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COVID-19 Update — November 11, 2021

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• As anticipated, the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, last week recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine for children ages 5–11.

“We are on the threshold of a long-awaited step that brings us closer to getting through this pandemic,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, or ODH, said during a press conference livestreamed online Wednesday morning, Nov. 3.

Although children are less likely than adults to get severely ill from COVID-19, “they most certainly can, and do, become ill — even seriously ill, and can suffer lasting complications from the virus,” Vanderhoff said. As of Nov. 1, more than 2,000 Ohio children under 18 have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 15 have died, according to Vanderhoff. Nationally, the virus has taken the lives of nearly 800 children, he added.

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Vanderhoff said that the dosage for children 5–11, which is one-third the amount administered to patients 12 and older, was “thoroughly” studied and tested in clinical trials. “The trials showed that the pediatric formulation was nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections, and no serious side effects were detected,” he said.

He noted that the vaccination protocol requires getting two doses, with the second following three weeks after the first. A child will be considered fully immunized two weeks after the second dose.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the state. Many providers offer walk-in service, or Ohioans can schedule a vaccination appointment online at Locally, children 5–11 can get the first of their two doses at a vaccination clinic Friday, Nov. 12, from 9–11 a.m., at Mills Lawn Elementary School.

• While the new availability of vaccinations for younger children and a gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio are positive indicators, the virus “is still a very serious health threat,” Vanderhoff said during last week’s press conference. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

• Ohio’s seven-day running average for new cases rose slightly over the week of Oct. 31–Nov. 6, moving from a running daily average of 3,355 new cases on Oct. 31 to 3,369 on Nov. 6. Even so, the week’s numbers represented an overall drop of about 200 cases from the averages of the week before, when the seven-day running average was over 3,500 each day.

• Ohio’s case numbers per 100,000 residents also have continued to go down, though more slowly than last month, moving from an average of 359.1 cases, as reported by the ODH on Oct. 28, to 354.3, reported Nov. 4. Greene County numbers remain lower than the state average, with 304.8 per 100,000, as reported Nov. 4, slightly fewer than the 326.7 average cases counted the week before. The ODH’s most recent report lists Greene County at 70th among Ohio’s 88 counties. Van Wert County, in northeastern Ohio, moved to the top of the state’s list with 799.3.

Two weeks prior, five counties reported more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents. The lowest average number of cases, according to the most recent state data, is in Morgan County, in the southeastern part of the state, with 165.4 per 100,000. All Ohio counties continue to carry a “high” incidence rate designation, which is set at 100 or more cases per 100,000.

• Also continuing to fall were the weekly totals of new infections in Greene County. Over the week of Sunday, Oct. 31, through Saturday, Nov. 6, 266 total new cases were reported, down from the previous week’s total of 287. Comparably, the seven-day running average of new daily cases in the county saw further decline as well, moving from a running average of 43.86 new daily cases on Oct. 31 to 38 on Nov. 6. New COVID-related hospitalizations in the county also dropped over the week of Oct. 31–Nov. 6, with two new admissions, compared to 11 the week before and 22 the week before that. The reported number of deaths in the county for the same period was 12, compared to eight the previous week and 15 the week before that.

• After two weeks of slightly increasing numbers, new cases in the 45387 ZIP code dropped to six for the week of Oct. 31–Nov. 6, from 11 the week before, with the seven-day average moving from 10 on Sunday, Oct. 31, to six on Saturday, Nov. 6.

• With the Yellow Springs Children’s Center closing temporarily after the report of a student having tested positive for the virus, Yellow Schools public schools reported no positive cases for the school week ending Friday, Nov. 5. Two district students were in quarantine for possible exposure not related to the school setting.

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