Fayette Co. 6th in state in COVID positivity rate


The Record-Herald



Less than three full weeks into January, the total number of COVID cases in Fayette County has increased 20% over the total of cases in the entire first two years of the pandemic.

At the end of 2021, 5,720 cases had been reported. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 19, 2022, Fayette County Public Health received reports of an additional 1,166 cases. That total is preliminary and could increase as more data is reported to the Ohio Department of Health.

There have been 19 hospitalizations and one death reported in January.

“For context,” said Missy Smith, FCPH public information officer, “in 2020, the highest single-day count of COVID cases was 44. In 2021, the highest single-day count was 51. So far in January, we have topped those numbers on 10 out of 18 days. Two days saw case totals of over 100 new cases per day. Community transmission is the highest it has been since the pandemic began.”

Fayette County is currently sixth out of 88 counties, with a total of 3,207.7 cases per 100,000 people and a 29.3% test positivity rate over the past two weeks. The statewide average is just over 2,000 per 100,000 people.

“Please keep in mind that those numbers do not include positive cases from unproctored at-home test kits,” said Megan Batson, FCPH emergency preparedness coordinator. “If you do use one of the home test kits,” she added, “you should still follow the isolation guidelines, which can be found on our website, faycohd.org”

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths

The data below reflects the activity reported in the past seven days.

– 6,886 cases (+674)

– 452 hospitalizations (+11)

– 87 deaths (+2)

– 5,549 presumed recovered (+204)

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 During This Period of Extremely High Transmission

– Stay home when sick, except to seek medical care.

– Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth wherever possible, particularly in public settings and when you are with individuals who are not household members.

– Get the COVID vaccine as well as a booster.

– Continue to practice social distancing by keeping six feet away from others.

– Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

– Consider limiting unnecessary indoor activities

– If you are immunocompromised or have an immunocompromised individual in your household, please consider taking additional precautions by limiting unnecessary activities until community transmission decreases.

COVID Testing

Free Tests By Mail

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. It is highly recommended to order tests now so you have them when you need them. Visit covidtests.gov to order. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, the staff of Carnegie Public Library encourage and invite you to visit the library to use a computer there to order your tests.

Tests for Purchase

Over-the-counter rapid testing kits can still be purchased at many locations, such as pharmacies and grocery stores.

Healthcare Providers

Testing is also available at many urgent care locations, community health centers, retail locations, and pop-up sites. The ODH website features a searchable map of testing locations at https://bit.ly/odhtest. Each testing location has its own inventory controls and protocols. When you find a testing location, it’s important to call in advance to ensure tests are available and to determine how to access tests.

Out of Tests

Fayette County Public Health and Carnegie Public Library are out of at-home test kits. The state of Ohio is currently prioritizing k-12 schools and higher education with the limited testing supply. Both the health department and library staff will notify the public when test kits are available again.

FCPH does not provide testing at the health department.

Testing is an important tool, but only one of the tools available to help protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. Vaccinations, including timely boosters, combined with masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying home when sick, can help prevent illness and the need for possible testing.

Vaccinations

– 13,165 started (46% of eligible population)

– 12,119 completed (42% of eligible population)

– 5,459 additional doses

COVID vaccines are free. They are safe and effective at reducing the risk of severe illness or death due to COVID. Appointments and masks are required for all clinics. Please bring your COVID Vaccination Record if you have already received at least one dose and your health insurance card if you are getting a flu shot.

FCPH Vaccination Clinic Schedule Week of Jan. 24-28:

Jan. 24 – Moderna 1st or 2nd dose, booster, call 740-335-5910 to schedule.

Jan. 25 – All three COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, flu and high-dose flu from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. at Fayette County fairgrounds. Schedule online at faycohd.org/events or by phone – 740-335-5910. (FCPH office will be closed so staff can be offsite at the clinic)

Jan. 26 – Johnson & Johnson 1st dose or booster, call 740-335-5910 to schedule.

Jan. 28 – Pfizer 1st or 2nd dose, booster, pediatric, call 740-335-5910 to schedule.

Stay up-to-date on the status of COVID in our community by visiting the Fayette County Public Health website at faycohd.org.

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The Record-Herald