Miami County Public Health reports ‘huge increase’ in COVID-19 cases

Miami County health officials say they are concerned about a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the county.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in the number of cases,” Health Commissioner Dennis Propes of Miami County Public Health said Friday afternoon.

Since Sept. 25, there have been 288 new cases, 27 new hospitalizations and five new deaths reported in the county. Also, the weekly positive case number has gone from an average of 10 to 12 a week to a little over 30 a week now.

Miami County is not alone in experiencing an increase in cases. On Friday, Ohio set a daily record in new cases reported with 1,840.

“People are not wearing the mask and social distancing like they were initially," Propes said. "It’s such a little thing they can do that has huge dividends.”

Studies have shown that masks result in an 80 to 90 percent reduction in droplets, which goes a long way to reducing the spread of the virus.

The health department also is receiving a large number of complaints from the public about businesses that are not doing their part. They either are not abiding by guidelines or are turning a blind eye to customers not wearing masks or social distancing, the health commissioner said.

Propes said people are likely experiencing fatigue over the health orders and want to get back to their normal lives.

However, not following guidelines means “the longer this is going to get drawn out” with more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths, he said.

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