OHIO VALLEY — Zero cases of COVID-19, zero hospitalizations, zero deaths from the virus.
One year ago that is where the coronavirus impact stood in the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
Gallia, Mason and Meigs Counties had yet to experience the first case of the virus which has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Since then, 5,451 people in the three counties (as of Wednesday) have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 112 local residents have lost their lives due to the virus. Even more have been hospitalized.
On March 9, 2020, the state of Ohio reported three positive COVID-19 cases, the first in the state. Within days events were canceled, businesses closed, schools shut down and pandemic restrictions began. One year and nearly one million cases later, some of those restrictions remain in place, with others added or modified over the past year.
Eight days later, on March 18, 2020, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that the state of West Virginia had it’s first COVID-19 case, while also announcing the closure of dine-in restaurants and other pandemic prevention measures.
On March 20, 2020, the Gallia County Health Department announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in the county, what at the time was believed to the the first in Southeast Ohio. Less than a week later, on March 24, the health department reported the first death of a Gallia County resident due to the virus, the individual who had tested positive the week prior. The case was labeled as community spread, and not the result of international travel.
On March 26, 2020, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Mason County. Unlike the case in Gallia County, the first person to test positive in Mason County reported having a recent history of international travel.
April 1, 2020 brought the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Gallia County, with a third announced later the same day. A fourth case was reported on April 2.
As of April 3, 2020, three confirmed cases had been reported in Mason County, the initial one related to travel and two cases of community spread. Only Meigs County was without a confirmed COVID-19 case.
April 7, 2020, was the first announcement of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Meigs County.
At this point there were a total of 10 cases between the three counties, five in Mason, four in Gallia and one in Meigs.
Meigs County’s second case was reported more than a week later on April 15, a probable case of an individual connected to the first case in the county.
Mason County was the first of the three counties to reach double digits in cases, reporting the 10th case on April 16.
It was July 23 when the first death of a Mason County resident due to COVID-19 was reported, with Meigs County reporting its first two COVID-19 deaths on Aug. 12.
Cases have risen exponentially since that time.
Month-by-month case totals by county are as follows:
March 2020 — one case
April — five cases
May — two cases
June — six cases
July — 42 cases
August — 89 cases
September (through 29th) — 56 cases
October (Sept. 30-Nov. 4) — 156 cases
November — 505 cases
December (through Jan. 4) — 861 cases
January 2021 (through Feb. 3) — 341 cases
February — 154 cases
March (though the 10th) — 29 cases
Total (through March 10) — 2,247
Total deaths (through March 10) — 39 deaths
March 2020 — three cases
April — nine cases
May — three cases
June — three cases
July — 27 cases
August — 59 cases
September — 39 cases
October — 36 cases
November — 310 cases
December — 542 cases
January 2021 — 603 cases
February — 133 cases
March (though the 10th) — 31 cases
Total (through March 10) — 1,798
Total deaths (through March 10) — 38 deaths
March 2020 — zero cases
April — two cases
May — four cases
June — five cases
July — 13 cases
August — 105 cases
September — 52 cases
October — 70 cases
November — 254 cases
December — 389 cases
January 2021 — 339 cases
February — 162 cases
March (though the 10th) — 11 cases
Total (through March 10) — 1,406
Total deaths (through March 10) — 35 deaths
Long-term care facilities
Among the cases reported in each of the counties were outbreaks at local nursing and rehabilitation facilities.
Long-term care facility cases since April 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Health, are as follows:
Gallia County — Abbyshire Place, 76 resident cases, 35 staff cases; Arbors of Gallipolis, 53 resident cases, 40 staff cases; Buckeye Community Services, four resident case, five staff cases; Gallipolis Developmental Center, nine resident cases, 26 staff cases; Holzer Assisted Living, three staff cases; Holzer Senior Care, 46 resident cases, 25 staff cases; Rescare, 15 resident cases, eight staff cases. County-wide, 18 deaths.
Mason County — Lakin Hospital, 27 resident cases, 51 staff cases, eight deaths; Pleasant Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, two resident cases, eight staff cases.
Meigs County — Arbors at Pomeroy, 44 resident cases, 34 staff cases; Overbrook Rehabilitation Center, 63 resident cases, 42 staff cases. County-wide, 14 deaths.
Now at the one year mark, the attention has shifted to COVID-19 vaccinations.
As of Wednesday, 5,308 Gallia County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (17.75 percent of the county’s population). A total of 3,197 people in Gallia County have been completely vaccinated (10.69 percent of the population).
In Meigs County, 4,033 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (17.61 percent of the county’s population). A total of 2,083 people have been fully vaccinated (9.09 percent of the population).
In Mason County, a total of 5,721 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of March 10. Of those, 1,910 are considered to be fully vaccinated (7.2 percent of the county’s population).
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.