Full county fairs expected, DeWine says


Staff Report



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

• Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health issued a revised order that allows for the reopening of all fair activities if certain health conditions are met.

The updated order includes compliance with the statewide mask order and social distancing. Additionally, there will be a 25 percent maximum for indoor grandstand capacity and a 30 percent maximum for outdoor grandstand capacity.

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will issue updated order and guidance regarding festivals, parades, proms, and spring sports. For spring sports, students will not be required to quarantine because they have an incidental exposure to COVID-19 in a classroom unless symptoms develop.

• According to the Ohio Department of Health, 8,795 Fulton County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That accounts for 20.88% of the population.

In Lucas County, 20.67% have received at least one dose, with 22% in Wood County, 23.64% in Henry County, 18.43% in Williams County, and 20.77% in Defiance County.

• Fulton County’s cases increased by 30 over the last week to 3,864, as of Sunday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The number of deaths reported in the county is now at 63. The total number of hospitalizations increased by three to 207 as of Sunday.

The Fulton County Health Department’s last update was Friday, and included 26 confirmed active cases, 26 fewer than the previous Friday.

Lucas County has had 36,357 cases, as of Sunday, according to the county health department. There have been a total of 738 deaths reported in the county.

There were 989,191 cases reported overall in Ohio, as of Sunday. Statewide, there had been 51,551 hospitalizations and 7,268 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease.

There have been 17,871 Ohio residents reported dead from COVID-19.

• Ohio is currently at a rate of 155 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. “In Ohio, we are still at a very elevated level of cases, but today’s health data is certainly trending in the right direction,” DeWine said.

He recently announced that when Ohio reached 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted.

Now 22 of the state’s 88 counties are below Level 3 on the Public Health Advisory System.

Fulton County remains at a Level 3 public emergency for COVID-19, with the latest update on Thursday. The most recent case rate is 151.93 per 100,000 from Feb. 24 to March 9, making the county high incidence.

The county met three indicators: new cases per capita, increase in outpatient visits and proportion of non-congregate cases.

Lucas County had a case rate of 177.89 per 100,000 and met the new cases per capita and proportion of non-congregate cases indicators.

• DeWine discussed Thursday the new federal regulations for nursing home visitation, as well as Ohio’s Vaccine Maintenance Program. The visitation guidelines, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicate visitation should be happening in nursing homes. There are a few specific exceptions that would limit visitation, such as outbreaks in the facility or an extreme number of cases in the community.

Long-term care facility visitation status is available on the dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

• Also on Thursday, DeWine detailed four initiatives that are making rapid COVID-19 tests more accessible to Ohioans. They are federal qualified health centers, local health departments, public libraries, and K-12 schools.

The state’s ongoing partnership with federally qualified health centers has led to the availability of over 150,000 rapid tests at community health centers. These centers have professionals on-hand to administer the tests free of charge.

Local health departments have partnered with their communities to make at-home testing available to schools, nonprofit organizations, and first responders.

The state has recently partnered with public libraries to make at-home tests available to more Ohio communities. During the first two weeks, Ohio has partnering with 120 libraries.

A new partnership launched last week will bring 200,000 at-home tests to Educational Service Centers. To increase confidence and safety in schools, DeWine encouraged school districts to take advantage of this resource and develop aggressive testing plans.

• The Swanton Lions Club announced it will not be holding an Easter egg hunt at Memorial Park this year.

Share your information at dstambaugh@aimmediamidwest.com.

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Staff Report