A drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 25 at Liberty Park in Hillsboro, Highland County Health Director Jared Warner said Wednesday in an update on the health department’s Facebook page. He said this clinic is meant to support immunocompromised people looking for a third dose, people at a higher risk of infection or anyone interested in the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said the additional booster shot will not currently be offered to the general public and only immunocompromised will be able to get this dose.
“One major factor in the conversation about booster doses is whether it is ethical to be providing booster doses in the U.S. when much of the world has still not had significant access to first dose vaccines,” Warner said. “The World Health Organization recently called for a delay in any booster doses until more of the developing world had vaccine access, so this may influence how booster doses are handled in the U.S.”
In the update, Warner also said cases continue to increase in the county and that the county’s seven-day total of new cases per 100,000 residents was at 229 as of the update. He said the county’s active case count rose to 167 through Tuesday.
Highland County is seeing 19 new COVID-19 cases each day, which is about 43 cases per 100,000 residents, according to The New York Times COVID Tracker, which was last updated Thursday. This is an increase compared to Monday, Aug. 16, when it was 12 new COVID-19 cases per day, or about 28 cases per 100,000 residents.
Highland County remains in the highest risk category in terms of community Covid transmission, according to the Center for Disease Control’s COVID Data Tracker which was last updated Monday. There are four levels of community transmission – Low, Moderate, Substantial and High. Highland County is currently in the “High” designation.
The CDC said the data for this tracker comes from two different indicators of categorization: The total number of new cases per 100,000 people within the last seven daysl and the percentage of positive diagnostic and screening nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) during the last seven days.
“A Facebook commentor recently posted a breakdown of the percentage of our current active cases in our population, in an attempt, I think, to downplay the seriousness of COVID-19,” Warner said. “I normally don’t respond to these types of posts, but I worry that this type of mindset might be common in Highland County. It really demonstrates a poor understanding of our medical system and its limitations.”
He said the health care system’s bed and staffing capacity system is a serious limiting factor in the county’s COVID-19 response. Warner said in a normal year, health care systems operate at near capacity, so it can take “very little time” to overwhelm medical systems with sick or injured patients.
Warner said the health department has reports from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi as well as other states from this week that show that these states are seeing their “highest-ever number” of COVID-19 hospitalizations. He said Texas reported less than 10 percent ICU capacity in 19 of its 22 state health care facilities and that 15 of them are at 5 percent or less ICU capacity.
“This is the kind of thing that we don’t want to see in Ohio,” Warner said.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.