ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Life is continuing, academic and otherwise, during the delta variant surge of COVID-19.
Vaccination clinics are being offered and children are back in school. Dean David Rohall of Ohio University Eastern said the general public had a drive-through clinic on campus last Monday, when classes started.
“It was in our parking lot. They didn’t come in any of our buildings,” Rohall said. “It didn’t impact students coming on and off campus.”
He said the students have enjoyed returning to in-person learning.
“It’s very exciting to have students back on campus. You can tell there’s an excitement in the air right now, both for faculty staff and for students. We’re all waiting to see how things unfold with COVID this fall, but I think there’s a lot of vaccinated and we’ve learned a lot about how to deal with COVID. We’re in a much better position this year,” he said.
Rohall said he expects any large number of cases connected to the university could occur at the Athens campus due to the larger number of students. He said the St. Clairsville students are following basic safety guidelines and exercising responsibility.
“Everyone is wearing masks right now. We set up our classrooms for 3-foot distance, and so far it’s really good,” he said.
Rohall added another clinic would be welcome.
Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul reported 7,103 total cases in the county since the pandemic’s onset, with 6,429 recoveries. There are 540 active cases and 13 of those patients are hospitalized. A total of 121 residents have died after being infected.
Numbers reported by the state differ. According to coronavirus.ohio.gov, there have been a total of 6,800 cases in Belmont County, with 6,148 recoveries and 181 people have died after being infected.
Meanwhile, Sproul’s office remains occupied as the delta variant increases and school begins.
“We have been busy with phone calls, vaccination clinics and finishing accreditation requirements. We have also posted jobs for additional staff at our office,” Sproul texted.
In Harrison County, health Administrator Garen Rhome’s office reported a total of 1,265 active cases, 1,208 recoveries, 33 active cases, four hospitalizations and 24 residents who have died after infection.
Coronavirus.ohio.gov reports 1,246 total cases, 1,139 recoveries and 38 deaths associated with the virus in Harrison County.
Rhome also recently shared a letter from Columbus-area hospital leaders following the recent approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer BioNTech version of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The delta variant is changing the game.
“The delta variant is the cause of nearly all the current cases of COVID-19 in central Ohio. It is at least 50% more contagious than the previous strain, and nearly everyone hospitalized is unvaccinated.
“We need you to act now,” the letter states. “We urge you to become vaccinated.”
The letter goes on to say the vaccine can reduce the symptoms of “breakthrough” infections and the strength of antibodies in people who have had the virus can vary.
“People are seeking tests as well, at a greater rate than in recent months. From Aug. 16 through Aug. 23 over 141 tests were administered by health care providers in the county. With a positivity rate of 20 percent,” Rhome wrote in a text.
In Monroe County, according to the health department’s report on Tuesday there have been 1,482 total reported cases, with 1,400 recoveries, 40 active cases and 42 residents have died after infection.
Coronavirus.ohio.gov reports 1,492 active cases, 1,369 recoveries, and 46 people have died after contracting the virus in Monroe County.
The Monroe County Health Department has scheduled clinics to administer theModerna vaccine for people ages 18 and older from 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Sept. 7, and the Pfizer BioNTech version for people ages 12 and older Thursday and Sept. 9 at the office at 118 Home Ave., Woodsfield.