Vinton County was feeling the sunshine as it dropped back down to a Level 1 Public Emergency according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory Systems map, now being shaded yellow. The change indicates that cases in the county have dropped below 50 cases per 100,000 residents.

Gallia, Noble, and Carroll counties are trending similarly with Franklin County leaving its status as a Level 4 Public Emergency. With four of the 88 counties in the state dipping below the case rate threshold set by Governor Mike DeWine to lift mask mandates, it appears we could be peaking at the light at the end of the tunnel.

Jackson County has held as a Level 2 Public Emergency since March 18 when it dropped from a Level 3, going from red to orange. The following week on March 25, Jackson was designated as a county with a high case incidence, symbolized by a capital H on the map.

The Centers for Disease Control has announced that due to the low risk of contracting COVID-19 while outdoors, fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear their masks outside with small groups. Recommendations still hold for larger groups, such as those attending outdoor events, whether those in the group are vaccinated or not. Once widespread vaccination has been reached, masking up in larger groups can be left in the past.

During his weekly press briefing held on Monday, May 3, Governor Mike DeWine presented changes to testing for nursing home and congregate care facility employees. Those working in these types of facilities who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to be tested but those who have not will continue to be tested twice a week.

Gov. DeWine is hoping these measures will encourage those working with the most vulnerable Ohioans to get vaccinated for the safety of themselves and their residents.

For those living at home and unable to leave due to medical reasons, Rapid Response Teams are being dispatched to give vaccinations. Those who are homebound and seeking vaccination can call their local agency on aging at 1-866-243-5678.

Cases across the state are down, reaching nearly the level they were before the most recent spike. The current rate shows 147.9 cases per 100,000 Ohioans, with 143.8 cases back on March 18 being the lowest it has been since the 50 cases per 100,000 mandate renewal threshold was conveyed in early March.

When asked about the New York Times report of the improbability of reaching herd immunity in the United States, Gov. DeWine stressed the importance of vaccination, stating that the more people we get vaccinated, the less that will get sick or will pass from the virus.

Here are the weekly updates of COVID-19 cases in Jackson and Vinton Counties.

Jackson County:

The Jackson County Health Department is reporting as of press time, there are seven active cases in Jackson County.

The cumulative total, as of May 2, stands at 2,918 lab-confirmed (positive) cases. There has been a change in deaths, bringing that total number to 63.

It also reported 197 probable (likely) cases of COVID-19. A probable case is defined as an individual who reports a history of a COVID-like illness and is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case or an individual who reports a history of a COVID-like illness with supportive lab results, but does not have testing done.

There are seven current hospitalizations. There have been a total of 192 individuals with lab-confirmed cases that were hospitalized thus far.

The health department is reporting that 41 percent of the confirmed cases have an underlying health condition. The breakdown of gender infected is 57 percent female, and 43 percent male. The age range in years among those infected is remains 0-100.

Vinton County:

According to the Ohio University’s COVID-19 clinic website, appointments are now available for the May 12 mobile vaccination clinic being held at Forget Me Knot wedding venue in Zaleski. Appointments are available from noon until 6 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled at www.ohio.edu/medicine/covidclinic.

Vinton County’s most recent update comes from the Vinton County Health Department website and shows data from May 3, 2021.

The data confirms the presence of four active cases in the county with one hospitalization.

Thankfully, no new deaths are to be reported with the number remaining at 19. 800 cases of the COVID-19 virus have recovered since it first came to Vinton County in April of last year.

In total, 736 cases have been confirmed with 87 being probable.

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