COVID-19 affects high school, testing stats released

Staff Report

OHIO VALLEY — The latest developments surrounding COVID-19 in the readership area include statistics from pop-up testing sites, as well as the announcement of the virus affecting a local high school.

Tuesday evening, Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent Craig Wright, posted the following statement on the district’s Facebook page:

Dear Gallipolis City Schools Families and Staff,

We are providing you notice that a staff member at the high school has tested positive for COVID-19. That staff member has not been on District property since testing positive and has not been in contact with students at all this school year. We are working with the relevant Health Department for contact tracing and following their procedural guidance. If it is determined that any individual has been “exposed” to the person who tested positive, the Health Department will be contacting those people individually to provide health guidance.

As a result of the positive test and quarantining, some teachers will not be reporting to the building for a period defined by the Health Department guidance. We are making arrangements for substitutes and/or some teachers may teach classes remotely to the students in the classroom. We will continue to follow safety protocols for sanitation, distancing and facial coverings. Unless you are advised differently, your student should report to school as normal.

Also on Tuesday, it was announced there were four positive COVID-19 test results from Saturday’s pop-up testing site in Meigs County. Of those, one person was from Meigs County, with three from other counties, according to the Meigs County Health Department.

“The Meigs County Health Department is reporting one additional confirmed case of COVID-19 in Meigs County. This case is a result of Saturday’s pop-up testing event which was held at the Meigs County Fairgrounds. In addition to today’s confirmed case there were three other positive results from the testing. These cases all live outside Meigs County and their cases will be counted in their respective county of residence,” stated Meigs County Health Department Public Information Officer Brody Davis in a news release on Tuesday.

Two of the other positive cases were from Ross County, Ohio, with one from Mason County, West Virginia.

As previously reported, there were a total of 83 people tested during the event on Saturday.

During the free COVID-19 testing last weekend in Point Pleasant, the Mason County Health Department reported that 103 were tested and the results are expected by mid-week.

State Rankings

The latest per capita case rankings released by the state on Tuesday during Governor Mike DeWine’s news conference show Meigs ranking in the top 10 for most cases per capita in the past two weeks, with Gallia County dropping from No. 7 to No. 11.

Meigs County ranks 4th for the highest occurrence rate, with Gallia County 11th.

The table, released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), consisted of data from Aug. 17- Aug. 30. The data was pulled on Aug. 31 and excludes incarcerated individuals.

In that 14-day time frame, Gallia had 38 cases (127.1 cases per 100,000 population), and Meigs had 47 cases (205.2 cases per 100,000 population). Putnam County has the highest occurrence rate with 233.3 cases per 100,000 population (79 actual cases). Darke County is second with 213.3 cases per 100,000 population (109 total case) and Jackson County is third with 212.9 cases per 100,000 population (69 actual cases).

As reported by the Associated Press, “The number of deaths from the coronavirus continues to surge in West Virginia while confirmed cases hit a new daily record during the pandemic. Health officials announced eight more virus-related deaths Tuesday, pushing the state’s total to at least 222 deaths. That’s up 91% since Aug. 1.”

Local case update

Here is a look at coronavirus cases around our area:

Gallia County

The Tuesday afternoon update from ODH reported 147 total cases for Gallia County, two more than the previous day. These new cases had not been confirmed as of press time by the Gallia Health Department.

The following are updated age ranges, as of Monday, in the 145 total cases which have been reported by the health department since March:

0-19 — 13 cases

20-29 — 22 cases (1 hospitalization)

30-39 — 16 cases

40-49 — 23 cases

50-59 — 20 cases (3 hospitalizations)

60-69 — 13 cases (6 hospitalizations, 2 deaths)

70-79 — 17 cases (9 hospitalizations, 1 death)

80-89 — 13 cases (7 hospitalizations)

90-99 — 8 cases (5 hospitalizations)

80+ — 1 death (ODH does not breakdown age over age 80)

Of the 145 total cases, 90 of the individuals are listed as recovered/not active, with 51 of the cases active and four total deaths. Twelve of the active cases remain hospitalized, with 19 previous hospitalizations. Gallia County reported its first COVID-19 death in March, its second Aug. 14, and the third and fourth on Aug. 28. Two of the deaths were in the 60-69 age range, one in the 70-79 age range and one over 80 years of age.

Gallia County remains at an Orange level-2 advisory level on the State of Ohio Public Health Risk Advisory System, which is defined as “increased exposure and spread; exercise high degree of caution.”

Meigs County

One new confirmed case was reported on Tuesday, a female in the 10-19 age range, who is not hospitalized. Two additional recovered cases were also reported.

The case brings Meigs County to 48 active cases, and 130 total cases (108 confirmed, 22 probable) since April.

Age ranges for the 130 Meigs County cases, reported as of Tuesday, are as follows:

0-19 — 19 cases (1 new case)

20-29 — 15 cases

30-39 — 12 cases (1 hospitalization)

40-49 — 13 cases

50-59 — 14 cases (1 hospitalization)

60-69 — 13 cases (2 hospitalizations)

70-79 — 16 cases (3hospitalizations, 1 death)

80-89 — 14 cases (4 hospitalizations, 2 deaths)

90-99 — 12 cases (1 hospitalization)

100-109 — 1 case

The Meigs County Health Department has reported a total of 79 recovered cases. There have been a total of 11 hospitalizations and three deaths.

There have been four positive antibody tests in Meigs County. Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Meigs County remains at an Orange level-2 advisory level on the State of Ohio Public Health Risk Advisory System.

Mason County

The Mason County Health Department reported 102 total cases on Tuesday morning, one more than Monday. The department said that 21 of those are currently active, 80 are recovered, and there has been one death. There are no currently hospitalized cases.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reported 105 cases in Mason County in the 10 a.m. update on Tuesday.

According to DHHR, the age ranges for the 105 COVID-19 cases DHHR is reporting in Mason County are as follows:

0-9 — 3 cases

10-19 — 7 cases

20-29 — 18 cases

30-39 — 10 cases

40-49 — 17 cases (1 new)

50-59 — 14 cases (1 death)

60-69 — 13 cases

70+ — 23 cases

Mason County is currently defined as “yellow” according to DHHR as it relates to its “County Alert System” map. Counties defined as “yellow” are reporting 3.1 – 9.9 cases per 100,000 people. In regards to schools, in-person learning is suspended when a county reaches “red” which is 25-plus cases per 100,000 people.


As of the 2 p.m. update on Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported a total of 1,453 new cases, above the 21-day average of 1,037, and the highest daily total since late July . Also above the 21-day average were new deaths, ICU admissions and hospitalizations. Twenty-seven new deaths were reported (21-day average of 22), with 103 new hospitalizations (21-day average of 82) and 14 new ICU admissions (21-day average of 13).

West Virginia

As of the 10 a.m. update on Tuesday, DHHR is reporting a total of 10,507 cases with 222 deaths. There was an increase of 257 cases from Monday, and eight new deaths. The West Virginia DHHR reports a total of 438,255 lab test have been completed, with a 2.40 cumulative percent positivity rate. The daily positivity rate in the state was 6.85 percent, up from 2.80 percent on Monday.

Sarah Hawley, Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham and Beth Sergent contributed to this report.

(Editor’s Note: Statistics reported in this article are tentative and subject to change. This was the information available at press time with more to be added as it becomes available.)

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Staff Report