A look back at the COVID-19 pandemic… One year in


One year in

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com



Many drive-through testing sites were set up in Mason County, including here in the parking lot of the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant.

Many drive-through testing sites were set up in Mason County, including here in the parking lot of the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant.


Beth Sergent | OVP

Staff with the Mason County Health Department administer a COVID-19 test during a drive-thru clinic held last year in the parking lot adjacent to the agency.


Beth Sergent | OVP

In Mason County, the former Goodwill building is now set up as a vaccination and testing site through June.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy photo

OHIO VALLEY — Zero cases of COVID-19, zero hospitalizations, zero deaths from the virus.

One year ago that is where the coronavirus impact stood in the Ohio Valley Publishing area.

Gallia, Mason and Meigs Counties had yet to experience the first case of the virus which has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Since then, 5,451 people in the three counties (as of Wednesday) have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 112 local residents have lost their lives due to the virus. Even more have been hospitalized.

On March 9, 2020, the state of Ohio reported three positive COVID-19 cases, the first in the state. Within days events were canceled, businesses closed, schools shut down and pandemic restrictions began. One year and nearly one million cases later, some of those restrictions remain in place, with others added or modified over the past year.

Eight days later, on March 18, 2020, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that the state of West Virginia had it’s first COVID-19 case, while also announcing the closure of dine-in restaurants and other pandemic prevention measures.

On March 20, 2020, the Gallia County Health Department announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in the county, what at the time was believed to the the first in Southeast Ohio. Less than a week later, on March 24, the health department reported the first death of a Gallia County resident due to the virus, the individual who had tested positive the week prior. The case was labeled as community spread, and not the result of international travel.

On March 26, 2020, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Mason County. Unlike the case in Gallia County, the first person to test positive in Mason County reported having a recent history of international travel.

April 1, 2020 brought the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Gallia County, with a third announced later the same day. A fourth case was reported on April 2.

As of April 3, 2020, three confirmed cases had been reported in Mason County, the initial one related to travel and two cases of community spread. Only Meigs County was without a confirmed COVID-19 case.

April 7, 2020, was the first announcement of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Meigs County.

At this point there were a total of 10 cases between the three counties, five in Mason, four in Gallia and one in Meigs.

Meigs County’s second case was reported more than a week later on April 15, a probable case of an individual connected to the first case in the county.

Mason County was the first of the three counties to reach double digits in cases, reporting the 10th case on April 16.

It was July 23 when the first death of a Mason County resident due to COVID-19 was reported, with Meigs County reporting its first two COVID-19 deaths on Aug. 12.

Cases have risen exponentially since that time.

Month-by-month case totals by county are as follows:

Gallia County

March 2020 — one case

April — five cases

May — two cases

June — six cases

July — 42 cases

August — 89 cases

September (through 29th) — 56 cases

October (Sept. 30-Nov. 4) — 156 cases

November — 505 cases

December (through Jan. 4) — 861 cases

January 2021 (through Feb. 3) — 341 cases

February — 154 cases

March (though the 10th) — 29 cases

Total (through March 10) — 2,247

Total deaths (through March 10) — 39 deaths

Mason County

March 2020 — three cases

April — nine cases

May — three cases

June — three cases

July — 27 cases

August — 59 cases

September — 39 cases

October — 36 cases

November — 310 cases

December — 542 cases

January 2021 — 603 cases

February — 133 cases

March (though the 10th) — 31 cases

Total (through March 10) — 1,798

Total deaths (through March 10) — 38 deaths

Meigs County

March 2020 — zero cases

April — two cases

May — four cases

June — five cases

July — 13 cases

August — 105 cases

September — 52 cases

October — 70 cases

November — 254 cases

December — 389 cases

January 2021 — 339 cases

February — 162 cases

March (though the 10th) — 11 cases

Total (through March 10) — 1,406

Total deaths (through March 10) — 35 deaths

Long-term care facilities

Among the cases reported in each of the counties were outbreaks at local nursing and rehabilitation facilities.

Long-term care facility cases since April 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Health, are as follows:

Gallia County — Abbyshire Place, 76 resident cases, 35 staff cases; Arbors of Gallipolis, 53 resident cases, 40 staff cases; Buckeye Community Services, four resident case, five staff cases; Gallipolis Developmental Center, nine resident cases, 26 staff cases; Holzer Assisted Living, three staff cases; Holzer Senior Care, 46 resident cases, 25 staff cases; Rescare, 15 resident cases, eight staff cases. County-wide, 18 deaths.

Mason County — Lakin Hospital, 27 resident cases, 51 staff cases, eight deaths; Pleasant Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, two resident cases, eight staff cases.

Meigs County — Arbors at Pomeroy, 44 resident cases, 34 staff cases; Overbrook Rehabilitation Center, 63 resident cases, 42 staff cases. County-wide, 14 deaths.

Vaccinations

Now at the one year mark, the attention has shifted to COVID-19 vaccinations.

As of Wednesday, 5,308 Gallia County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (17.75 percent of the county’s population). A total of 3,197 people in Gallia County have been completely vaccinated (10.69 percent of the population).

In Meigs County, 4,033 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (17.61 percent of the county’s population). A total of 2,083 people have been fully vaccinated (9.09 percent of the population).

In Mason County, a total of 5,721 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of March 10. Of those, 1,910 are considered to be fully vaccinated (7.2 percent of the county’s population).

Many drive-through testing sites were set up in Mason County, including here in the parking lot of the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/03/web1_11.18-COVIDTest.jpgMany drive-through testing sites were set up in Mason County, including here in the parking lot of the Mason County Library in Point Pleasant. Beth Sergent | OVP

Staff with the Mason County Health Department administer a COVID-19 test during a drive-thru clinic held last year in the parking lot adjacent to the agency.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/03/web1_11.24-COVID.jpgStaff with the Mason County Health Department administer a COVID-19 test during a drive-thru clinic held last year in the parking lot adjacent to the agency. Beth Sergent | OVP

In Mason County, the former Goodwill building is now set up as a vaccination and testing site through June.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/03/web1_3.10-COVID-Clinic-4.jpgIn Mason County, the former Goodwill building is now set up as a vaccination and testing site through June. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy photo
One year in

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.