‘Who are you willing to live without?’
Boardman, Canfield lead county; calls to trim back Thanksgiving
COVID-19 cases are still on the rise, setting records for new daily totals statewide and in the Mahoning Valley — where Cortland, Howland, Boardman and Canfield ZIP codes have the most cases — and health officials are imploring the population to forgo traditional Thanksgiving Day plans to curb the spread as threats of more shutdowns loom.
Cases catapulted past the latest record on Friday to 8,071, surpassing the record-setting 7,101 cases reported Thursday. In the Valley, Trumbull and Mahoning counties set records, too, with 155 new cases in one day in Trumbull County and 169 in Mahoning County. In a one-week period ending Friday, Trumbull County added 725 cases and Mahoning County added 762, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
The state reported 42 new deaths in the state Friday and three were in the Mahoning Valley, including two in Mahoning County and one in Columbiana County.
The ZIP codes in Trumbull County with the most cases in the last two weeks, as of Friday, were 44410 in the Cortland area and surrounding townships, 44484 in the Howland area, 44483 in Warren and 44446 in Niles. The four ZIP codes are the only ones in Trumbull County with 100 cases or more in the county. The 44410 ZIP code has seen the most cases in the past two weeks in the county, with 121. Based on population, the ZIP code also has the highest density of cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health dashboard. There were 118 cases in 44484, 116 cases in 44483 and 100 cases in 44446.
In Mahoning County, the 44512 ZIP code in Boardman has seen the most cases with 130 in the last two weeks, according to the dashboard. In the four ZIP codes with 95 cases or more over the past two weeks, the 44406 ZIP code in Canfield has the highest density of cases based on population, 112 cases. The 44515 code in Austintown has the second highest number of cases, with 118, and the 44514 code in Poland had 95 cases, the fourth highest number.
STAY HOME, THANKS
“It’s time to rethink Thanksgiving,” states a letter to the public from Dr. John Luellen, market president for Mercy Health and Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health.
“We’ve heard it time and time again — we need to mask, maintain social distance, wash our hands and avoid large gatherings — but as evidenced by our ever-growing case numbers throughout the Mahoning Valley, COVID-19 fatigue has set in across our community,” the letter states.
Even though hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have died from COVID-19 will not have a chance see their children graduate from college or hold their grandchildren once again, we’ve become numb to the numbers and other global news has replaced the urgency of this pandemic,” the letter states.
Asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 make it easier to spread the virus among social circles, the letter states.
“People often come into close contact with those who are COVID-19 positive but asymptomatic, which is one-way COVID-19 continues to spread from bubble to bubble and across entire neighborhoods.”
The doctors are asking members of the public to take “bold” steps to save lives and instead of traditional Thanksgiving plans, “consider a smaller gathering with your immediate household. Consider gathering outside if the weather permits. Consider using technology to safely connect with friends and loved ones.”
The letter states the choice is a dire one.
“Now imagine the loved ones you’d have around your Thanksgiving table. Who are you willing to live without? No one, right? We challenge you all to rethink your Thanksgiving plans to ensure we put the safety of our families and friends first, as an act of love and gratitude for everyone we care about,” the letter states. “The time to make a change is now.”
In light of the community spread, Mercy Health is suspending visits at its three Mahoning Valley hospitals, allowing exceptions in some cases, beginning today.
One support person will be allowed for mothers in labor and people getting surgery and invasive procedures. And special exceptions will be made for minor children, end-of-life situations and in other “extenuating circumstances.” The visitors cannot have a fever or other symptoms of the virus.
COVID-19 by the numbers
The number of cases, changes in cases and deaths in counties in the region and statewide as of Friday:
County Cases Change since Change since Deaths
yesterday last week
Trumbull 3,590 +155 +725 139
Mahoning 5,234 +169 +762 295
Columbiana 2,695 +83 +279 92
Ohio 282,528 +8,071 +42,350 5,700
SOURCE: Ohio Department of Health