One-fifth in county have had first vaccine

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lawrence County Health Department director Georgia Dillon said she estimates about one-fifth of Lawrence County’s population has received at least one their COVID-19 vaccines.

Dillon, who spoke to Tuesday’s meeting of the Lawrence County commission said 21.34 percent of the county has started at least one of the shots for the vaccine, while 13.7 percent are completely vaccinated.

However, Dillon said this figure does not include those who received vaccines through King’s Daughters Hospital, who has administered 4,000 vaccines to Lawrence Countians, Cabell-Huntington and St. Mary’s hospitals, who administered 1,000, or the Veterans Association, for which she was unable to get a figure.

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“So we don’t have the picture entirely,” Dillon said.

Dillon said there has been a spring surge of COVID-19 variants in 43 of Ohio’s 88 counties, but the vaccines in use in the state are effective against both variants that have turned up in Ohio.

“This variant is more aggressive and makes people sick,” she said.

Dillon said there are also many people from Lawrence County who have been hospitalized in Scioto County due to COVID-19.

“We’ve been very concerned about that,” she said.

She also repeated what Gov. Mike DeWine said in a recent proclamation, urging the public to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and not congregate in groups larger than 10.

While Lawrence County was recently improved on the state COVID-19 map, going from Red Level Three to Orange Level Two on the four-tier system, Dillon said numbers locally are on the rise in the past week.

She said these are especially the case in those under the age of 50 and that the department is organizing a clinic for those 16-18 years old.

“So, hopefully, they can continue on with proms and graduations,” she said. “We don’t want to go back where we were last year when everything was shut down.”

In other business, the commission:

• Proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in Lawrence County and heard from Rich Blankenship, of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services about work done in the county on the issue.

• Heard from a resident of Chesapeake who urged work be done on Rockwood Avenue in the village, where they were told, due to slippage following the winter storms, two houses are in danger of going into State Route 7. Holliday said the village and its council members, as well as the Ohio Department of transportation, should be contacted on the matter, while she said they would also speak to the Lawrence County engineer’s office on the matter.

• Met in executive session and voted to give raises to EMS workers.

• Approved the hire of Caitlynn Carver as part-time EMT.

• Approved floodplain permits submitted by the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.

• Approved status change for Albert Hager from part-time to full-time EMT.

• Received and referred the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for Generations Quick Stop LLC on State Route 93 to the Upper Township Trustees for approval.

• Heard from Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. in commissioners reports.

He said the commissioners had recently worked to provide fruit baskets for Easter to area seniors.

Hayes also expressed his optimism about the return of the Lawrence County Fair, following last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19.

“Everybody knows the fair every year is a big thing to me,” he said. “Everything seems to be on go. There might be a few restrictions, but we’ll at least have fair for kids. I’m super excited about that.

He also said he hopes things “will be getting back to normal,” and said he looks forward to the return of events such as the monthly dinners hosted by the Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center.

“We should keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “Things are moving forward in the right way and I think we have this thing headed to be beat. God bless our county.”

Commissioners DeAnna Holliday and Colton Copley did not have reports this week.