COVID-19 cases up from last week, with low hospitalizations and medium transmission

·2 min read

Aug. 20—COVID-19 cases continue to rise, but minimal hospitalizations for the virus and "medium" transmission were reported in Clark County this week.

A total of 346 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Clark County Combined Health District this week, up from last week's total of 313.

Clark County Combined Health District assistant health commissioner Chris Cook said during the weekly COVID-19 update that the average number of cases reported daily in August is roughly 52 per day, up from July's daily average of more than 40 daily cases and June's total of 30 daily cases. Daily case averages are far lower than the omicron variant's January peak, which saw roughly 268 cases each day.

For the second week in a row, Clark County has a "medium" community level, determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC recommends that those living in a county with "medium" transmission stay up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines; get tested if they present symptoms; wear a facemask if they show symptoms, test positive, or are exposed to the virus; and wear face masks on public transportation. Those at high-risk of severe illness should also consider wearing a mask indoors or in public spaces.

The CDC updated its guidelines for COVID-19 last week, recommending that people who test positive for the virus quarantine for five days. On Day 6, if their symptoms have lessened, they can come out of quarantine, but should wear a facemask. they test negative for COVID on the fifth day and again 48 hours later, they can come out of isolation without a face mask.

Locally, 11 new hospitalizations for COVID-19 were reported in Clark County over the last several days. The positivity rate for the virus in Clark County as of Friday was 19%, and the average age of positive testers was 43, Cook said.

The health district continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines at its office. Roughly 51.5% of the county has completed its vaccine series, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

As of Friday, nearly 39,000 cases of the virus have been reported in Clark County since the pandemic's start, according to ODH.

Cook also updated the community on monkeypox: roughly14,000 cases have been reported nationally, with 123 being confirmed in Ohio. As of Friday, no cases of monkeypox have been reported in Clark County, but the health district is working with area health care professionals to actively test people for it, Cook said.

Clark County's health district has ordered monkeypox vaccines, but like other county health departments, will receive a limited supply. The health district will follow the CDC's guidelines for distributing the vaccines, Cook said.