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From The Print Last Week

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

COVID Update | May 26, 2022

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COVID-19 case numbers continued a month-long climb in Ohio and Greene County last week, according to the latest data released by the Ohio Department of Health, or ODH, on Thursday, May 19. The number of new cases in the state, tallied for May 13–19 was 19,556, compared to 15,950 for the week of May 6–12.

In an ODH press conference Wednesday, May 18 — its first in two months — ODH Executive Director Bruce Vanderhoff said that while the case numbers have gone up, the number of COVID-related deaths has decreased.

“It’s important to put the numbers into context,” Vanderhoff said, noting that current case numbers “are a fraction of what they were in January.”

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Even more significant is the decrease in the number of deaths, the weekly average of which has dropped 16% over the past three weeks, he said.

The total number of COVID-related deaths across the state for the week of May 13–19 was 40, compared to 57 reported for May 6–12. The total number of deaths in the state as of May 19, since the beginning of the pandemic, was 38,590.

Vanderhoff attributed the decline in deaths to an increase in immunity in those who have been vaccinated as well as those who have recovered from infection. Combined, these two factors “create a substantial level of protection against severe illness,” he said.

Although deaths are on the decline, new hospitalizations statewide have risen in the past several weeks, moving from 353 for May 6–12, to 473 for May 13–19. Total COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state as of May 19 were 640, compared to 524 the week before.

• Looking at the number of new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, the state’s average of the counties’ latest totals also rose again, with 269 per 100,000 residents on May 19, compared to 205.7 the week before.

• Greene County, with a population of 168,937, also reported another increase in its per 100,000 total, with 210.7 as of May 19, compared to 178.8 as of May 12. Greene County’s latest numbers put it 33rd among Ohio’s 88 counties. Ashtabula County, in northeastern Ohio, was at the top with 483.3; and Holmes County, in the eastern part of the state, was at the bottom, with 38.7 per 100,000 over the two-week reporting period.

• For the week of May 13–19, Greene County reported 227 new cases, compared to 204 the week before. The 45387 ZIP code accounted for three of the most recent week’s new cases.

• Contrary to the state’s hospital numbers, Greene County’s new hospitalizations fell for the second week in a row, with nine, compared to 13 the week before and 32 the week before that.

No coronavirus-related death was reported in the county May 13–19. Since the start of the pandemic, Greene County has reported 513 COVID-19 deaths.

• In Yellow Springs, the public schools reported two positive cases among students at Mills Lawn Elementary School and seven positive cases among district staff.

• By the CDC’s current measure, Greene County’s community level remains “low.”

• Free rapid antigen tests continue to be available through the U.S. Post Office. Every household is eligible to order three sets of four at-home tests online, at http://www.covidtests.gov, or by calling toll-free at 800-232-0233.

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