OHIO VALLEY — Cases continue to rise in the community and in some local schools, according to information on Wednesday. In addition, Mason County reports hundreds of people have received free COVID-19 tests since Nov. 16, with more mobile testing sites offered this month.
Gallia County Local Schools reported cases at two schools in letters posted to the district website this week.
“We are providing notice that some students at Vinton Elementary School have either tested positive or have been quarantined due to potential exposure for COVID-19,” wrote Supt. Jude Meyers. “We are working with our Health Department contacts and school nurses for tracing and are following all of their procedural guidance. Based on this information, we believe that it is safe for other staff and students to attend school.”
In a similar letter, Meyers wrote, “We are providing you notice that staff members at River Valley Middle School have tested positive for COVID-19. Based on information provided to us from the Health Department we believe all those exposed have been identified and it is safe for your child to attend school.”
Meyers also wrote, “The staff members identified have been placed in quarantine until further notice.”
Gallipolis City Schools Supt. Craig Wright, in a letter posted to the district Facebook page on Wednesday, wrote, “We are providing you notice that a student at Gallia Academy Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19. … We will continue to follow safety protocols for distancing, sanitation and facial coverings. Unless you are notified differently, your student should report to school as normal.”
Guiding Hand School also reported notice of a “student or staff member” having tested positive for COVID-19. “As a result of the positive test and quarantining, that individual will not be reporting back to school for a period defined by the Health Department. … Unless you are advised differently, you should report to school as normal,” wrote Guiding Hand School Director Laura Johnson in a letter posted to the Gallia County Board of Developmental Disabilities Facebook page.
Free COVID-19 testing continues in Mason County, offered by the Mason County Health Department with assistance from the Mason County Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Testing times and locations are attached to this article. West Virginia residency is not required to receive the free test. According to Matt Gregg, county director of emergency management, between Nov. 16 – Dec. 1, a total of 697 tests were given during drive-thru testing events.
Here’s how those numbers/testing locations break down, according to Gregg: Nov. 16 – 32 total between sites located at Point Pleasant Library and Faith Baptist Church (Mason); Nov. 17 – 53 total between sites located at R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam, Point Pleasant Library and Leon Town Hall; Nov. 18 – 46 total between sties located at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, Leon Town Hall and Wahama Junior/Senior High School; Nov. 19 – R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam 26, Leon Town Hall 6, Point Pleasant Library 51; Nov. 20 – Point Pleasant Library 24, New Haven Fire Department 52; Nov. 21 – Health Department in Point Pleasant 63; Nov. 22 – Health Department in Point Pleasant 77, Wahama Junior/Senior High School 39; Nov. 23 – Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School 52, Leon Town Hall 14; Nov. 24 – R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam 18, Wahama Junior/Senior High School 68; Dec. 1 – Mason County Schools Bus Garage in Point Pleasant 76.
Also on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported West Virginia debuted a partnership for free home-based saliva coronavirus testing. The testing kits from Vault Health can be requested on the state’s coronavirus website. Results are expected in 24 to 48 hours after individuals send their test sample back in the mail. Officials said there are no restrictions on who can request the tests, according to the AP.
Here’s a closer look at coronavirus cases across our area:
The Ohio Department of Health reported a total of 924 cases of COVID-19 (since March) in Gallia County as part of Wednesday’s update. This is an increase of 44 since Tuesday. The Ohio Department of Health also lists 15 deaths. ODH reported a total of 66 hospitalizations (1 new) and 491 presumed recovered individuals (18 new) as of Wednesday.
Age ranges for the 924 cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health are as follows:
0-19 — 113 cases (4 new cases)
20-29 — 157 cases (11 new cases, 2 hospitalizations)
30-39 — 126 cases (4 new cases, 2 hospitalizations)
40-49 — 143 cases (6 new cases, 2 hospitalizations)
50-59 — 125 cases (6 new cases, 5 hospitalizations)
60-69 — 128 cases (2 new cases, 13 hospitalizations, 2 deaths)
70-79 — 87 cases (8 new cases, 20 hospitalizations, 6 deaths)
80-plus — 45 cases (3 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 22 total hospitalizations, 7 deaths)
Gallia County is currently “Orange” on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map after meeting two of the seven indicators last week.
The Meigs County Health Department reported 13 additional confirmed and one probable case of COVID-19 in Meigs County, according to a news release from the Meigs County Health Department on Wednesday. The cases bring Meigs County to 161 active cases, and 532 total cases (488 confirmed, 44 probable) since April. Some of today’s results were delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, stated the health department in the release.
Age ranges for the 532 Meigs County cases, as of Wednesday, are as follows:
0-9 — 18 cases (1 new case)
10-19 — 48 cases (1 new case)
20-29 — 80 cases (1 new case, 1 hospitalization)
30-39 — 62 cases (1 new case, 2 hospitalizations)
40-49 — 79 cases (2 new cases (1 probable), 1 hospitalization)
50-59 — 78 cases (5 new cases, 2 hospitalizations)
60-69 — 70 cases (1 new case, 6 hospitalizations)
70-79 — 49 cases (2 new cases, 10 hospitalizations, 3 deaths)
80-89 — 31 cases (7 hospitalizations, 5 deaths)
90-99 — 16 cases (5 hospitalizations, 3 deaths)
100-109 — 1 case (1 hospitalization)
There have been a total of 360 recovered cases, 35 hospitalizations and 11 deaths confirmed by the health department as of Wednesday.
There have been seven 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.
For more data and information on the cases in Meigs County visit https://www.meigs-health.com/covid-19/ .
Meigs County is currently “Red” on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System after meeting four of the seven indicators last week.
The Mason County Health Department announced a total of 533 cases on Wednesday, 20 more than Tuesday. Of those, 244 are active and 280 are recovered. There are currently nine hospitalized cases. There have been a total of nine deaths in Mason County due to COVID-19.
DHHR reported 535 total cases (since March) for Mason County in the 10 a.m. update on Wednesday, 22 more than Tuesday. Of those, 521 are confirmed cases and 14 are probable cases.
According to DHHR, the age ranges for the 535 COVID-19 cases DHHR is reporting in Mason County are as follows:
0-9 — 7 cases
10-19 — 40 cases (2 new confirmed cases)
20-29 — 70 cases (plus 2 probable cases, 9 new confirmed case)
30-39 — 55 cases (plus 6 probable cases (2 new), 3 new confirmed cases)
40-49 — 84 cases (plus 5 probable cases, 2 new confirmed cases)
50-59 — 91 cases (plus 1 probable case, 2 deaths, 5 new confirmed cases)
60-69 — 77 cases (1 death)
70+ — 97 cases (5 deaths, 5 new confirmed cases)
Mason County continues to be listed as “Red” on the West Virginia County Alert System map and WVDE map. Mason County’s latest infection rate is 82.63, with a 10.10 percent positivity rate. Surrounding counties are yellow and orange.
The Ohio Department of Health reported a 24-hour change of 7,835 new cases on Wednesday (21-day average of 8,122). There were 123 new deaths (21-day average of 50), 436 new hospitalizations (21-day average of 314) and 52 new ICU admissions (21-day average of 31) reported in the previous 24 hours, according to Wednesday’s update.
As of the 10 a.m. update on Wednesday, DHHR is reporting a total of 49,905 cases with 778 deaths. There was an increase of 1,087 cases from Tuesday and 20 new deaths. DHHR reports a total of 1,152,045 lab test have been completed, with a 3.69 cumulative percent positivity rate. The daily positivity rate in the state was 6.60 percent.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham, Sarah Hawley and Beth Sergent contributed to this story.
(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.)
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