County remains ‘High’ for COVID-19 going into holiday

Published 1:14 am Friday, December 24, 2021

With the holiday weekend beginning, Lawrence County is ranked at 55th out of 88 counties in Ohio for number of new cases of COVID-19.

This keeps the county in the red, according to the map used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

In an update issued on Tuesday, the Lawrence County Health Department reported 198 new cases of COVID-19 and five hospitalizations from the virus from Dec. 13-19.

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This is a rise from the department’s update on Dec. 3, when Lawrence County was ranked 63rd in the state and had 167 new cases in the prior week.

To date, the county has had 11,269 cases of the virus, 721 hospitalizations and 182 deaths.

With a population of 59,463, according to the U.S. Census, the county has seen 19 percent of its residents contract COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The first vaccinations in the county began on Dec. 22, 2020. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 51 percent of the county is fully vaccinated.

The health department continues to operate vaccination clinics, providing first and second doses of the vaccine, as well as boosters. For information on those efforts, call the department at 740-532-3962.

At a White House briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, cautioned Americans against attending large holiday gatherings, even if fully vaccinated, as cases of the Omicron variant of the virus spread nationally.

“There are many of these parties that have 30, 40, 50 people in which you do not know the vaccination status of individuals,” he said. “Those are the kinds of functions, in the context of Omicron, that you do not want to go to.”

The Omicron variant makes up 73 percent of new cases of the virus across the United States.