County back in the red as COVID-19 cases on the rise

County back in the red as COVID-19 cases on the rise

by Craig Lovelace

CIRCLEVILLE — Pickaway County was moved Thursday from a level 2 (orange) to the more serious level 3 (red) public health emergency on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday. 

The elevation signifies that there is very high exposure and spread of COVID-19 in the county

The elevation ordered by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is based on several data points including an increase in the number of emergency department visits from a 1.1 average on Oct. 26 to 2.2 on Nov. 1; a sustained increase in new cases from an 8.3 average on Oct. 21 to 19.4 by Oct. 30; a sustained increase in outpatient visits from a 15.6 average on Oct. 24 to 20.1 on Oct. 31.

Pickaway County Public Health Director Adam Negley said the number of cases in the county have increased 10-fold in the last five weeks.

The agency’s daily data update for Nov. 4 shows there were 3,233 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the county, with the majority found among inmates in local prisons and 933 confirmed positive cases in the general population. There were 215 active local resident cases with 14 people hospitalized and 12 non-congregant deaths.

The data outlined in the decision to upgrade the emergency level in Pickaway County coincides with several touchpoints where COVID-19 spread was a worry.

For instance, two eateries — Shifty’s on South Washington Street and Rooster’s on U.S. 23 — closed briefly as precautionary measures to deal with potential issues. Roosters is back open and Shifty’s was expected to open Thursday at 5 p.m., according to a posting on its Facebook page.

The bump up to level 3 also follows the Oct. 24 rally by President Trump at the Pickaway County Fairgrounds. From Oct. 21 through Oct. 30, the number of new cases more than doubled.

The rally attracted thousands and only a slice of attendees wore masks. A public health spokesperson said COVID-19 restrictions don’t apply to political rallies, which is a step DeWine took in September. 

There is nothing to link the rally or any other event to the factors that moved Pickaway County into level 3. 

“We are just tracking the rest of the state, Negley said.

The following is a listing of a 10-day trend figure Public Health publishes that shows a compilation of new case reports: Oct. 1, +32; Oct. 8, +69; Oct. 15, +119; Oct. 24, +139; Oct. 26, +152; Nov. 2, +213; and Nov. 4, +269

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