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Washington County sees 4,736 COVID-19 cases

As of Saturday, Washington County had had 4,736 coronavirus cases, 186 hospitalizations, and 96 deaths to date.

The joint municipal health department for Marietta and Belpre and the separate Washington County Health Department were monitoring 278 active cases as of this past weekend while Washington County remained designated by the Ohio Department of Health a high incidence county at an alert Level 3. The Ohio Department of Health now uses death certificate data from the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) as the sole source of information for COVID deaths reported on the state’s COVID-19 dashboards.

As of Sunday, 752 deaths were reported by the Ohio Department of Health, with 428 of them including deaths of Ohio residents out of state.

“Other states do not send these death certificates to ODH’s Bureau of Vital Statistics on a regular schedule and therefore fluctuations will be reflected in reported mortality data,” said a release on the ODH website Sunday. “Deaths are assigned to their appropriate date of death.”

In the past, the Ohio Disease Reporting System was used to report both confirmed deaths due to coronavirus and separately logged deaths believed by health personnel to have been caused by a case of the virus, this is no longer the case.

ODRS relies on data entry from a variety of sources including local health departments, healthcare providers, and urgent care centers.

According to the Washington County Health Department, the additional deaths now reported in Washington County are not new deaths instead they were unintentionally missed in ODRS and now captured from EDRS.

“Memorial Health System has seen a decrease in COVID inpatients and a decrease in screenings through the COVID clinic,” said Memorial Health System Associate Vice President Jennifer Offenberger in a release Saturday. “This is good news, but we know that now more than ever we want to continue to follow protective measures to lessen the spread.”

The Memorial Health System coronavirus testing clinic located on Pike Street in Marietta will begin with new days and times for community use starting March 15.

The new hours of operation will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Washington County has the highest coronavirus case rate in Ohio at 260.4 per capita.

By comparison, the lowest rate per capita county in the state is 47.8.

Case rate is calculated by the number of new cases reported within two weeks divided by our population, then multiplied by 100,000.

The case rate calculation creates an equal breakdown to compare larger and smaller counties.

This indicator is one of many data points used to consider what actions we should take to reduce the spread.

The higher a county’s rate, the more likely one could be exposed to the virus, according to the Washington County Health Department.

“Your actions affect you, your family, and our community,” Public Information Officer Sherry Ellem, of the Washington County Health Department, said.

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