Mason, Meigs report new COVID-19 cases

By Sarah Hawley and Kayla Hawthorne

OHIO VALLEY — On Tuesday, the Mason and Meigs county health departments were each reporting a new case of COVID-19.

Mason County Health Department Administrator Jennifer Thomas said there are 26 confirmed cases in the county. Of those 26 cases, 19 are considered recovered. Thomas said all cases are community acquired. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mason County was reported in March.

As of press time on Tuesday, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) was reporting 25 total cases for Mason County. According to DHHR, the age ranges for 25 of the county’s cases are as follows:

10-19 — 2 cases

20-29 — 6 cases

30-39 — 2 cases

40-49 — 3 cases

50-59 — 8 cases

60-69 — 3 cases

70+ — 1 case

The Meigs County Health Department’s newly reported COVID-19 case is a female in the 10-19 age range who is not hospitalized.Meigs County Health Department Public Information Officer Brody Davis said the case is community spread and is not related to any of the other cases in the county.

This brings the active case count in Meigs County to two, with 12 recovered cases. Meigs County has reported 12 confirmed and 2 probable cases since April.

Age ranges for the 14 Meigs County cases are as follows:

0-19 — 3 cases

20-29 — 1 case

30-39 — 2 cases

40-49 — 2 cases

50-59 — 2 cases

60-69 — 2 cases

70-79 — 2 cases

Two positive antibody tests have also been reported in Meigs County.

The Gallia County Health Department has reported a total of 22 cases (19 confirmed and three probable), with no new cases reported as of press time on Tuesday.

Current case age ranges in Gallia County are as follows:

0-19 — 3 cases

20-29 — 1 case

30-39 — 6 cases

40-49 — 4 cases

50-59 — 4 cases (2 hospitalizations)

60-69 — 2 cases (2 hospitalizations, 1 death)

70-79 — 2 cases (2 hospitalizations)

This week, the cities of Athens and Portsmouth in Southeast Ohio have joined many others across the state and nation to require masks indoors and in some outdoor situations.

In Athens, the ordinance approved on Monday evening requires face coverings inside all buildings, as well as when entering and exiting the buildings or waiting in line to enter the business. Face coverings are also required in any public transportation and outdoor spaces where a person is unable to maintain a six foot social distance.

The approved ordinance states in part, “the Athens City-County Health Commissioners advised the Mayor in a letter on July 8, 2020 that there is a surge in new COVID-19 cases through person-to-person transmission and stated that wearing a facial covering can reduce virus transmission by up to 75% and is an effective way to prevent the spread of the virus from an infected person.”

The ordinance also states that as of July 8, cases in Athens County had more than doubled in one week and that the number of active cases had increased five-fold in one week.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Athens County has 201 cases of COVID-19, with 146 considered to be active.

The ordinance went into effect Monday evening immediately following its approval. The ordinance states that violation is considered an administrative offense and requires a fine of $100.

Portsmouth approved the mask mandate during a city council meeting on Monday evening in a 4-1 vote, according to the Portsmouth Daily Times, a publication of AIM Media Midwest.

The mask mandate took effect at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, requiring Portsmouth residents to wear a mask in public places and businesses. The Daily Times reports that inside city limits warnings will be issued for first violations, with increasing fines after the initial warning.

Masks are mandatory in West Virginia following an order last week from Governor Jim Justice.

Scioto County, where Portsmouth is located, has reported a total of 80 cases, with several of those coming in recent weeks. Lawrence County, which is between Gallia and Scioto Counties, has a total of 108 confirmed cases, 1 probable case and two suspected cases, according to the Lawrence County Health Department.

In the daily 2 p.m. update on Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported a total of 67,995 confirmed and probable cases, an increase of 1,142 from Monday. Five additional deaths were reported, bringing the total to 3,069.

In the 5 p.m. update on Tuesday, DHHR reported a total of 4,407 cases and 97 deaths. These numbers show 148 new cases and one new death since Monday at 10 a.m.

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Sarah Hawley and Kayla Hawthorne