Highland County will receive a high number of vaccines next week, according to Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner.
He said the Highland County Health Department will be getting 300 doses for the Phase 1B group, 700 for school staff and 500 doses also coming into other providers for the Phase 1B population.
According to Warner, the 800 vaccines are the most the department has received in a single week so far. He also said that the 700 doses will be able to cover all the K-12 staff in Highland County that want the shot next week.
Warner said that the county has received 3,182 COVID-19 vaccine doses for to date, and that next week should have almost 2,000 doses given to county residents during vaccine clinics because of the weather delays and the new shipment of vaccines.
“I HATE canceling clinics,” Warner wrote on the health department’s Facebook page. “Something in my brain just can’t come to terms with it, even when it makes sense to do it. We don’t want our 80 and older group out on the roads and sidewalks in bad weather. The last 7 days have been a mess of adjusted vaccine appointments and rescheduled clinics thanks to the weather, and most recently due to vaccine shipment delays. I can’t say enough about how understanding our patients have been, and how wonderful our staff has been in being flexible and adjusting their plans to make things work.”
The health department has also announced a partnership with the Highland County District Library system and the Area Agency on Aging Region 7. The department said this partnership will help support seniors in the area that might be having trouble completing their online vaccine registration.
In his latest COVID-19 update, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the launch of Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program. He said it will help nursing homes and assisted living facilities by giving them each month the ability to host vaccine clinics for residents and staff that might need the vaccine. DeWine has also said he is working on creating a plan for safe nursing home visits by assembling a team of doctors and nurses.
In other COVID news, Warner said the current case count in the county stands at 361.44 per 100,000 and continues the county’s downward trend. He said other areas that remain lower than in recent weeks include outpatient visits, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and death rates.
However, one area that is seeing an increase is reported deaths because, Warner said, counties are having trouble getting final death reports to verify the death count. He said the number would jump to 46 reported deaths in Highland County, and that they primarily happened during the last case surge from October to December.
According to the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Public Health Advisory System, last updated on Feb. 18, the cases per 100,000 for Highland County are 340.59.
All indicators are currently going down except for non-congregate cases, which have gone up. Non-congregate cases are flagged “if a proportion of cases not in a congregate setting goes over 50 percent in at least one of the last three weeks,” the ODH stated.
The county is also still in a Level 3 Public Emergency, according to the ODH, which means there is very high exposure and spread and people should limit their activities as much as possible.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.