FCPH reports 92 new COVID cases over last 4 days

By Jennifer Woods - and Ryan Carter

From Friday through Monday, 92 new local cases of COVID-19 were reported by Fayette County Public Health (FCPH).

Along with the 92 new cases (73 confirmed and 19 probable), 54 recoveries (40 confirmed and 14 probable) were reported by FCPH on Monday.

There has now been a cumulative total of 1,048 local COVID-19 cases. Of those 1,048 cases, 712 have recovered, 17 have died, and 319 remain active. There are 119 individuals being monitored. The number of people currently hospitalized was unavailable due to difficulties with the reporting system, according to FCPH.

Fayette County remains on a level three (red) emergency on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS), indicating very high exposure and spread of the virus. Follow FCPH on its website, www.faycohd.org/, or Facebook page, “Fayette County Public Health-OHIO” for updated information.

The Miami Trace Local School District also announced Monday after returning from fall break that it will remain in its “hybrid” plan through Dec. 18, which begins Christmas break.

The hybrid model reduces the population by having half of the students attend the school buildings Monday and Tuesday and the other half attend Thursday and Friday. When students are not in the school buildings, they are educated virtually, and on Wednesday the district buildings are thoroughly disinfected and cleaned.

“Miami Trace schools are in consultation with the Fayette County Health Department daily. We continue to evaluate the COVID status in our county and state. For the health and safety of all staff and students, we will be extending the Plan B-Hybrid schedule through Christmas break,” said Miami Trace Superintendent Kim Pittser. “Therefore, students will remain in Plan B- Hybrid learning through December 18th. Tentatively, all students will return on January 4th, in Plan A-full capacity, to begin second semester. Schedules for the second semester will be available for all students grades 6-12 on ProgressBook, and hard copies will be supplied when they return in January.”

On Monday morning, Miami Trace received confirmation of three additional student COVID cases in the district (one at the middle school and two at the high school). Two of those three cases had been in quarantine.

Due to connections with the extra-curricular programs, the number of quarantined totals approximately 20 individuals, according to Pittser.

Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference on Monday pertaining to COVID-19. Information from DeWine’s office includes the following:

-Ohio’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit an all-time high at 5,060 people hospitalized with the coronavirus across Ohio as compared to just under 1,700 COVID-19 patients on Nov. 1. Of Ohio’s currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, there are 1,180 individuals in intensive care units and 682 people are on ventilators.

According to Dr. Andy Thomas, Chief Clinical Officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, one-third of ICU patients across Ohio have COVID and one-third of individuals on ventilators have COVID.

“COVID patients are going to start crowding out other people who need that level of care as these numbers continue to rise,” said Dr. Thomas. “The reality is that hospitals are making difficult decisions about delaying care. It may be non-urgent care, but it’s care that may cause someone to go to the ICU after surgery. A lot of hospitals are delaying those surgeries because they can’t afford their ICUs to be overtaxed.”

Dr. Thomas reported that rural areas are being hit particularly hard right now, and several hospitals are beginning to voice concerns about their ability to manage such a high number of intensive care patients. As the total number of COVID patients grows, smaller community hospitals will be unable to expand their intensive care capacity.

For individuals who traveled over Thanksgiving, Dr. Thomas urged them to quarantine upon return to Ohio to break any possible chain of transmission.


By Jennifer Woods

and Ryan Carter