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County gives update on vaccine clinics, virus cases

LISBON — Those eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in the county will have several opportunities, including next Friday, March 12 at the County Vaccination Complex at the fairgrounds.

Starting on Monday and continuing Tuesday, those age 60 and older wanting the vaccine are encouraged to call the three numbers for the county health department reservations — 330-692-2210, 330-429-5133 and 330-429-5197, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Laura Fauss, public information officer for the county health department, said the health department is hoping to host a 600 dose clinic on that day. This Friday they were scheduled to give 540 second doses at the fairgrounds.

However, the first-dose clinic on Wednesday was much slower than usual and Fauss said the health department is reaching out to other groups now in the latest 1C group. With some vaccines remaining from this week and additional ones coming next week, Fauss said they have spoken to first responders, law enforcement, parole officers, corrections officers, those with a valid firefighting certificate and those operating funeral homes, setting up clinics for them today with another date to be planned.

“Those groups have been super vocal (about wanting the vaccine),” Fauss said. “We’re excited to provide it now that we have extra vaccines.”

The group also includes staff members in child care centers and pre-kindergarten programs.

Others in the 1C group include a list of medical conditions and Fauss said it has been determined the hospitals are best suited to vaccinate those people, who include those with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), bone marrow transplant recipients, type one diabetes and pregnant women.

Mass vaccination clinics have been announced through FEMA, but Fauss said that is a federal supply of vaccines and the local vaccines come from the state of Ohio, so there is no anticipation in local clinics receiving fewer vaccines.

The state is also planning to begin some mass vaccination clinics, but at this point the closest known ones will be in Youngstown with a mobile clinic stopping in Steubenville.

Governor Mike DeWine announced this week a goal of bringing coronavirus numbers down below 50 new cases per 100,000 people for two weeks across the state. At that point, it will be possible to end the public health orders in Ohio. Fauss cautioned even if all the guidelines end, those who are still more susceptible to disease should continue to follow them.

Changes to the state of Ohio reporting system may make the numbers of deaths more accurate in the future, but also delay their release.

According to the Ohio Department of Health this week, the information of those succumbing to COVID-19 now will be added through the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), with the death certificates all verified through the National Center for Disease Control.

It is projected to cause more lag time between the actual death and when it is added to state reported numbers, often a month or two, but as much as six months.

Since last Friday, Feb. 26, deaths in Columbiana County have risen from the 188 deaths reported by the local Columbiana County Health Department to 210 on the Ohio Department of Health dashboard. Fauss said those deaths appear to be from January and February, but additional information about the deaths is not available.

Fauss reported as of Friday there have been 89 new cases over the past seven days, an average of 12.7 people testing positive for coronavirus per day. That is down from the 111 positive tests in Columbiana County the last week of February. The total of coronavirus cases in the county is now 8,164.

As the cases continue to drop around the area, East Liverpool was the only zip code reported with more than 100 cases at 110 between Feb. 5 and March 5. Salem followed at 97 cases.

Additional double-digit case numbers were in East Palestine, 42; Lisbon, 40; Wellsville, 35; Columbiana, 27; Leetonia, 20; East Rochester, 15; Hanoverton, Alliance and Minerva with 13 each; and Homeworth and Kensington both with 11.

Finally, Rogers and New Waterford each had nine cases, Negley eight cases, Beloit six cases, Salineville two cases and four communities each had one case — Damascus, Hammondsville, Summitville and Winona.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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