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Valley ranks high in COVID-19 transmission

CDC recommends masks for all in region

Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana are among 23 Ohio counties considered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be areas with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission.

Everyone in those listed counties, including people fully vaccinated, is asked by the CDC to wear face masks while indoors. But it is only a recommendation.

Columbiana is among four counties in the 88-county state listed as having a high COVID-19 transmission while Mahoning and Trumbull are among 19 Ohio counties listed as having substantial transmission.

None of the other counties listed in either category in Ohio is located in the state’s northeast area. But Lawrence County in Pennsylvania, which encompasses New Castle and borders Mahoning, is listed by the CDC as a high transmission location.

To be ranked as high transmission, a county has to have at least 100 new cases per 100,000 residents or at least a 10 percent positivity rate during the past week, according to the CDC.

To be considered as substantial transmission, a county has to have 50 to 99.99 new cases per 100,000 over the past week or a positivity rate between 8 and 9.99 percent.

Mahoning’s cases per 100,000 residents is 77.84 with Trumbull at 60.11, according to the CDC. Those are increases of 439.39 percent and 325 percent, respectively, since a week ago.

Columbiana is at 106.99 cases per 100,000 residents, an increase of 319.23 percent from a week ago, according to the CDC.

The CDC announcement is only a recommendation for indoor face masks. State officials say they are not planning to reinstate requirements.

The state lifted all health orders June 2 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, except those for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. At the time, cases were in decline.

But they have jumped greatly in the past two weeks with the 1,456 cases reported Wednesday — the most for a single day in Ohio since May 1 with 1,707.

It was also the second day in a row with cases exceeding 1,000 as there were 1,317 reported Tuesday.

The delta variant among the unvaccinated, which spreads quickly, is largely to blame for the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, ODH’s chief medical officer, said.

The 1,456 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday is up from the daily average of 591 for the past 21 days, according to the ODH. Three weeks ago, Ohio was averaging about 260 cases a day.

The state had a total of 1,125,420 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday with 1,090,874 presumed recovered.

While the number of cases is rapidly increasing, the number of presumed recovered isn’t.

Mahoning County Public Health will have a Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at its office at 50 Westchester Drive in Austintown. Walk-ins are welcome.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

dskolnick@vindy.com

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