Three weeks after COVID-19 health orders end, cases remain steady in Scioto

By Patrick Keck - [email protected]

SCIOTO- Approaching a month following the end of most public health orders, new COVID-19 cases have mostly plateaued in Scioto County and Ohio.

When Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the state on May 12, he said the time to lift the orders had finally come due to the effectiveness and availability of vaccine. Masks, social distancing, and capacity restrictions have not been required in the state for three weeks although orders within nursing homes and assisted living facilities have remained in-place.

“Everyone can now control their own health,” he said during the evening address, the vaccine now available to those above the age of 12. “Everyone can now control their own destiny.”

According to data from the Scioto County Health Department, no days so far in June have resulted in a daily increase above ten- the highest coming from a six-case day on June 2. Since April 1, when the county dropped to a Level 2 on the now-canceled Ohio Department of Health Public Health Advisory System, only six days had greater than 10 new cases.

Presumed recoveries outpaced new cases as of Wednesday, where the 34 reported cases brought the total to 6,540 since the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly 80 recoveries have taken place as of June 23, that total approaching 6,400.

All this comes when active cases have dropped to 71- more than less 50% of that sum last month. That total has been this low since September 2020. Between that time, active cases reached above 1,200 in December 2020 when new daily cases were occasionally tripling what has been reported throughout the month of June.

One death has been reported this month which brought the total to 91. SCHD reported a 72-year-old woman passed on June 2 to which the department send their condolences.

This month has been one of considerable change in Ohio’s battle against COVID-19, DeWine announcing last week that the state emergency would be lifted on June 18.

On June 5, the governor informed the public that the two-week statewide average cases reached beneath the 50 cases per 100,000 people threshold.

“Ohioans have shown our resilience and grit, and by continuing to get vaccinated we are coming through this pandemic stronger than ever,” said DeWine. “When I announced this goal on March 4, I said that reaching 50 cases per 100,000 would mean we were entering a new phase of this pandemic. Vaccinations are working. That’s why cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are down. But that doesn’t mean we can let our foot off the gas. If you’re not vaccinated against COVID-19, continue to wear a mask in public and Ohioans that are able to get vaccinated should.”

Encouraging the public to take the vaccine has resulted in prizes through the Vax-a-Million sweepstakes, five drawings where those vaccinated 18 and older could win $1 million and those under 18 were eligible for full scholarships to any four-year state school.

Still, progress in getting more shots in the arms of Ohioans has been met with resistance. On June 8, DeWine continued his push when 200,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines were set to expire.

As it stands, ODH reports more than 5.5 million or 47% Ohioans have started the vaccination process while only 35.9% have in Scioto County. Forty-three percent in the state are considered fully vaccinated, compared to 33% in the county.

With the next school year now less than two months away, DeWine and ODH Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff turned their push for vaccination to high school student athletes last week. That age demographic, ages 0 to 19, is the least vaccinated of all groups with less than 10% considered fully immunized.

“We’re encouraging everyone that’s eligible to be vaccinated get vaccinated,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “It’s not just the way we are going to ensure we have the sports seasons, the band seasons, or ensure we have a school play, it’s also because you will be protecting some of the younger students who right now can’t be vaccinated as well as vulnerable people in your community.”

By Patrick Keck

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter. © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter. © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.