COVID-19 news: Phase I vaccinations expected to begin this week

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By Carol McIntire

Editor

COVID-19 testing continues at the county general health district as cases continue to increase in the county.

Health Commissioner Kelly Engelhart told commissioners Dec. 17, the county as a cumulative total of 937 cases as of Dec. 17. Of that number 279 were active and 644 were presumed recovered. The death count remains at 14.

Testing is conducted at the health district office on Moody Ave. in Carrollton only for persons who are symptomatic. For information, call the department at 330-627-4866.

The largest spike in cases came in November when 363 cases were reported.  As of last Thursday, 282 were reported in December.

She expected the first shipment of vaccine to arrive mid-week this week, if the Maderna vaccine was approved, as expected.

“We are working with entities included in the first phase,” she said, adding about 100 doses were allocated to the county in the first shipment.

Commissioner President Bob Wirkner asked where the vaccinations would be administered. Engelhart said initially they will be taken to the facilities where people are to receive them.

“I don’t anticipate them being administered at the health department until we get to the general population vaccinations,” she replied.

Engelhart responded to a question from Wirkner as to the plan to distribute vaccinations to the age 65 and over population by saying she expects it be in a drive-thru fashion so the person does not have to leave their vehicle, even though winter is not the ideal time for a drive-thru vaccination clinic.

She addressed the hospitalization rate for the county by saying in October the rate of six percent and in November it dropped to 4.13 percent. To date in December, the rate is 3.5 percent.

“We are seeing increased cases so the percentage of those hospitalized has become lower,” she explained. The department is seeing about 30 positive cases per day. The department tested 250 symptomatic persons in November. The positivity rate for those tested in November and to date in December is between 31 and 32 percent, according to Engelhart. 

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