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State adds 4.4K cases as delta variant spreads with kids

The Ohio Department of Health reported 4,428 COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing total cases to 1,347,205 since the pandemic began.

The increase in cases is below the 21-day reported average of 6,421, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Health officials also reported 79 new hospitalizations, bringing that total to 69,982 and 21,471 deaths.

Ohio’s vaccination rate is up to 53.30 percent for all ages. The rate sits at 62.30 percent for those 12 and older and 64.42 percent for those 18 and older.

Mahoning County has 26,588 cases, 1,229 hospitalizations and 637 deaths, with a vaccination rate of 51.45 percent.

Trumbull County has 19,598 cases, 1,402 hospitalizations and 508 deaths, with a vaccination rate of 49.20 percent.

Columbiana County has 11,429 cases, 589 hospitalizations and 239 deaths, with a vaccination rate of 41.83 percent.

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine was joined by a number of leaders from the state’s children’s hospitals, all of whom discussed how rising COVID-19 cases among students is putting a strain on all hospitals, not just children’s facilities.

According to the governor, COVID-19 cases among children have risen by 240 percent nationwide since early August.

“COVID cases are increasing at nearly twice the rate among school-age children as compared to how they’re increasing among the rest of the population,” DeWine said.

DeWine said 54.4 percent of Ohio’s students are under some form of mask mandate.

Because of increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, several school districts that started as mask optional are now issuing mask mandates.

Howland Superintedent Kevin Spicher issued a mask mandate for the district starting today.

“We have continually monitored community spread of COVID-19, reported illness / absence trends in our buildings, and our observations of the number of students still attending school and being sent home ill. …We have noted trends that are now disrupting our main goal to maintain a healthy environment for in-person instruction to be successful,” he said.

Spicher said Friday, “It has become very clear that student and staff absences due to illness and quarantines have increased so significantly that managing and maintaining the in-person delivery model is now in jeopardy if we don’t adjust our course.”

Spicher said there have been 2,179 student absences in the first nine days of school when it previously averaged 405 to 495. Friday ended the day with nearly 450 student absences and 22 staff absences, with some principals scrambling to find substitute teachers.

COVID-19 by the numbers

The number of cases, changes in cases and deaths in counties in the region and statewide as of Sunday:

County Cases Change since Change since Deaths*

yesterday last week

Trumbull 19,598 +98 +728 508

Mahoning 26,558 +96 +989 637

Columbiana 11,429 +85 +549 239

Ohio 1,347,205 +4,428 +48,580 21,471

*Deaths as of Friday

SOURCE: Ohio Department of Health

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