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

Jackson County:

The Jackson County Health Department and Oakwood Community Health Center sadly reported on Aug. 25, the passing of one of Oakwood’s residents who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and to all others who are impacted by this unfortunate outcome,” stated Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston. “Out of respect to the family, we are not releasing the identity of this individual at this time to allow the family time to grieve.”

Aston explained that this person’s death was the first local death that has been attributed to COVID-19 in Jackson County.

“They were a long-term resident at Oakwood Community Health Center, a local nursing home that has been operating under strict infection control measures for months now to try to prevent this very situation from occurring,” stated Aston. “The building has been locked down to all visitors since March. And since July, all Oakwood staff have been tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.”

Aston said, “A survey as recently as this morning by the Ohio Department of Health determined that the Oakwood facility was in compliance with required infection control policies and procedures.”

Aston went on to say that despite the best efforts of Oakwood’s team, there have recently been residents and staff members who have been suspiciously symptomatic which triggered the Jackson County Health Department to assist with the testing of all residents and staff within the facility.

“As a result, even more residents and staff members were found to be positive for the virus, and additional infection control measures were taken,” said Aston. “Unfortunately, the worst outcome could not be avoided in this individual’s particular case, which was likely due to their underlying chronic health conditions.”

Aston said, “Oakwood Community Health Center will continue to provide quality services to their residents based on the recommendations of health authorities including the CDC, ODH, and the JCHD.”

Jackson County finally hit 100 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on August 20. The first lab-confirmed case in Jackson County was reported on April 7. Since then, the count continued its slowly but steady climb locally.

In the last eight days (Aug. 18-25), Jackson County has experienced a spike in lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. In that time frame, there have been 62 new cases.

As of press time, there are 71 active cases in Jackson County.

Jackson County appeared on the Ohio Department of Health’s Top 10 Ohio Counties ranked by highest occurrence from data from August 11 through August 24.

The Jackson County Health Department is reporting that the cumulative total, as of August 25, stands at 146 lab-confirmed (positive) cases.

The health department released the new lab-confirmed cases on August 18 (10-16), August 20 (17-26), August 21 (27-30), August 22 (31-42), August 23 (43-57), and August 25 (58-71).

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

The health department is also reporting 11 positive antibody tests.

The CDC reports that an antibody blood tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which show if you had a previous infection with the virus.

These are separate tests from lab-confirmed case tests.

There is one current hospitalization. There have a total of ten individuals with lab-confirmed cases that were hospitalized, but each have since been released.

A total of 485 tests have returned negative in Jackson County.

The health department is reporting that 58 percent of the 132 confirmed cases have an underlying health condition. The breakdown of gender infected is 60 percent female, and 40 percent male. The age range in years among those infected is 5-96. The age range changed recently, as it was setting at 12-90.

Vinton County:

Vinton County has 37 confirmed cases and two probable cases of the coronavirus as of Aug. 18.

The county’s health department also reported 32 recoveries out of the confirmed cases in Vinton County. 194 COVID-19 tests have rendered negative results in Vinton County, with no tests pending results.

In Vinton County, two fatalities related to the virus have been reported.

The Vinton County Health Department announced the second confirmed death on May 28. The first fatality related to the virus was reported on May 25.

“Out of respect to the family, we urge you not to speculate on the identity of this individual and allow the family to grieve.” the department stated in its social media post update. “This is a devastating situation and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted.”

The health department has not released any demographic information about any COVID-19 positive case in the county “in order to protect the privacy of these individuals” who test positive for the virus.

The first two cases were confirmed on April 25. The Vinton County Health Department (VCHD) reported two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Vinton County residents. Both individuals were contacts of a positive, out-of-county case.

“We have contacted the patients and the individuals potentially exposed and they have been given instructions to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms,” the health department stated at the time.

“Most are work-related exposures to positive cases or immediate contacts of positive cases,” VCHD Health Commissioner and Medical Director Dr. Susan Crapes said in a press release issued earlier this year. “There is evidence of community spread, not just in Vinton County but around the state.

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