,083 patients are presumed recovered, which the ODH defines as cases that have over 21 days since the onset of COVID-19 symptoms and that did not result in death.
As of Thursday, Highland County remains at a level 1 public emergency, which represents active COVID-19 exposure and spread.
Highland County was upgraded to a level 2 public emergency, which represents increased COVID-19 exposure and spread, in mid-July and remained at level 2 until last week.
Nearby, Pike County was downgraded from a level 2 to a level 1 as of Thursday.
As of Thursday, Highland County still met one risk indicator: the risk indicator for the proportion of cases in a non-congregate setting, or “Indicator 3.”
Congregate settings include nursing homes.
The ODH uses risk indicators to monitor counties for increased COVID-19 activity. For more information about risk indicators and ODH’s public health advisory system, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/.
For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
According to press releases from the office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine:
ODH Interim Director Lance Himes signed an order Friday that provides guidance to K-12 schools on reporting and notifying parents and guardians of COVID-19 cases within their schools and districts.
“Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, parents or guardians and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive test or a clinical diagnosis,” a press release read. “Within 24 hours after receiving that notification, the school should notify other parents and guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. The school must also notify their local health department within 24 hours.
“Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15, and each Tuesday thereafter, local health departments will report the number of newly reported and cumulative cases to the Ohio Department of Health. The Ohio Department of Health will publish this data by school or school district, including a breakdown by students and staff, each Thursday.
“‘We understand there is a balance between privacy and transparency, and we do not intend for protected health information to be released in our effort to provide information to Ohioans so they can make the right decisions for their family,” DeWine said.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.