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Coronavirus cases spike across state

Columbiana reported another spike in COVID-19 cases Thursday, mostly at the federal prison in Elkton.

As of Thursday, there were 1,048 cases, with 628 of those reported as inmates and 84 in long-term care facilities. On Wednesday, Columbiana reported 984 cases in the county, meaning there was an increase of 64 cases.

Trumbull County’s case count increased by 20, from 762 on Wednesday to 782 on Thursday, while Mahoning saw a small increase of two cases, with 1,682 reported Thursday.

The steep increases weren’t just local.

Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed Thursday’s reported cases reflected “a big increase” throughout the state. Numbers rose by 892 since Wednesday, the highest one-day increase since April 20, DeWine said.

“It is important to note in today’s increase, almost 60 percent are in the 20- to 49-year-old range,” DeWine said.

The death rate is remaining “fairly steady,” he noted.

The governor said that no analyst he has talked with believes the spike in cases is from increased testing.

Dr. Richard P. Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health, spoke on data from the Cincinnati area and said the uptick is indictative that the disease is spreading.

Safety measures still should be maintained as the economy reopens, Lofgren said.

Facial coverings and social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing surfaces still need to be done by everyone, he noted.

Lorgren said there is no solid data as to why the younger demographic are contracting the virus, but younger adults “tend to be risk takers.”

More information must be collected, though, to make a definitive response as to why the 20-49 demographic is testing positive at an increased rate.

DeWine said guidelines are being impacted as new data comes out. Broad guidelines are expected to be shared in time for next week’s conferences, DeWine said, which will include guidance for schools.

In Mahoning, 227 deaths were reported Thursday, an increase of one; 58 in Trumbull, up two since Wednesday; and 59 in Columbiana, which was one less from the day prior.

The state of Ohio reported 2,772 deaths, up from 2,755 on Wednesday.

Cases still are increasing elsewhere in the Valley, with 782 cases reported Thursday, an increase from 762 the day before.

In Mahoning, 1,862 cases were reported Thursday.

Mahoning County was ranked eighth in the state for case count as of Thursday, with Columbiana at 11th and Trumbull at 14th.

afox@tribtoday.com

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