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County confirms 20 new virus cases

LISBON — Coronavirus cases near 1,600, an increase of 20 since numbers were reported by the Columbiana County Health Department since July 31, an average of about four per day.

Of the 1,598 cases, 956 cases have been from the FCI-Elkton prison, 113 from long-term care facilities and 529 community members, which is an increase of 17 community members since Friday. There have been no new deaths reported.

Health Commissioner Wes Vins said Wednesday he expects when the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System designations are released today, Columbiana County will remain orange. That system, which includes a map of Ohio and seven indicators, now has an interactive feature. By changing the county on the right to Columbiana County and moving the computer cursor, anyone can now view the seven-day average for the categories including new cases in their county.

The county, Salem and East Liverpool health departments continue to work with the schools as they prepare to reopen and with changes the Gov. Mike DeWine continues to make. Although the county-wide plan had followed the previous advice for students in third grade and older to wear masks, DeWine’s health officials switched gears this week and now all children in grades kindergarten through high school must wear them. Vins said there are a few exemptions, such as those with behavioral, autism or medical conditions that make it impossible for them to wear a mask.

A child in school who begins to show symptoms of COVID-19 will remain in a separate room from their peers and their parents notified to pick them up. Schools have policies for that student returning. Vins said the requirement can be 10 days out with improved symptoms the last 24 hours or proof from a physician showing a different diagnosis instead of COVID-19.

School in-services will be held with county health nurse Jamie Elenz to help school nurses and other school staff prepare for school tracing and concerns about how to handle situations with a case.

Vins continues to emphasize that anyone feeling uncomfortable with any retail space or place they go into should leave. Anyone having anxiety issues due to the current coronavirus situation should reach out to a counselor or hotline.

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