OHIO VALLEY — Case numbers in Gallia, Meigs and Mason Counties saw dramatic increases over the weekend with Mason reporting two COVID-19 related deaths.
The Ohio Department of Health reported an increase of 103 cases in Gallia County from its 2 p.m. update on Friday to the 2 p.m. update on Monday. The Ohio Department of Health reports a current total of 704 cases in Gallia County since March.
The Meigs County Health Department reported the largest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Saturday, with 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Nine additional confirmed cases were reported on Sunday and 11 confirmed cases on Monday.
The 42 new cases in Meigs County over the weekend bring the active case total to 101 cases, with a total of 412 cases since April (370 confirmed and 42 probable). In addition to the new cases, three individuals were hospitalized.
The Mason County Health Department reported 43 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday. The department also reported two additional deaths, totaling nine since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been a total of 364 cases in Mason County since the pandemic began, of which 153 are active and 202 are recovered.
On Sunday, the health department tested 116 at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location held in the Mason County Courthouse’s parking lot in Point Pleasant, and earlier that same day, tested 39 at the Wahama High School location. Then on Monday, 50 were tested at the PPJ/SHS location and 16 at Leon town hall.
Free testing continues Tuesday, Nov. 24, as follows: 10 a.m. – noon, Wahama High School, Mason; 10 a.m. – noon, RC Byrd Locks and Dam, Apple Grove, W.Va. West Virginia residency is not required to receive a free test.
Assisting the health department with its testing efforts is the Mason County Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which reported the testing numbers from Sunday and Monday. The health department has been traveling across Mason County to provide the free tests, with Sunday and Monday only reflecting two of several mobile testing sites which have been offered.
Buckeye Hills Career Center reported “at least four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a student or staff person at Buckeye Hills Career Center, including out Adult Education Division” in a statement posted to the school’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon.
According to the statement, to date, the secondary education (high school) portion has reported nine student and six staff cases, with the adult education portion of the center reporting six student and four staff cases.
“Buckeye Hills Career Center will remain open at this time. We are working closely with the Gallia County Health Department and anyone identified as a close contact will be notified by the health department,” read a portion of the statement.
In a statement posted to the Gallipolis City Schools Facebook page, Supt. Craig Wright stated, “a student or staff member at Gallia Academy Middle School and a student or staff member at Green Elementary have tested positive for COVID-19.”
“We will continue to follow safety protocols for distancing, sanitation and facial coverings. Unless you are advised differently, your student should report to school as normal,” the statement concluded.
In a statement on Friday afternoon posted to the district website, Southern Local Supt. Tony Deem provided notice that “either a Southern Middle/High School staff member or student have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been placed in quarantine due to direct contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.”
“Southern Local School District has been in direct communication with the Meigs County Health Department who have completed their contact tracing,” stated Deem.
Mason County was designated as “orange” on the color coded map by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) on Saturday evening. According to the WVDE, “orange” means there is heightened community transmission. WVDE states that schools are to suspend in-person instruction and activate remote learning. For athletics, activities are limited to conditioning only. Mason County Schools are learning remotely this week, as previously scheduled at the beginning of the year.
Here’s a closer look at coronavirus cases across our area:
The Gallia County Health Department reported a total of 588 cases of COVID-19 (since March) in an update on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Since that time, the Ohio Department of Health case numbers have increased to Monday’s total of 704 cases.
The health department reported a total of 404 recovered cases and 171 active cases as of Wednesday afternoon. There were 13 current hospitalization and 44 previous hospitalizations. The Gallia County Health Department has reported a total of 13 deaths.
Gallia County remains at an Orange level-2 advisory level on the State of Ohio Public Health Risk Advisory System, which is defined as “increased exposure and spread; exercise high degree of caution.” Gallia County was noted as a “high incidence” county during the Governor’s news conference on Thursday.
Age ranges for the 412 Meigs County cases, as of Monday, are as follows:
0-9 — 15 cases (2 new cases)
10-19 — 40 cases (1 new case)
20-29 — 55 cases (9 new cases)
30-39 — 49 cases (6 new cases, 2 hospitalizations)
40-49 — 66 cases (7 new cases, 1 hospitalization)
50-59 — 50 cases (4 new case, 2 hospitalizations)
60-69 — 49 cases (7 new cases, 5 hospitalizations)
70-79 — 43 cases (4 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 10 total hospitalizations, 3 deaths)
80-89 — 30 cases (2 new case, 1 new hospitalization, 7 total hospitalizations, 5 deaths)
90-99 — 14 cases (3 hospitalizations, 3 deaths)
100-109 — 1 case (1 hospitalization)
There have been a total of 300 recovered cases (21 new), a total of 31 hospitalizations (3 new) and 11 deaths.
There have been seven positive antibody tests in Meigs County. Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
“There has been a drastic increase of COVID-19 cases, not only in Meigs County but across over the past few weeks. The Meigs County Health Department urges residents to continue following federal, state, and local orders and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This guidance includes practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing facial coverings,” stated a news release from the health department on Saturday.
For more data and information on the cases in Meigs County visit https://www.meigs-health.com/covid-19/ .
Meigs County at the “Orange” Level-2 health advisory level. The color is updated each week during the Thursday news conference by Governor Mike DeWine. Meigs County was noted as a “high incidence” county during the Governor’s news conference on Thursday.
The Mason County Health Department reported 364 total cases (since March) on Monday, 43 more than Friday. Of those, 153 cases are active, 202 are recovered and six are currently in the hospital. The county department announced two addition deaths due to COVID-19. There have been nine total deaths in Mason County due to COVID-19.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reported 349 total cases (since March) for Mason County in the 10 a.m. update on Monday, 44 more than Friday. Six of these cases are probable. DHHR
According to DHHR, the age ranges for 349 of the COVID-19 cases DHHR is reporting in Mason County are as follows:
0-9 — 5 cases (2 new confirmed cases)
10-19 — 25 cases (2 new confirmed cases)
20-29 — 41 cases (plus 1 probable case, 4 new confirmed cases)
30-39 — 36 cases (plus 2 probable cases, 4 new confirmed cases)
40-49 — 59 cases (plus 2 probable cases, 8 new confirmed cases)
50-59 — 62 cases (plus 1 probable case, 1 death, 6 new confirmed cases)
60-69 — 49 cases (1 death, 9 new confirmed cases)
70+ — 66 cases (6 deaths, 3 new confirmed cases)
The Ohio Department of Health reported a 24-hour change of 11,885 new cases on Monday. (Editor’s note: Governor DeWine stated that the number may be artificially high was two of the labs reported multiple days worth of data on Monday). These numbers are considered to be incomplete as approximately 15,000 antigen tests are being reviewed and are not included. The 21-day average for new cases as of Monday is 6,733. There were 24 new deaths (21-day average of 32), 282 new hospitalizations (21-day average of 253) and 36 new ICU admissions (21-day average of 26).
As of the 10 a.m. update on Monday, DHHR is reporting a total of 41,114 cases with 667 deaths. There was an increase of 2,634 cases from Friday and 28 new deaths. DHHR reports a total of 1,033,510 lab test have been completed, with a 3.48 cumulative percent positivity rate. The daily positivity rate in the state was 4.00 percent.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham, Sarah Hawley and Beth Sergent contributed to this story.
(Editor’s Note: Statistics reported in this article are tentative and subject to change. This was the information available at press time with more to be added as it becomes available.)
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