Staff Report

Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:

• COVID-19 cases spiked in Fulton County early this week. The Fulton County Health Department reported 18 new cases on Monday and 40 new cases on Tuesday.

The total number of cases in the county is now up to 299.

The health department said that the cases are the result of community spread and those associated with long term-care facilities. Numbers for specific long-term care facilities were updated after press time.

There have been four new hospitalizations in the last week, bringing the total to 26 hospitalized in the county. There has been one death in the county due to COVID-19.

Among the cases through Tuesday there were 183 females and 116 males.

Lucas County had 7,377 cases and 364 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 332 cases and 12 deaths, Williams County 216 cases and three deaths, and Henry County 337 cases and 15 deaths.

There have been 152,907 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there had been 15,413 hospitalizations and 3,274 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease.

The age range of cases in Ohio is less than one year to 109 years old. The median age is 40.

There are 4,480 confirmed deaths statewide, with 303 more probable COVID-19 deaths.

From Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, Fulton County had 42.7 cases per 100,000 people. That is in the bottom half for all counties statewide.

Putnam County had the highest rate at 280.6 per 100,000, while Henry County was fifth with 192.5.

• Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided an update Thursday on the Ohio Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network which tests wastewater for gene fragments of COVID-19.

Those infected with COVID-19 begin to shed the virus early in their infection, and a significant, sustained increase in gene fragments found in wastewater can be an early warning sign of a pending rise in COVID-19 cases in a specific area. The value of this information is that it gives communities an opportunity to act proactively to prevent outbreaks.

Since the launch of the monitoring program, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has notified health authorities in six communities of a sustained increase in gene fragments found in their wastewater: Oregon, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Sandusky, and Mansfield.

ODH is currently monitoring 36 sites across the state, and an additional 25 sites will be added during the coming month. In addition to Oregon, in northwest Ohio there are also sites being monitored in Toledo, Napoleon, and Defiance.

Communities found with a sustained increase in gene fragments are offered testing and contact tracing assistance.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), in partnership with Ohio State University, has also begun monitoring wastewater at Ohio’s prisons to prevent spread among staff and inmates. A sustained increase in COVID-19 gene fragments in a prison’s wastewater will trigger a series of actions within the prison to prevent spread, including the testing of all staff. Staff members working in prisons free of COVID-19 will have access to on-site voluntary testing.

• DeWine also said the ban on alcohol sales after 10 p.m. is under review.

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Staff Report