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Residents urged to get vaccinated, booster shot as virus cases rise

LISBON — While the county health department continues to urge residents to get vaccinated including their booster shots, there are no clinics planned at the county fairgrounds Vaccination Complex in the near future.

Health Commissioner Wes Vins said Monday morning the health department will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines at the health department located on state Route 45 just north of Lisbon. Those wishing to get their booster shot from them should call ahead.

Vins said it takes about three hours of set up time, plus additional time on the phone coordinating with the partners involved in a clinic at the fairgrounds, which include the East Liverpool City Hospital physician volunteers, the Kent State University students, the county Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members, law enforcement, the Middleton Township Fire Department and fairboard members. Health Department staff is pulled away from their other duties for the day when a clinic is held at the complex.

“We want to thank the fairboard,” Vins said, adding they have told them anytime they need the location again it is available. “This holiday season I’m truly thankful for some great partners and a great community.”

Still the health department wants people to continue to consider getting vaccinated or getting their booster shot at this time. The COVID-19 numbers, which had been dropping in October have changed course and are rising in November.

At this point the county has seen 16,502 cases, 844 hospitalizations and 331 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. After 2,395 cases, 100 hospitalizations and 23 deaths in Columbiana County in September, during the month of October numbers declined slightly. According to the Ohio Department of Health there were 1,987 cases, 75 hospitalizations and 54 deaths in the county in October. In November so far there have been 1,769 new cases, 78 hospitalizations and 14 deaths. Some of the data, such as deaths related to COVID-19 is reported later so there could be more pending.

Columbiana County is currently a high transmission county, according to the CDC with 476 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. In order to drop into the substantial category, that number would need to drop below 100.

There are also concerns about a new variant, Omicron, which is still being researched and could be in the county at some point with unknown affects at this time.

Residents are being reminded to wash their hands, wear masks when in public, stay home when they are ill and to get vaccinated.

Vins said the health department ordered more test kits, which can be picked up by anyone not feeling well by calling ahead so one can be placed in a box outside the office. Additionally, the health department wants to encourage those having a small gathering during the holidays should ask those invited to test for COVID-19 before the event.

There continues to be cases in the schools, which the health department are helping to contact trace. The health department has finished providing booster shots to school professionals and is working to finish vaccinating those in group homes. Additionally, the health department continues to do vaccines for businesses that want to provide the resource for employees.

Those in the community who would like to receive a booster vaccine from the health department should call the office at 330-424-0272 to set up a time where they can come to that location for the vaccine.

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