FCPH: Please help slow COVID spread

Cannon: Local cases continue to trend in the wrong direction

The Record-Herald

Fayette County Public Health Deputy Health Commissioner Leigh Cannon is pleading for the public’s help: “We all need to continue to work together to do our part to slow the spread of COVID. We want to return to normal as much as the next person, but we are here to tell you today that our case counts are trending in the wrong direction and we need your help to turn things around.”

Over the past two weeks, Fayette County’s COVID-19 case rates have increased significantly, according to Cannon.

“We are seeing some of the highest rates we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic,” Cannon said. “We know that we can make a difference through masking, social distancing, and vaccination.”

FCPH staff reports that they have had a very busy couple of weeks since school has been back in session.

“We do recommend that students and school faculty wear masks in the school buildings to prevent the spread of illness and reduce the number of quarantines. Additionally, we would ask that if you have a school-age child and that child becomes ill for any reason, please do not send them to school,” Cannon said.

At this time, individuals with COVID-19 suffer from a variety of symptoms. FCPH asks the community to be aware that not every individual with COVID-19 suffers from every symptom including fever and cough. In some individuals, the symptoms can present like a common cold.

“We also ask that if anyone in your household is being tested for COVID, please do not send your child to school until the test results come back,” said Cannon.

Pfizer Fully Approved for Individuals 16 and Older

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The vaccine is still authorized for emergency use, including for those 12-15 and a third dose for certain immunocompromised individuals. It is the same formulation & can be used interchangeably, according to information provided by the FDA.

FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety, and effectiveness of medical products.

“The public and the medical community can be confident that although we approved this vaccine expeditiously, it was fully in keeping with our existing high standards for vaccines in the U.S.,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

COVID-19 Community Transmission & Case Update

The level of community transmission of COVID-19 remains high for Fayette County. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and protect others.

There have been 131 cases reported over the latest 14-day period or 459.2 per 100,000 people. The county positivity rate for the 14-day period ending Aug. 17 is 8.7%, up from 7.9% during the previous period.

There have been a total of 3,091 cases reported (2,449 confirmed, 642 probable) since the pandemic began. Three individuals were hospitalized in the past week bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 247. There have been a total of 50 deaths reported by the Ohio Department of Health, and 2,873 individuals are presumed recovered. (Presumed recovered is defined as cases with symptom onset at or above 21 days prior who are not deceased).

Vaccination reduces hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19

Since Jan. 1, 2021, there have been 20,767 hospitalizations for COVID-19 of individuals who were not fully vaccinated, and 469 hospitalizations for fully vaccinated individuals. There have been 7,035 deaths of individuals who were not fully vaccinated and 76 deaths of individuals who were fully vaccinated. The Ohio Department of Health vaccine breakthrough dashboard can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/covid-19-vaccine/breakthrough-dashboard.

Weekly Vaccination Provider Update

Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) – Clinics at FCPH are by appointment only. Schedule an appointment by calling 740-335-5910 or visiting faycohd.org.

Pfizer (12+): Sept. 7 (second dose only), 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.; Sept. 14, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Moderna (18+): Sept. 1, 7, and 28, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

CVS – Visit https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine for information on vaccine availability in your area and to schedule an appointment.

HealthSource of Ohio – Visit www.healthsourceofohio or call (740) 335-8490 to request an appointment.

Kroger – Visit kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccine or call the Kroger COVID-19 vaccine helpline at 866-211-5320.

Walgreens – Schedule through walgreens.com/schedulevaccine.The portal opens up each Saturday for Monday-Saturday appointments.

Walmart – Walmart is scheduling eligible individuals by appointment only dependent on vaccine availability. To schedule an appointment, visit walmart.com/covidvaccine.

Transportation – The Fayette County Transportation Program will transport anyone in Fayette County who needs to get their vaccine appointment, as long as they have a confirmed appointment scheduled. Anyone who needs transportation is asked to call 740-335-9628 to schedule as soon as they have an appointment time for the vaccine.

The local vaccination provider list is updated and shared weekly as a courtesy, and availability can change from day to day. Please contact the provider directly to determine which vaccine is being administered. You can also search for providers by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Please note:

– Eligible individuals can receive a vaccine from any provider of their choice. The vaccine is offered at no cost at all locations. Vaccine providers can bill a patient’s insurance for a fee to administer the vaccine, but will not be able to charge the patient.

– Pfizer is the only vaccine that has been authorized for 12 years and older.

– Pfizer (Comirnaty) is fully FDA approved for individuals 16 and older.

– Parental or legal guardian permission is required for minors (12-17 years old)

– Moderna and Pfizer each require two doses. You are not fully protected until two weeks after your second dose of vaccine.

– In addition to this list, private healthcare providers may be offering the vaccine. Contact your healthcare provider for details.

Stay updated by following Fayette County Public Health on Facebook – facebook.com/faycohd or visit the FCPH website at faycohd.org.

Cannon: Local cases continue to trend in the wrong direction

The Record-Herald