COVID-19: County still red, but improving

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 2021

Decline in cases over past week; Booster shots available

While Lawrence County remains in the red for high transmission on the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s county map for COVID-19, there are signs of a positive trend in cases.

“Our numbers have started to come down,” Debbie Fisher, public information officer and nurse with the Lawrence County Health Department, said.

She said the county currently ranks 64th of 88 in Ohio for spread of the virus from Oct. 18-24, down from 55th in the state last week and 44th the prior week prior to that.

This is a marked improvement from summer, when it was the second highest in the state.

Fisher said the county had 112 reported cases of the virus or 339.7 per 100,000 people from Oct. 18-24

It also reported 15 positive cases in students in that timeframe.

This is a major drop, she said, noting that there were 543 cases in students reported from Aug. 9-Sept. 13.

Fisher said the implementation of mask use by districts has helped to contain the spread.

She notes that, when the school year started, Ironton City Schools was the only district in the county requiring masks.

“And their numbers were much lower,” Fisher said.

As cases became widespread, all other districts in the county eventually adopted a mask mandate in following weeks.

Overall, Fisher said Lawrence County has had 9,855 cases of the virus from Jan. 1, 2020 to this week, with latest figures released on Thursday.

With a population of 58,240 listed in the latest U.S. Census figures, this would put cases at roughly 1 out of every six people in the county, or 16.94 percent of the population

Fisher said, in the same period, the county has had 636 hospitalizations from the virus, while 154 people have died from the virus.

“Those are the hardest numbers to report,” she said.

Fisher said the health department has started offering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines and has hosted clinics this week.

She said those who had the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine should get a booster after two months, while those who had Moderna and Pfizer vaccines should get a booster after six months.

In addition to offering boosters, Fisher said the health department is continuing to offer the initial doses.

“We still have people coming in for their first dose,” she said.

For more information on vaccine clinics, visit the Lawrence County Health Depart on Facebook, online at www.lawcohd.org or call 740-532-3962.

Statewide, there have been 1,536,005 cases reported as of Thursday, with 79, 475 hospitalizations and 24,164 deaths. Cases at the state level are 359.1 per 100,000 people.