Union County New Cases Per Capita Continues to be 14 Times the CDC High Incidence Rate: Union County’s rate of new cases per capita is 713.70 for the previous two weeks. The CDC’s rate for high incidence is defined as 50 new cases per capita. Roughly 80% of new cases over the previous two weeks were within the community rather than a congregate living facility (nursing homes and prisons). The ICU bed occupancy for the hospitals in our Central Ohio region is exceeding 80%, with more than 20% of those ICU patients having COVID-19.
Zip Code Data Available; The Ohio Department of Health publishes case count data for each zip code in Ohio. To view the data, go to https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/key-metrics/cases-by-zipcode. You can view case data by cumulative case counts or just new cases within the past two weeks. You can also view data by raw case count or by case rate. Viewing data by case rate is recommended if trying to compare disease activity between zip codes.
Ohio Positivity Rate Now at 15%: For the first time since April, Ohio’s COVID-19 positivity rate is now at 15%. Positivity rates at a county level are not available at this point, but anecdotal positivity data from the Union County community COVID drive thru testing has also significantly increased over the past month. The positivity rate is the percentage of COVID-19 tests in Ohio that yielded a positive result. Positivity is one data point that helps paint the picture of how widespread the virus is circulating in our state. As the virus spreads more frequently through Ohio communities, it means our risk of contracting the virus is higher.
Message to Employers: As we move into this holiday season, we are urging local employers to take a close look at their COVID-19 safety protocols. The holidays could bring significantly increased disease activity. In order to protect our local economy and businesses, the Union County Health Department encourages businesses to mitigate the impact on the workplace as much as possible. Reinforce masking and social distancing messages with employees and customers. Promote hand hygiene and make sure cleaning, disinfecting and handwashing practices have not laxed. Enforce policies around masking and social distancing. Reinforce messages and ensure sick policies are up-to-date to allow sick employees to stay home. Stagger shifts and allow telework where possible to reduce exposure in your workplace. Cohort staff if appropriate and remind staff that congregating within the worksite is not recommended. Use virtual meeting and customer experiences where possible. These mitigation strategies have been successful within our local businesses in minimizing the virus’s economic and human resources impact.
COVID-19 Testing Moved to Union County Fairgrounds: As the weather turns colder and snowier, the community drive thru COVID-19 testing is moving to the Union County Fairgrounds, 845 N. Main St, Marysville. The new location will begin next week, Dec. 7. The change in location will allow event staff and volunteers to have some additional protection from the elements. Appointments are strongly urged and can be made at https://unioncountycovid.org/testing. Limited drive ups will be helped as resources allow.