State sees record COVID-19 numbers, cases high locally

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 23, 2022

The state of Ohio reported 21,664 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a single-day record since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Fueled by the Omicron variant, the virus was also responsible for more than 500 hospitalizations that day.

In Lawrence County, numbers continued to be severe, with 1,141 cases reported in the period from Jan. 11-19, Debbie Fisher, a nurse and public information officer for the department, said.

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In that same period, the county saw 23 hospitalizations for the virus and 11 deaths.

“When you start losing people you know, it’s a hard thing,” she said.

Fisher added that the case numbers could be even higher as the numbers only reflect cases reported to the health department and do not include those who took a home test and did not report it.

She urged anyone who tests positive for the virus to report it to the health department.

“We encourage them to let us know,” she said.

January has seen the virus spreading rapidly across the county. Fisher said that in the first 18 days of the month, there were 2,176 new cases of the virus.

She said the department is not given information on whether cases were caused by a particular variant.

Lawrence County currently ranks 14th in the state, out of 88 counties, for new cases of the virus, she said.

Fisher said the current surge could be due to residual effects from holiday get togethers, those who have not received a vaccination and people not following safety guidelines.

“A lot of people aren’t wearing masks,” she said.

Fisher urge the public to continue to be diligent by wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding crowded gatherings.

She said the health department would also be offering more vaccination clinics next week. For a schedule of those, visit the department’s Facebook page or call 740-532-3962.

The department offers free shots of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as boosters. Vaccines are also available at most pharmacies in the region.