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Region still in 'high' COVID level despite cases seeing slight decline

Springfield News-Sun - 8/6/2022

Aug. 6—The entire Dayton region is at a "high" COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even as Ohio reports a slight decrease in the number of cases.

Last week, Champaign and Clark counties were at the "medium" level, but the CDC's latest update returned those counties back to "high." The case rates are 262.31 cases per 100,000 people and 296.83 cases per 100,000 people for Champaign and Clark counties, respectively, according to the CDC.

Those counties rejoin Butler, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Warren counties, which have continued at the "high" level over the last few weeks.

The state added 27,785 COVID cases in the last week, about 2,000 fewer than the 29,876 cases reported last Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. It's the first time in more than a month that the state's weekly case total decreased.

COVID-related deaths have gone up, though. The state recorded 98 COVID deaths in the past week compared to 54 in the previous week, according to the state health department.

Dan Suffoletto, public information manager for Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC), explained the CDC also takes hospitalizations and hospital capacity into account when determining the community levels for the area.

"COVID's still a concern here in Montgomery County and throughout the nation," Suffoletto said.

In the West Central region where the Dayton area is located, approximately one in 14 patients in area hospitals are positive for COVID-19, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. There are 141 people currently hospitalized as an inpatient with COVID as of Friday. This is a 10% increase over the last seven days, 27% increase over the last 21 days, and 171% increase over the last 60 days.

In the West Central region, the available inpatient capacity as of Thursday was 18% with 76.5% of inpatient beds being used by non-COVID patients and 5.5% of beds being used by COVID patients. The available capacity in the ICU was 27.99% with 19 COVID patients and 264 non-COVID patients in the ICU. There were also eight COVID patients on ventilators, 80 non-COVID patients on ventilators, and approximately 85% of area ventilators available.

In Montgomery County, Suffoletto said they have seen a slight decrease in cases. The case rate is approximately 334.97 cases per 100,000 people with 23 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. Similarly in Greene County, the case rate is 321.42 cases per 100,000 people.

There are only two counties in Ohio with a "low" community level — Hancock and Seneca counties. There are 19 Ohio counties at "medium," according to the CDC. The remaining 67 counties are at a "high" community level In the U.S., 41.7% of counties have a "high" COVID community level, 38.91% are "medium" and 19.39% are "low," the CDC reported.

The CDC recommends the following for people in a "high" community level county: — Wear a mask indoors in public regardless of vaccination status; — Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines; — Get tested if you have symptoms.

People who are immunocompromised or at risk of severe illness should talk to their doctor about additional precautions, as well as possible coronavirus treatment options.

Additionally, health officials are reminding individuals to monitor their symptoms and to isolate themselves if they are sick.

"COVID's still something the public should be concerned with," Suffoletto said.


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