Clark County health officials say workplace coronavirus outbeaks in the county are leveling off. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Coronavirus: Clark County workplace outbreaks start to stabilize

The district has been monitoring roughly six workplace outbreaks, which include Dole Fresh Vegetables (281 employees), Southbrook Care Center (nine employees, 27 residents, two deaths, one contact), Clark County Juvenile Detention Center (four employees, two contacts, one juvenile), Mercy Health —Springfield Regional Medical Center (nine employees), Victory Faith Center (19 residents) and Navistar (five employees).

During his weekly county coronavirus update, Clark County Combined Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said this week’s positive cases at Dole leveled off at 281 as the district has begun to go through data to make sure they do not have duplicated results following mass testing of the plant’s employees two weeks ago.

“Aside from that, we did see one additional case of a resident at Southbrook over this week. The rest of our outbreaks that we have been talking about for several weeks — they seem to have stabilized,” Patterson said. “We aren’t getting new cases in those other outbreaks.”

MORE: Dole outbreak in Springfield nears 300 as three zip codes are labeled hot spots

But despite the stabilization in outbreaks, the county still reported high numbers of positive cases, Patterson said.

“This week we had 56 cases, that is slightly above average for us,” Patterson said. “In the last couple of weeks we have had anywhere from 44 to 55 cases, so 56 is pretty steady in the number of cases we are getting in each week.”

To help keep numbers down, Patterson continued to urge residents to social distance and wear a mask when in public.

“Wearing a mask is the socially acceptable thing to do,” Patterson said. “You should wear a mask just to be courteous to other folks.”

Because of the continued number of high positive cases in the county, Patterson said the health district has been working, “closely,” with the state of Ohio and Dayton Children’s Hospital to bring free pop-up testing to Clark County.

On June 18, Gov. Mike DeWine called three zip codes in Clark County — 45503, 45505 and 45506 — hot spots. DeWine mentioned that counties could see Ohio National Guard assistance in testing residents for free as a result of the hot spots.

This week, Ohio National Guard tested neighboring communities to Clark County, including sites in Dayton and Xenia. So far the state has not announced plans to come to Clark County.

“Unfortunately, that is not going to happen next week, it’s a shortened week, but we expect to have information by the end of next week to be able to get out to people to let them know where that information about where that might be available the following week or two after that.”

Clark County had 712 cases, eight death and one probable death of the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Clark County breaks ground on ‘state-of-the-art’ dispatch center, restarts negotiations with City of Springfield

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