Clark County health commissioner: ‘On the right path’ as COVID cases are low, no new deaths

The Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner said the county is “on the right path” regarding the coronavirus as cases are in single digits and no deaths were reported.

“We had nine new cases in the past week. It has been a really long time since we’ve had less than 10. We’re on the right path and we continue to do very well as far as not having a large spread of COVID within our community,” said Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

“We know that the fact that we have so few cases, so few people hospitalized, it (the vaccine) is having a positive effect on our death rate. We’re lucky we did not have any folks in the past week that passed away, so let’s hope we keep it that way for the rest of the summer,” he added.

Patterson said the vaccines are responding well and that the second dose is “very important.”

“If you have two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, it (the coronavirus) is responding very well to those vaccines and has not been breaking through and causing severe illness... The second vaccine is very important,” he said.

Some people that got the first dose had an allergic reaction and were recommended not to get the second dose, and others had typical side effects, Patterson said. He said if you only had side effects, to think about getting the second dose even if it’s been longer than the three week turnaround.

“If you are one of those people that are not sure if they had a reaction or a side effect, talk with your doctor or call the health department about what your options are to consider before making that final decision,” Patterson said.

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Patterson added that they also have authorization that if someone had an allergic reaction and couldn’t get the second dose, they can consider taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as their second dose.

In regard to the 200,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that are set to expire on June 23, Patterson said additional research was done that said the efficiency of that vaccine can be extended.

“Efficiency of that vaccine can be extended from I think an additional six weeks or so. We’ll be able to keep vaccines as long as they are refrigerated properly and we keep temperature logs of all the vaccines,” he said.

Vaccines are being offered at many clinics, but some people are still fearful about going out.

“People that are immunocompromised or have other high-risk individuals still should be careful. It’s OK to wear a mask if you go someplace. If you have any concerns at all, there’s a couple of things you could do - you can wear a mask, you can continue to socially distance... Now that we’re not socially distancing, now that we’ve taken the mask off, not only is there a possibility of coronavirus spread, especially amongst those people not vaccinated, but there is also now a high risk for spread of many other airborne and respiratory diseases.”

Patterson said if you haven’t gotten your shot, there are seven clinic opportunities to get it today, and about 30 or more scheduled for next week.

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Clark County had 14,214 cases and 306 deaths of the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

As of Friday, 56,592 vaccination shots had been given in Clark County, according to ODH. Just over 42% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot. Nearly 38% has been fully vaccinated.

Facts & Figures

14,214 : Number of coronavirus cases as of Friday in Clark County

306: Number of coronavirus deaths as of Friday in Clark County

42: Number of vaccination shots given in Clark County

38: Percentage of Clark County residents who have been fully vaccinated

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