COVID numbers on the rise again in Highland Co.


BA.5 variant believed to be most transmissible yet

By Jacob Clary - [email protected]



COVID-19 cases in Highland County have jumped once again, according to the New York Times COVID Tracker. The tracker said Monday that the county was seeing 17 new cases per day, which is about 39 cases per 100,000 in population.

The last time The Times-Gazette reported on COVID-19 data, which was on June 12, The New York Times COVID Tracker said the county was seeing 12 new cases per day, about 27 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 July 14.

It said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen in the county, but deaths have stayed about the same. It also said that the test positivity rate for the county is “very high, suggesting that cases are being significantly under counted.”

The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker gave a COVID-19 update on July 13 for the U.S. as well, and said that the number of cases announced in the county every day “is again on the rise.” It said that the daily case average has grown to more than 129,000 and that cases are on the rise in more than 40 states.

The tracker said the BA.5 variant of COVID-19 “emerging as the county’s dominant virus strain” is “believed to be the most transmissible variant yet.”

“Hospitalizations are also rising in the U.S.,” the tracker said. “That pattern is similar to hospitalization surges seen earlier this summer in countries where BA.5 first began to circulate. More than 37,000 people are in American hospitals with the coronavirus on an average day, an increase of 17 percent since the start of the month.”

In other news, Highland County’s COVID-19 case rate stood at 437.9 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 above the state average of 334.1 cases per 100,000 in population over the same period, and ranks the county 15th among the state’s 88 counties in terms of the highest case rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Highland County is currently at 40.40 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 63.14 percent.

In terms of completed vaccines, the state average is 58.54 percent, while the Highland County average is 37.38 percent.

The dashboard also said there have been 7,582 “first booster” doses and 1,009 “second booster” doses administered in the county on or after Aug. 12, to people that were already fully vaccinated.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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BA.5 variant believed to be most transmissible yet

By Jacob Clary

[email protected]