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County reports 81% recovery rate

LISBON — For the first time since the first case of coronavirus came to Columbiana County, the county health department reported Friday an indication of the number of people who have recovered from the virus — 386.

Additionally, the county reported the addition of 10 new cases bringing the county’s total number of cases to 477. There were no new deaths reported, but of the 477 cases, 51 have died. With 386 now listed as recovered, there remains 40 active cases in the county.

Public information director Laura Fauss said the recovery numbers are being defined as those patients completing their self-isolation requirements per the Centers of Disease Control standards. Some may not be fully recovered from all of their symptoms or back in the same condition they were in prior to getting COVID-19 or able to return to work yet. However, they are people no longer required to self-isolate due to their condition.

“The recovery number shows us that our county did a great job controlling the spread of this disease by staying at home and being respectful of others, using masks and following social distancing guidelines,” Fauss said when she released the numbers of Friday. “We must continue on that path during and after reopening to protect those at high risk. Remember, we know that it is possible to be asymptomatic and still spread the virus to others.”

Health Commissioner Wes Vins said while there have been new cases at the prison recently, no one has been taken to the hospital so those cases may not be serious. With the FCI-Elkton prison stepping up testing, it appears these may be mostly less serious or even cases. The federal Bureau of Prisons reported Friday two more inmates have recovered from their symptoms and there were no additional cases since Thursday.

There have been 129 hospitalizations in Columbiana County due to COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Vins pointed out the hospitals here have not been overwhelmed and the community made that happen. There are hospital staff, space and personal protective equipment available for others in the county who may be sick or have a health emergency.

Additionally, the health department received another 1,400 test kits this week, sending nearly 1,000 out immediately to the two hospitals in the county. The others should be delivered to the hospitals early next week. Vins said this should allow even more cases to be found and possibly allow for the scope of who is tested to be expanded.

Of the 2,000 test kits the state has sent to the health department since the coronavirus situation arrived, some were also shared with the long-term care facilities so they could quickly test someone with symptoms, whether it is an employee or a resident. Vins said more test kits are expected to come.

As things begin to reopen, Vins said the health department continues to be in contact with businesses, schools and the county fair board. They are awaiting more guidance from the state to determine what will happen with this year’s county fair and when and how students will be able to begin training for non-contact sports and doing non-contact drills and fitness training for football in order to prepare for next school year. The state has a group looking at what school may look like in the fall.

Vins also talked about the importance of wearing of masks and said for those who cannot for some reason or whose job falls within one of the exceptions, it is even more important for everyone else to wear it to protect as many people as possible. Vins said it is like vaccinating most people and how it keeps the few who cannot take the vaccine safer.

The state reported 28,758 confirmed cases on Friday with another 2,036 probable cases. There have been 1,691 confirmed deaths and another 181 probable deaths. The state has had 5,379 hospitalizations since the beginning of coronavirus and 1,416 ICU admissions.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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