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Photo: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health; public domain.

COVID-19 Update — October 7, 2021

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The Ohio Department of Health, or ODH, on Saturday, Sept. 25, updated its guidance for COVID-19 vaccination booster shots. In alignment with approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now available to be administered at least six months after individuals received their second of two doses. At this time, booster shots are only available for fully inoculated people who received the Pfizer vaccine. For those Pfizer recipients, the ODH recommends that:

• People 65 years of age and older, or any resident in a long-term care setting, should receive a booster shot.

• People ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster.

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• People ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot based on their personal benefits and risks.

• People aged 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their job or living in an institutional setting may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risks.

The CDC has indicated that the determination of need is up to the vaccine recipient, but the ODH encourages patients to talk to their healthcare providers if they have questions. Booster recipients will be asked to attest that they have a qualifying condition, but proof will not be required.

Qualifying conditions, in alphabetical order, include: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, including asthma, dementia and other neurological conditions, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, weakened immune system (immunocompromised), liver disease, obesity, pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, smoking (current or former), organ or blood stem cell transplant, stroke or cerebrovascular disease and substance abuse disorders.

Vaccines remain widely available throughout the state at pharmacies, health centers, doctor’s offices and local health departments. For more information about eligibility and provider locations, go online to gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-427-5634. More information about the safety, efficacy and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines is available online at coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.

• In Yellow Springs, COVID continues to have a presence in the public schools. According to the most recent data from the Yellow Springs school district, released Friday, Sept. 24, 12 students and two teachers tested positive between Sept. 20 and 24. One of the new student cases was linked to school-related exposure, while the rest, as well as the two teacher cases, were deemed not related to school. Twenty-five students were in quarantine, with four of them from possible school-related exposure. No teacher was in quarantine. The number of positive cases is the highest since school began a month ago; the incidence rate had been going down for several weeks after a high of seven positive student cases was reported Sept. 3.

• Statewide, the daily numbers of new cases decreased this past week from the week before, dropping from 6,814 on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to 3,681 on Monday, Sept. 27. The seven-day average for new cases during that same period went from 6,771 on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to 5,942 on Monday this week, the lowest seven-day daily average in three weeks.

• But while the state’s daily numbers went down, Ohio’s per 100,000 figures over two weeks continued to rise, moving from 472.4 as of Sept. 2, to 582.4 Sept. 9, to 683.3 Sept. 16, to 698.7 on Sept. 23. In Greene County, the per 100,000 numbers have been decreasing, but remain higher than the state average. The county figures went from 909.8 per 100,000 reported Sept. 2, to 892.6 as of Sept. 9, to 777.8 as of Sept. 16, to 708 reported Sept. 23. High incidence is defined as more than 100 cases per 100,000.

• After falling each week since late August, the weekly totals of new infections in Greene County increased over the week of Tuesday, Sept. 21, through Monday, Sept. 27, with a total of 624 new cases, up from the previous week’s total of 588. At the same time, the seven-day moving average in Greene County saw continuing gradual decline, from a high of 145.14 average Wednesday, Sept. 1, the highest figure since December 2020, to 84.86 on Monday this week. Over the seven days of Sept. 21-27, the county added 32 hospitalizations, compared to 22 the week before, and reported seven deaths, compared to two the previous week.

• New case numbers for the 45387 ZIP code went down this past week after a rise the week before, dropping from a seven-day average of 13 on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to nine on Monday, Sept. 27.

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