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Case numbers slowing in some local counties

By the end of May, only four people were still being monitored for symptoms of coronavirus in Washington County, and no new cases have been added to the 117 from a week ago.

“All the numbers that we’re doing is from a case perspective for the whole county,” explained Sherry Ellem, public information officer for the Washington County Health Department.

Ellem explained that while there are split jurisdictions between the Marietta-Belpre Health Department, which oversees the county’s two cities, and the Washington County Health Department, the reporting of case data and monitoring is combined.

“And then all testing is done by the Memorial Health System,” she added.

The drive-thru testing facility on Pike Street had as of Tuesday completed 2,943 tests and the rate of positive tests for COVID-19 is 5.4 percent.

Meanwhile, only one new case was reported over the weekend in the county, with 117 confirmed cases and one probable case documented to the Ohio Department of Health by the daily release time of 2 p.m. According to ODH, none of the confirmed or probable cases under monitoring in the Mid-Ohio Valley counties of Ohio refused to identify by race, allowing for the following numbers to be extrapolated.

Washington County cumulative reported cases by race/ethnicity:

•White: 107.

• Black: 1.

•Hispanic/Latinx: 0.

• Asian/Pacific Islander: 0.

• American Indian: 0.

• Multiracial: 6.

•Unknown: 4.

Across the Mid-Ohio Valley region of Ohio, many counties have not seen new cases recently, including Noble, Morgan and Meigs counties.

“But in Belmont and Monroe they saw more,” noted Ellem.

Belmont County, according to the Ohio Department of Health, has documented seven long-term care facilities with confirmed cases of the virus.

In Belmont, 438 cases were documented as of Tuesday, with 63 of those individuals identifying as black and 295 identifying as white.

“We are seeing in those congregate living settings that one person who may not have symptoms and with so many people living close together it increases the risk,” said Ellem.

In Monroe County, Stellar Care Center’s 36 residents and 21 staff confirmed to have the virus between the assisted living and nursing home dropped in current cases to one and 10 respectively by the end of last week.

In Meigs County, Overbrook Rehabilitation Center was still monitoring its single resident and single staff member (two total) confirmed to have the virus.

The Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus.ohio.gov once shared the numbers of patients and staff of Heartland of Marietta, the nursing facility in Devola which saw the early outbreak in Washington County, but as of Tuesday it no longer showed any nursing facility that had or has cases.

Ellem said she was unaware of the missing information and agreed that the facility should be on the state site.

She said she would look into the matter and thought it may be a technical glitch.

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

At a glance:

• Mid-Ohio Valley counties without recent spikes of coronavirus: Washington, Morgan, Noble and Meigs.

• Mid-Ohio Valley counties with recent upticks of the virus: Athens, Belmont and Monroe.

Source: Ohio Department of Health.

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