Coronavirus Updates

As COVID-19 cases rise again, health officials urge more people to get vaccinated

Coronavirus in Ohio

SCIOTO COUNTY, OHIO (WOWK) — As more news of rising COVID-19 cases and its variants pop up around our region, Scioto County Health Officials say vaccinations are still the best way to keep yourself and others from getting seriously ill.

Coronavirus infection rates are creeping back up in Scioto County.

“Compared to last year in July we had an increase of 83 percent from last year which was kind of the beginning of the surge,” says Larry Mullins, director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

This is concerning for health officials because back then, vaccines were not available, and even now rates are still low.

“Vaccination rates are still very low here, a little over 35 percent completed vaccinations,” Mullins says.

“That’s a lot more concerning for the people who are not vaccinated because the Delta variant is so much more infectious…more people are having the Delta, more people are spreading the Delta, and their risk of getting it is a lot higher,” says Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Martin.

Officials are urging people to get vaccinated now because they say the numbers are clear:

“Right now, the risk of dying from after you’ve been vaccinated is about one in 100,000; it’s not zero, no vaccines are perfect. The risk of hospitalization from the data I saw recently was about 4 per 100,000 or .004 percent. That compares to our rate here in Scioto County of people who did not or were not vaccinated of about 15 percent for hospitalization and 1.8 percent risk of death,” Martin says.

Local health officials say the best course of action to protect yourself from COVID-19 and its variants is still to get vaccinated.

“The vaccine is extremely effective against preventing transmission of COVID—including the Delta variants. That study just came out today on Life Sciences that there was a 50-60 percent decrease in transmission of people who were vaccinated including the Delta variant,” Martin says.

For more information on vaccine clinics in Scioto County, visit the Portsmouth City Health Department’s website here, or the Scioto County Health Department’s Facebook page here.

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