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COVID-19 cases down to 24 in county this past week

Among the items on the commission agenda was a proclamation making May 3-7 Teacher Appreciation Week in Lawrence County.

Commission president DeAnna Holliday said it was a heartfelt proclamation from the commissioners to all the teachers in Lawrence County whom she called the best anywhere.

“Commissioner (Colton) Copley and I, our background is with the school boards in our respective areas. And so, we have a have a great passion and respect for what our school teachers do here in Lawrence County,” she said. “I think we should proclaim every week of the year as teacher appreciation week. They are molding and sculpting our future.”

Holliday served on the Dawson-Bryant school board from 2008-2015 before being elected to county commission in 2016.

Copley served on the South Point School Board before he was appointed to the commission in 2018.

Copley said he sees on the news that people are still fighting about going back to school and he thinks how the schools here have worked to keep the kids “plugged in” as much as possible during the pandemic over the past two school years.

“I’m so thankful for the what we have in Lawrence County and the dedicated people we have teaching in Lawrence County,” he said. “I do appreciate them so much.”

Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. said that his late father was a teacher, principal and superintendent and he really appreciates all the teachers.

“I think we have some of the best teachers around,” he said, adding he appreciated them for everything they did for the students during the pandemic. “It has been a job for them and we really appreciate them.”

All the schools will get a copy of the proclamation.

In reports, the commissioners talked with Debbie Fisher, nurse and public information officer for the Lawrence County Health Department, about how COVID-19 vaccinations were going.

She reported that there had been 24 positive cases of COVID-19 this week.

“Our numbers are down, so that is good,” she said. Around the start of 2021, the health department was reporting 50-100 cases some days and it has dropped tremendously since then. “Some days it is six or eight cases, but it is generally hovering around three or five cases a day.”

Fisher said there have been 5,536 positive COVID-19 cases since the first one was reported in the county on March 25, 2020.

There have been 417 hospitalizations and 102 deaths.

“We have given 18,788 vaccinations that includes first and second doses,” Fisher said. “24.36 percent of our population has started the vaccine and 20.49 percent are fully vaccinated.”

However, Lawrence County is 85th on the list of people vaccinated in Ohio’s 88 counties.

Fisher said the number of vaccinated people may be higher because it doesn’t include Lawrence Countians who have been vaccinated in another state since states like Kentucky, West Virginia and Florida aren’t required to report that to the Ohio Department of Health.

“We are working on getting those numbers but it is difficult with so many facilities giving vaccines to know every place is doing it,” Fisher said.

She asked that if any Lawrence countian has been vaccinated in another state, to bring that information to the health department so a more accurate number can be counted.

Fisher said that the health department is seeing a dwindling number at the weekly vaccination clinic in South Point Board of Education building. She said it is open to anyone ages 16 and up. They are giving the Pfizer vaccine and the shots are free.

“The largest number we see are people getting second shots,” she said.

Copley suggested setting up an email that people can just take a picture and sending it to the health department. He hopes to have it set up by next week.