Mason County currently at zero ‘active’ COVID cases… Social distancing still recommended

By Beth Sergent - [email protected]

MASON COUNTY — As of Wednesday afternoon, Mason County had no “active” confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the county’s 15 total confirmed cases now considered “recovered.”

The information was released in a statement drafted to Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP) by Dennis Zimmerman, director of Mason County Office of Emergency Services/Emergency Communications-911/Emergency Medical Service. The statement to OVP was also reviewed by Jennifer Thomas, nursing director/administrator of the Mason County Health Department, prior to release.

Zimmerman further stated it has been three weeks since the county’s last confirmed positive test of COVID-19. The 15 of 15 recovery status was “directly related to each person’s underlying health,” Zimmerman stated.

An uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in West Virginia have recently been reported in the Eastern Panhandle as well as within some of the prison population. On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Gov. Jim Justice said he wants widespread coronavirus testing at all the state’s correctional facilities as cases continue to rise inside a rural prison. The AP article continued, “At least 102 inmates and eight staffers at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County have tested positive for the virus, according to state records. Around 360 tests are still pending.” Ohio prisons have been facing a similar rise in COVID-19 cases.

When asked about Mason County’s numbers, Zimmerman added, “The 15 people being isolated and monitored, along with contact tracing isolation is what helped keep our numbers in Mason County low.

“Our residents should be very proud of their efforts in combating this disease, and as the county opens up, they need to continue to practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and remain vigilant to their own health. If you are not feeling well, stay out of the public and wear a mask when in public.”

On a day of no active COVID-19 cases in Mason County (the first confirmed case was reported in March), Zimmerman stressed the virus is not gone.

“The recommendation to our residents, as the county and the country open up, is to remember that this virus is still out there,” he said, advising the public to continue to do what it has been doing to slow the spread. “It works.”

Locally, in Meigs County, Ohio, there have been six total cases, five of which have been lab confirmed and one probable. Three of those cases (two confirmed and one probable case) have been listed as recovered.

The remaining three cases are active, with symptom onset dates of May 20 (age 10-19 female and age 70-79 female) and May 22 (age 20-29 male). The younger female has been quarantined at a facility in Columbus, according to the Meigs County Health Department. The older female has been quarantined at Overbrook Rehabilitation Center, with the most recent case having been an employee at Overbrook who had contact with the individual. No other residents or staff have tested positive.

A statement by Overbrook on Wednesday stated, “We are pleased to announce the remaining test results are all negative. That is, 92 COVID test completed with only the original affected resident and one employee positive. We are continuing to monitor all residents for a 14 day period. We will extend quarantine efforts and conduct additional testing if a resident/employee exhibits symptoms per guidance from MCHD and ODH.”

None of the six Meigs County cases have required hospitalization.

OVP recently reported, in Gallia County, Ohio, there have been two probable cases of COVID-19 in county residents and five confirmed. Of those, one has died, one is currently hospitalized and five have recovered. On Wednesday, the Gallia health department reported there have been 381 tests given for COVID-19. Of antibody tests given, the department reports there have been two positive and 97 negative results.

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Dean Wright and Sarah Hawley contributed to this report in regards to information concerning Meigs and Gallia counties in Ohio. Anthony Izaguirre reported for the Associated Press.

By Beth Sergent

[email protected]

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing