Although the rate of new COVID-19 cases is the lowest in more than eight months, the Washington County Health Department is “stay ready” with tests and vaccination reminders.
“There were many different waves that happened,” said Sherry Ellem, public information officer for the Department of Health. “Fortunately, it’s low right now.”
The surge caused by the omicron variant has broken down, but the even more transmissible BA.2 mutation is spreading in the United States and abroad. Still, Ohio’s rate of new cases per 100,000 population continued to decline, from 41.2 from March 10-23 to 37.2 from March 17-30, according to Department of Health statistics. of State.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recently approved second booster shots for Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines for residents 50 and older or immunocompromised and four months after their first booster shot. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine and booster can get a second booster of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines provided they received the last vaccine four months ago.
Washington County, which has a population of 59,911, reported just 10 new cases in the most recent period, for a rate of 16.7 per 100,000 people. It’s the eighth-lowest rate in the state and the lowest in Washington since July 1-14, when eight new cases were reported.
Last week, Washington County recorded 27 new cases and a rate of 45.1 per 100,000, 37th in the state.
Ellem said the department is seeing a drop in demand for testing these days, though that’s in part due to the availability of free at-home testing provided by the federal government.
It’s possible there will be new cases that haven’t been reported if they’ve been discovered through home testing, but Ellem said the department is learning a lot. Some are monitored remotely and these results are reported to local authorities.
“And there are many community members who let us know through the portal on the website or by calling,” Ellem said.
The main purpose of testing is to let a person know they have the virus so they can make good personal decisions, she said.
Monroe County was the only one in the region that did not see a decrease in new cases over the past two weeks, standing at 15 among its 13,654 residents and a rate of 109.9 per 100,000. moved from third to second in the state.
Athens County reported 45 new cases, down from 70. The county of 65,327 saw its rate drop from 107.2 (fourth in the state) to 68.9 (fifth).
Morgan County recorded seven new cases from March 10-23 and five from March 17-30. This change in a population of 14,508 caused its rate to drop from 48.2 (24th) to 34.5 (39th).
Noble County, which has a population of 14,424, went even lower. Four cases and a rate of 27.7 ranks 68th in the state; three cases and 20.8 was 74th.