Athens City-County Health Department

The Athens City-County Health Department. File art.

Athens County has new reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of Tuesday afternoon, 33 total cases were reported in Athens County. The Athens City-County Health Department has also begun sharing the number of probable cases in the county.

The Athens City-County Health Department has shared the numbers of people recovered from the coronavirus. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are eight known active cases of the virus and 24 recovered cases, with one death (which occurred in mid-March).

According to the Ohio Department of Health, 784,362 individuals have reportedly been tested for the virus. Statewide, Ohio has 51,789 total COVID-19 cases and 2,863 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, OhioHealth provided 395 COVID-19 tests last week. As of Monday afternoon, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has tested 2,865 people for COVID-19 in Athens County, according to the Athens City-County health Department.

ODH has also reported demographic information of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. Some of the cases attributed to Athens County were not included in the ODH summary data as of Tuesday. Here are how cases fall in age brackets:

  • 0-19: 7
  • 20-29: 6
  • 30-39: 5
  • 40-49: 5
  • 50-59: 4
  • 60-69: 1
  • 70-79: 2
  • 80+: 1

Testing opportunities

A COVID-19 testing site opened at the CVS Health store on East State Street in Athens on Friday, June 12. Those who seek COVID-19 testing are required to register in advance at cvs.com. There is no cost to both insured and uninsured individuals.

The registration process helps ensure those who most need the tests have first access. Those groups include first responders, people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and people who work in health-related fields. Testing will be administered through nasal swabs, but not by a CVS employee. Instead, the individual seeking the test is asked to administer it or bring someone else to administer it while a CVS employee observes the process. Those taking tests will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, and they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, according to a CVS press release stated. Tests will be sent to a third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in roughly 2-4 days.

Both Holzer Health Clinic and OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital provide testing for COVID-19 antibodies, which can determine if a person has come into contact with the virus and is at least temporarily immune to the disease.

The American Red Cross is offering free antibody testing in Athens through the end of July as long as a full pint of blood is also donated. Residents can sign up for a test on Redcrossblood.org or by calling 1800-redcross.

The Red Cross on average can test on average about 30 people per blood drive, but that number varies depending on staffing, Red Cross Account Representative Jordan Fornash-Welinghoff said. All blood types are eligible for testing, she said.

The county’s department of health noted in a press release that as businesses and activities resume, visitors and participants may be required to wear a facial covering. There may be changes to service hours, or there may be signs or other environmental cues such as floor markings that guide how services will be provided.

In another media statement, issued last week, the city-county health department noted it would be ramping up contact-tracing effort.

“Contact tracing is a critical step in the COVID-19 disease investigation process. A contact tracer works with confirmed COVID-19 patients to identify individuals they have had contact with who meet a specified set of criteria identified by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC),” the department stated.

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