Vaccination Update: The Union County Health Department received our second shipment of COVID-19 vaccine this week and is holding a second closed clinic for EMS departments, primary care practices, pharmacies, and home health & hospice agencies located within Union County. These Phase 1a groups have been selected to ensure emergency medical services are available to those in need and care is available for sick patients.
We are also expanding to the targeted-risk populations included in Ohio’s Phase 1a. This includes staff working in group homes or residential centers for persons with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. Depending on quantity and arrival of our next vaccine shipment, we plan to expand to people living in group homes or residential facilities who have developmental disabilities or mental illness.
We expect to continue to receive vaccine shipments weekly. We will continue to focus vaccination efforts in accordance with Ohio’s Phase 1a for the next couple of weeks. We do not have a defined timeframe on when Ohio will open up vaccination to individuals in Ohio’s Phase 1b tier. According to Governor DeWine, Ohio’s Phase 1b tier will focus on persons at highest risk for severe illness (adults age 65 and older; persons with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders) and getting kids back in school (by vaccinating adults who work within schools). We hope to learn more in the next one to two weeks. We will continue to share vaccination updates and eligibility as we know more.
As a reminder, local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are receiving vaccine directly through the federal pharmacy partnership. Local hospitals are also directly receiving vaccine for hospital workers. Local health departments will continue to focus on individuals and facilities within Ohio’s Phase 1a tier who are outside of these settings.
How to Know When You Can be Vaccinated: At this time, we are working directly with organizations located within Union County who fall within Ohio’s Phase 1a group. We are still finalizing communications plans to reach Union County residents who fall within Ohio’s Phase 1b. We do not have a specific timeframe on when the Ohio 1b group will open up. Thus, we are not keeping a list of Union County residents who are interested in vaccination at this time. Please continue to check our website, Facebook page, and read these email updates for the latest information. As we learn more about Ohio’s Phase 1b, we will finalize a detailed communications plans to make sure all those who are eligible and interested in receiving vaccination are informed.
Local Situation Update: Thanks to the work of Union County residents, businesses, organizations, faith communities, and community leaders – the reported number of new cases of COVID-19 have declined. According to the most recent data, our per capita rate of reported new COVID-19 cases dropped to 605 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 2 weeks. This is one of the lowest 2-week per capita rates we’ve seen in nearly 2 months. During one point in November, the 2-week per capita rate had risen to more than 800 new cases per 100,000 people. We are continuing to watch the data closely to see how the data within our community trends over the coming weeks.
As of 8 am on Dec. 29, Union County has recorded 3,133 cumulative cases of COVID-19. 130 Union County residents have required hospitalization for their illness. 19 cumulative deaths have been reported among Union County residents. The average age of Union County residents with reported COVID-19 infection is 41 years, with the 40-49 year old age bracket making up the highest percentage of Union County cases (19%). All but 2 Union County townships have now had at least 50 or more reported cases of COVID-19.
From Dec. 18 to Dec. 29, 467 new cases were reported in Union County residents; 24 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations were reported; and sadly, one additional death was reported.
Celebrate Small, One Last Time in 2020: With 2020 closing out tomorrow, we remind all to celebrate the New Year small. Please try to celebrate with members of your own home if possible. If not, please try to keep gatherings small. Do not attend parties or gatherings if you are feeling sick. Please wear your mask and watch your space. If you are hosting, please try to improve ventilation within your home and consider having guests wear a mask. From all of us at the Union County Health Department, we wish you a happy New Year.
Shop Safe. Shop Local. The Union County Health Department and the Union County Chamber of Commerce continue to partner to encourage residents to keep supporting our local businesses and restaurants. Many of our local businesses have implemented safety protocols and are working hard to keep employees and customers safe. Most have several options for shopping or dining in a low-risk manner, such as curbside pickup, delivery or online shopping. Please continue to Shop safe. Shop local.