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Looking back at 2021 COVID stats and forward toward community improvement

EAST LIVERPOOL — With 2021 officially in the books, according to the East Liverpool City Health District, confirmed COVID-19 cases in 2021 were 205 percent higher than in 2020, with over four times as many cases reported.

At the year’s first regular health board meeting, East Liverpool Health Commissioner Carol Cowan distributed reports of district-wide communicable disease totals for last year and COVID numbers far surpassed any other diseases tracked.

According to Cowan, confirmed cases in 2020 totalled 393 with another 26 determined to be probable; in 2021, the city saw 1,199 confirmed and another 34 probable cases.

Cowan said the district administered 3,624 vaccines in 2021 and 19 boosters in December.

“People are still getting the boosters but it has slowed down quite a bit,” Cowan said. The health district is interested to see what develops next regarding Moderna’s recently reported experimental single-dose flu and COVID vaccine, she said.

Cowan said Lyme Disease was another communicable disease gaining ground last year. Eleven cases were reported last year in the city compared to 0 cases in 2020. Looking back at the last five years, the city only had seen one or two reported cases each year.

In other business, Housing Inspectors Kayla Crowl and Amy Toot updated the board on upcoming demolitions. Crowl said inspections have been picking back up after lagging due to COVID.

“We’ve been working very closely with the prosecutor, thinking outside of the box as far as how to bring these homeowners and occupants into compliance, and ways to bring the city up,” she said.

She said they have also been collaborating with Mayor Greg Bricker at getting demolition orders out on homes to locate owners or any interested parties to demolish the building. “If this doesn’t work, then the city is granted the authority to do so,” Crowl said. She estimates that within the next six months, as many as 60 dilapidated homes could be demolished.

Toot said often going on calls will reveal even more issues needing addressed. “We get the tip and we go there and it turns into a lot of other problems, not just the housing,” she said. “Like Kayla always says, name one problem in the city and we can tie it back to housing. It’s very true.”

On Jan. 25 at 5:15 p.m. the East Liverpool Community Improvement Corporation will hold a property committee meeting in council chambers. Agenda items will include:

— Consideration and discussion of acceptance of 606 Dresden Avenue

— Consideration and discussion of an Agreement granting access to certain property for demolition purposes, between the CIC and Columbiana County Land Reutilization Corp. for 606 Dresden Avenue, 500 Maryland Avenue and 433 Prospect Street.

— Consideration and discussion of an offer to purchase CIC owned property 2340 Dresden Avenue, also known as the Motor Lodge.

— Consideration and discussion of sale of 744 Sophia Street and 847 Baxter Street.

— Immediately following the property committee meeting, the CIC board of trustees will hold their annual meeting.

The next health board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

llehman@mojonews.com

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