Scioto County saw the largest spike in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic last week. In just one week, cases increased from 21 to 35. There are multiple factors behind the spike and Scioto County is not alone.
Across the country, rising levels of Coronavirus resulted in some states and cities tightening restrictions once more. Florida shut down the consumption of alcohol in bars after there were nearly 9,000 new cases in one day. Texas also closed bars and placed a limit on restaurant occupancy.
Ohio reported 854 cases in the past 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state stands at 50,309.
No new restrictions were announced for Ohio, however, Governor Mike DeWine pleaded with Ohioans last week to practice social distancing, “The science is irrefutable. If people wear masks and practice social distancing, we will have a decrease in the spread of COVID-19. We can get through this, but we’ve got to keep this virus down.”
DeWine extended current health orders scheduled to expire on the 30th to the end of this week. He said he expected to announce what he called, “the next phase” of Ohio’s COVID-19 response by the end of the week. Here are the three key points.
Increased levels of testing revealed more cases already in our community.
The Ohio National Guard helped administer COVID-19 tests at the Compass Community Health Center on Wednesday. The tests were free and available to anyone who showed up.
Greg Gulker, of Compass Community Health, told SCDN he was very pleased with the turnout. The final number of tests performed was 354.
Governor Mike DeWine promised the test results would be back within 48 hours, and they were. Of the 354 people tested, four were positive.
Travel Blamed For Some Cases
Earlier in the week, Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Martin linked six new cases to recent travel to Myrtle and Daytona Beach.
Dr. Martin said people should reconsider travel to these areas. If you do travel, you should avoid large crowds, practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, and wash your hands often.
County Commissioner Cathy Coleman questioned the link to Myrtle Beach. On a recent visit to the area, she said she observed businesses and citizens following social distancing practice more closely than back home in Scioto County. “I find it hard to believe that they can identify that they picked it up on their trip. Who knows if they got it from here before they left?”
Yesterday, the Kentucky Public Health Officials asked anyone who’d traveled to Myrtle Beach in the past 14 days to voluntarily self-quarantine for two weeks.
The Portsmouth City and Scioto County Health Departments are conducting contact tracing and isolation protocol for the new cases.
According to the County EMA, Four Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) employees have tested positive for the COVID19 virus. Additionally, 13 inmates are currently quarantined and 1 inmate is awaiting test results.