The most recent update from Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) on Friday showed there were three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with four cases having recovered.
Overall, there have been 185 confirmed cases and 16 probable cases (including nine antigen tests and one antibody test) — totaling 201.
Of those 201 cases, 174 have recovered, five are now deceased and 22 cases are active.
Of the 22 active cases, four are currently hospitalized while 58 people who came into contact with confirmed individuals are being monitored.
The age range of those who have been ill now includes individuals from 1-89 years old with the median age being 44.
Fayette County remains listed as a level 2 public emergency (orange). This means the county has an increase in exposure and spread of the virus. Increased precaution is suggested.
According to FCPH, the organization is working with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to provide contact tracing.
As previously reported, contact tracing is essentially an effort to determine who an infected person came into contact with. According to www.cdc.gov, contact tracing is conducted for close contacts (any individual within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
“All of these close contacts are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. FCPH is highly committed to maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality. If you are not contacted, you did not have close extended contact with the cases,” explained FCPH.
According to the FCPH website, the definitions involved in the reports are as follows:
-Confirmed: “Cases that are confirmed by a laboratory with a positive PCR test.”
-Probable: “Effective March 9, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established diagnostic criteria for probable COVID-19 cases. These are often symptomatic household contacts of an individual who is confirmed with a positive lab test. These can also be individuals who are diagnosed with an active infection using an antigen test.”
-Recovered: “Recovered means an individual who was diagnosed as confirmed or probable, and who has been isolated for at least 10 days, fever-free for at least 24 hours, showing no other symptoms, and is released from monitoring by Fayette County Public Health.”
-Monitored: “Individuals who are being monitored by FCPH include confirmed and probable cases who are actively ill and in isolation – and – close contacts who are in quarantine.”
-Close contacts: typically individuals living in the same home, intimate partners, individuals providing home care for an ill person without using recommended precautions, individuals who have had close contact (within six feet of the ill person) for a prolonged period of time (definitions for prolonged time vary from 10-30 minutes when speaking in terms outside of providing medical care).
Although numbers seem to be dropping locally compared to recent weeks, hundreds of positive cases of the new coronavirus are being reported at colleges in Ohio as more students return to campuses, though many of them are doing at least some of their learning online rather than in person.
Ohio State University tallied 882 cases among students during the first two weeks of the semester and 20 cases among employees in August.
At Miami University, which started classes remotely but had many students return to the Oxford area the university is located in, reported just over 700 student cases and two involving employees. With move-ins for on-campus students scheduled in mid-September and hopes of resuming some in-person learning after that, the school has warned that students who don’t participate in surveillance testing as required may be prohibited from going to classes.
Another 250-plus coronavirus cases have been reported at other campuses around Ohio, spread across at least a dozen public and private colleges.
Republican Governor Mike DeWine noted the trend in his regular Thursday briefing, saying Ohioans aged 18-22 now account for 35-40 percent of all cases. He pleaded with college students to be careful.
“You can get it and pass it on, and that really is the danger, that it’s passed onto someone who is older, or has a medical problem,” DeWine said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.