PICKAWAY – The updated COVID-19 guidance released by federal and state health authorities this week reflects the stark changes we are seeing across the country regarding increased COVID-19 case reports and the explosion of the highly contagious Delta variant among the unvaccinated. In their new guidance, both the CDC and Ohio Department of Health have strongly emphasized the two prevention strategies that work far better than any others, vaccination, and masking.
Pickaway County Public Health has been closely monitoring the daily COVID-19 case reports and we have seen a more than doubling of our 7-day average over the last two weeks. This clearly means that the pace of spread has started to pick up here, just like in most areas of the state. Considering this trend, PCPH urges all Pickaway County residents take added precautions to slow the spread once again.
Precautions are most important among the unvaccinated. Vaccines are widely available to anyone 12 or over. They are free and have been proven to be very safe and effective. If you are unvaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID-19, the risk of becoming infected is exponentially higher now that the Delta variant is thought to be the dominant strain. In addition, if you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places. We know from the last 18 months of experience that masks covering the nose and mouth make it very difficult for respiratory droplets to travel from person to person.
In a few weeks, thousands of Pickaway County students will be returning to the classroom.
Many are unable to be vaccinated due to their age. Because of this, the guidance released by CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics advises universal masking as school begins this fall. While this will not be mandated by the state like last year, it is still important for parents and schools to strongly encourage masking for all unvaccinated individuals and anyone else who chooses to wear a mask while at school. This simple precaution was shown to be incredibly effective in preventing outbreaks in the classroom setting during the 2020-2021 school year.
As of 11:00 AM July 30th, 2021 there is a total of 8,142 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Pickaway County, 2,734 inmates, leaving 5,408 local residents who have tested positive. There are 54 active local resident cases with one hospitalization.