Weekly COVID-19 Update

Lorain County Updates

In the last week, Lorain County had 383 new COVID-19 cases,16 new hospitalizations, and no new deaths. The county has received 11,535 vaccine doses, and, as of Monday, Feb. 8, Lorain has administered 8,990 vaccine doses. Oberlin is currently contributing 1.5 percent of the county’s COVID-19 caseload. 

Lorain County is currently marked at alert level three, red, by the Ohio Department of Health for “very high exposure and spread.” The guidance for level three counties is to limit activities as much as possible. 

Statewide Updates

COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the state have remained below 2,500 patients for seven consecutive days, prompting Governor Mike DeWine to lift the 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. statewide curfew that had been in place since Nov. 19. The curfew was initially instated to reduce viral spread without shutting down businesses entirely. DeWine has not specified what contingencies might cause him to reimpose the curfew in the future. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, statewide COVID-19 cases increased by 11,540 in the last week, with hospitalizations increasing by 417 and the reported death count rising by 72. 

In January, a new mutation of the COVID-19 virus was discovered in Columbus, Ohio that shares similar characteristics to the U.K. variant, suggesting that it is more contagious. Additionally, the more transmissible U.K. variant was found in samples dating back to December in Northeast Ohio. The CDC predicts that, by next month, the U.K. variant will become the dominant strain in the U.S.

ODH released information on Wednesday that it had previously under-reported COVID-19 related deaths by roughly 4,000, raising the reported deaths since the start of the pandemic from 11,856 to approximately 16,000. ODH said it would adjust its reported figures in the coming weeks to account for this discrepancy. 

“The largest number of deaths were from November and December,” the agency’s announcement read. “Although being reported this week, the deaths will reflect the appropriate date of death on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.” 

The Governor also announced Thursday that, starting next week, Ohioans under the age of 65 with pre-existing health conditions will be eligible for vaccination. 

As of Feb. 12, 9.5 percent of Ohio residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Ohio is currently in the process of rolling out the vaccine to teachers in an effort to get students back in the classroom by March 1. Currently, the vaccine is only available to those above age 65, certain frontline workers like healthcare staff and teachers, and those with severe congenital or developmental disorders. In a press conference on Tuesday, DeWine warned that it would still be several weeks before the age eligibility would be expanded to include younger Ohioans. 

This week the state received 214,525 doses of the vaccine and is expecting 223,025 doses in the following week. Many of these doses will be shipped directly to retail pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Kroger, which should help relieve bottlenecks in the vaccine appointment process.

More information on COVID-19 in Ohio is available through the ODH and LCPH websites, where case numbers are updated every weekday at 2 p.m.

Oberlin College Updates

Two weeks into the semester, Oberlin College’s caseload remains low. Out of 561 tests performed during the first week of classes, there were only 3 new positives, or a 0.53 percent positivity rate.  

Also this week, the College released a vaccine interest survey. Although the College will not require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated, they are currently trying to determine interest to prepare for vaccination rollout in the spring.