×

Washington County continues to see more cases

Washington County designated Level 3: Red on advisory system

Photo by Janelle Patterson Coronavirus reported case counts including daily testing results, hospital capacity data, death reports and reports of hospital diversion triggers have placed more southeast Ohio counties in the red for emergency advisory according to the Ohio Department of Health.

According to Thursday’s Ohio Disease Reporting System data, 41 Washington County residents who have been diagnosed with coronavirus have also died, though only 31 deaths are logged as due to the virus and two are logged as probably due to the virus on the county map dashboard produced by the Ohio Department of Health.

Washington County and Noble County were designated Level 3: Red, on the state public health advisory system, too, Thursday, for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

According to ODH, seven indicators dictate the color coding for the advisory map:

1. New cases per capita.

2. New cases increase within the most recent seven-day average.

3. Number of those recent cases within non-congregate living settings (outside of prisons, jails and nursing homes).

4. Emergency department visit trends within the past five days of COVID-like illness.

5. Outpatient visit trends for residents with COVID-like symptoms.

6. Hospital admission trends in new hospitalizations due to COVID.

7. If the percentage of occupied adult ICU beds in the region goes above 80 percent for at least three days in the last week and more than 20 percent of those beds are being used for COVID-positive patients for at least three days in the last week.

Washington County has for repeated weeks varied in meeting indicators 1-3, but the major shift that pushed the southeast corner of Ohio over the edge into red appears to be the final indicator: ICU bed occupancy.

So while death counts of county residents who have been diagnosed with the virus show the largest incidence in April, that’s not the only factor at play.

By the Numbers

Graphics by Janelle Patterson | ©The Marietta Times

DEATH COUNTS

In April, 12 deaths of Washington County residents logged by the state were individuals who also tested positive for coronavirus. Of those 12:

¯ Five were older than 80.

¯ Five were in their 70s.

¯ One was in their 60s.

¯ One was in their 40s.

¯ In May, seven deaths of COVID-positive Washington County residents were logged.

¯ Two were in their 60s.

¯ Two were in their 70s.

¯ Two were older than 80.

¯ One was in their 50s.

¯ In June, one death of a Washington County resident in their 60s was logged.

¯ In July, one death of a Washington County resident in their 70s was logged.

¯ In August, one death of a Washington County resident in their 60s was logged.

¯ In September, no deaths of Washington County residents who had also tested positive for coronavirus were logged by the state.

¯ In October, four deaths of COVID-positive Washington County residents were logged.

¯ Three were older than 80.

¯ One was in their 70s.

¯ In November, 11 deaths of Washington County residents were logged.

¯ Five were older than 80.

¯ Five were in their 70s.

¯ One was in their 60s.

¯ So far in December, four deaths of Washington County residents have been logged.

¯ Two were in their 80s.

¯ One was in their 70s.

¯ One was in their 40s.

Death counts vary by southeast Ohio county residency with nine residents of Athens County logged, six of those in November.

In Meigs County, 16 deaths have been logged between August and December, all of whom were 70 years old or older.

In Monroe County, 42 deaths have been logged between May and November, with no new deaths reported in December as of Thursday. All of that county’s deaths were logged as residents ages 60 and above.

In Morgan County, the 32-death count of residents was evenly split in reports Thursday between male and female individuals. All 32 deaths occurred between Nov. 3 and Monday of this week.

In Noble County, the 33-death count of residents first logs a death on Oct. 29. of a man in his 60s. Following suit through the most recent deaths on Dec. 1 were 13 females and 19 males ages 60 and above.

Between all six counties, 69 deaths of residents of those counties who had been diagnosed with coronavirus were documented in November.

Within the first 10 days of December, another 25 residents of those six counties have followed suit.

STATISTIC TRENDS

Mean, median and mode are mathematic terms used to describe typical data trends and outliers, or colloquially: anomalies/outliers.

When applying these measurement tools to the timeframe between onset date and date of death for each of the 41 deaths of Washington County residents logged by the ODH, the average (mean) length between onset and death is 15 days.

Median is defined as the middle number of the range.

To find the median, one must arrange each data point (death) from smallest to largest number of days between onset date and death date. Then, locate the central number. This would place in this instance 20 numbers to the left of the central number and 20 numbers to the right, identifying 11 days as the median.

But mode is the tool used to determine frequency, or the number of days most identified as the timeframe between onset and death. In this data set where 41 deaths range in timeframe between onset and death of one day to 90 days, the most frequent lengths of time are 11 days, 10 days, five days and seven days.

Each of those timeframes was repeated three times within the data.

Eighteen of the 41 deaths occurred in less than the median (11 days) timeframe; meaning 43.9 percent of the deaths occurred within 10 days of onset.

Two of the deaths were outliers at more than two months between the onset of coronavirus symptoms resulting in diagnosis and death (64 and 90 days respectively) though the data available from the ODH neither stipulates cause of death and nor notes any hospitalization record.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY

According to the ODH, Washington County is within Healthcare Zone 2 of the state tracking of bed capacity and ventilators.

Within Zone 2, Washington County is in Hospital Preparedness Region 8.

Washington County shares that region with Morgan, Noble, Monroe, Belmont, Jefferson, Harrison, Guernsey, Coshocton, Muskingum and Perry counties.

Athens and Meigs counties are in Region 7, but also within Zone 2.

Within Region 8:

¯ 38 COVID-Positive patients were on a ventilator Thursday, 34.23 percent of the total region capacity.

¯ 45 of the region’s intensive care beds were filled with COVID-positive patients, 30 were non-coronavirus related, and 16 remained open Monday.

Of the total in-patient bed capacity for the 11-county region (629 beds), only 17.17 percent of beds remained unoccupied Monday.

Between Monday and Thursday, 12 in-patient beds were added to the region count for available treatment.

In that same timeframe, ventilator availability in the region fluctuated between 57 open vents and the 65 available Thursday.

Within Region 7:

¯ 14 COVID-positive patients were on a ventilator Thursday, 16.28 percent of the total region capacity.

¯ 21 of the region’s intensive care beds were filled with COVID-positive patients, 23 were non-coronavirus related, and 22 remained open Thursday.

Of the total inpatient bed capacity for the 10-county region (616 beds), only 29.06 percent of beds remained unoccupied Thursday.

Between Monday and Thursday, the region’s hospitals added 21 in-patient beds to their overall capacity.

In that same timeframe, ventilator availability in the region declined from 65 open vents to the 61 available Thursday.

LOCALIZED DIAGNOSES

The ODH has cumulatively logged 1,029 cases of coronavirus within residents of the Marietta area zip code (45750); 208 new cases in the last two weeks.

In other Washington County zip codes the department has:

¯ Cumulatively logged 308 cases within the Belpre/Dunham area zip code (45714); 88 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 110 cases within the Waterford/Watertown area zip code (45786); 35 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 92 cases within the Barlow/Vincent area zip code (45784); 30 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 77 cases within the Lowell/Coal Run/Rainbow area zip code (45744); 29 new cases in the last two weeks, including up another 10 since Monday.

¯ Cumulatively logged 77 cases within the Beverly area zip code (45715); 30 new cases in the last two weeks, including up another 7 since Monday.

¯ Cumulatively logged 73 cases within the Little Hocking area zip code (45742); 15 new cases in the last two weeks, including up another 7 since Monday.

¯ Cumulatively logged 52 cases within the New Matamoras/Grandview area zip code (45767); 9 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 45 cases within the Whipple/Stanleyville area zip code (45788); 15 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 43 cases within the Fleming area zip code (45729); 8 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 41 cases within the Bartlett/Cutler area zip code (45724); 16 new cases in the last two weeks as of Monday, on Nov. 24 the two-week log was 10 new cases.

¯ Cumulatively logged 38 cases within the Newport area zip code (45768); 9 new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 27 cases within the Lower Salem/Germantown area zip code (45745); no new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 11 cases within the Macksburg area zip code (45746); no new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Cumulatively logged 10 cases within the Stockport area zip code (43787); 5 new cases in the last two weeks

¯ Cumulatively logged 5 cases within the Wingett Run zip code (45789); no new cases in the last two weeks.

¯ Unknown zip code/codes within Washington County: 10 cases cumulatively, two logged since Monday.

SCHOOL IMPACT

Superintendents of the most populated public school districts in Washington County noted Thursday that the change from Level 3: Orange to Level 3: Red is only minimally impactful for the remainder of the academic calendar through winter break.

Fort Frye Local Schools announced a two-hour delay for today, at approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday so that the district leadership, teaching and classified staff can finalize transition plans for entering a hybrid or “blended” learning model next week.

Belpre City Schools will continue with regular in-person instruction Monday to Wednesday next week, assign blizzard bags Thursday and conduct a remote learning test day Friday.

Marietta City Schools, which have already predominately operated on a hybrid model throughout the fall will see no change in plans going into the break.

“We’ve reached the end of the nine weeks and there are things that are planned and in place that we need to complete prior to the end of school,” noted Marietta Superintendent Will Hampton. “So, I’m not certain that this will change things for us unless I’m directed by the health department to make a significant change.”

At Wolf Creek Local Schools, Superintendent Doug Baldwin announced at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday that another high school student had tested positive for coronavirus, but no public announcement by the district was made by press time concerning transition into a hybrid model.

Frontier Local Schools had likewise made not public announcement by press time concerning changes to its instruction for next week.

And Warren Local Schools already spent this week in a hybrid mode due to lack of available in-person staffing and will continue next week in the same fashion.

“We’re constantly dealing with this, and you don’t know what’s going to happen from day-to-day,” said Warren Superintendent Kyle Newton. “That’s why I think you use the standard, and you follow the standard, it makes things a lot easier.”

BUSINESS/SERVICE IMPACT

The Washington County Public Library also announced Thursday that beginning today patrons at all of the public branches will not have access to book stacks.

“We encourage patrons to use our curbside assistance,” said the announcement. “Please limit the amount of time you spend in the library to 30 minutes or less. Computers will still be available for those that need them.”

Meanwhile, small businesses in downtown Marietta also notified patrons of changes Thursday due to the increased public health advisory.

The new restaurant 740 Social, which was slated to open in March right as the pandemic hit Ohio, announced Thursday that it is temporarily suspending operations to reassess safety.

Dad’s Primitive Workbench, a downtown clothing and primitives boutique, took to Facebook Live to educate patrons about virtual shopping options to support the small business.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today