emergency department at o'bleness

The sign points the way toward OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital's Emergency Department.

The Athens City-County Health Department confirmed on Tuesday (May 19) that Athens County now has 13 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), up from 9 as of Monday.

There were two cases confirmed on Friday last week; one new case confirmed on Monday; and four new confirmed cases today (Tuesday). The Athens City-County Health Department said in a press release on Monday that Athens County has seen a “recent increase in COVID-19 cases over the last week,” especially considering the county had four cases confirmed as of May 1.

“Testing guidelines have been expanded to allow more people to be tested,” the release from the Athens City-County Health Department reads. “While many businesses are reopening with several safety protocols in place, the state’s Stay Safe order reminds Ohioans that the public’s responsibility to slow the spread is as important as it has ever been.”

This news come as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced that the remaining elements of Ohio’s stay-at-home order – including a requirement to stay at home outside of for a limited number of purposes, and a required two-week quarantine after traveling from out-of-state – are rescinded and are now merely strong recommendations. These recommendations are now housed under an “urgent health advisory” called Ohioans Protecting Ohioans. DeWine said that this change does not remove the prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more people, however.

“The order strongly recommends that high-risk Ohioans stay at home as much as possible,” DeWine said on Twitter. “They should avoid places where they are likely to encounter a lot of people.”

Athens County, as of Wednesday afternoon, had seven known active cases of the coronavirus, and one death attributed to the virus (that death happened in late March), down from nine as of Tuesday.

Nine cases have been confirmed since Friday, May 8, after Ohio University reported on that day that an OU employee had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Athens County’s fourth case of the coronavirus was confirmed on May 1; prior to that, the county only had three confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 29,436 total coronavirus cases in Ohio as of Wednesday at 2 p.m., with 1,781 deaths (that’s per the CDC’s expanded definition, including all confirmed cases and “probable” cases). A total of 277,602 people have been tested as of May 19.

In Athens County as of Monday, May 18, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital had tested 931 people (up from 658 last Monday) and Holzer Health Systems’ Urgent Care had tested 55 people in Athens County.

According to data on the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus website, this is what we know about all of the cases, according to Ohio Department of Health data (according to the Dr. James Gaskell with the City-County Health Department, it appears that the May 4 and May 12 dates were erroneously switched in state data).

• One is a woman, age 20-29, who has an onset date listed as Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (the “onset date” is when she likely was diagnosed with COVID-19). 

• One is a woman, age 20-29, who has an onset date listed as Friday, May 15, 2020. 

• One is a woman, age 40-49, with an onset date listed as May 12, 2020.

• One is a man, age 60-69, with an onset date listed as May 14, 2020. 

• One is a woman, age 0-19, who has an onset date listed as Friday, May 15, 2020. 

• One is a man, age 20-29, with an onset date listed as May 15, 2020. 

• One is a man, age 50-59, with an onset date listed as May 9, 2020. 

• One is a woman, age 70-79, who has an onset date listed as April 27. 

• One is a man, age 30-39, who has an onset date listed as April 27.

• One is a woman, age 40-49, who has an onset date listed as May 4

• One is a woman, age 30-39, who has an onset date listed as March 13.

• One is a woman, age 60-69, with an onset date listed of March 12.

• One is a man, age 60-69, who had an onset date listed as March 23, 2020, a hospital admission date of March 17, and a death date listed as March 29.

Gaskell has said that the turn-around for testing is about 30 minutes if somebody goes to the emergency room at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital. For somebody tested at OhioHealth’s other facilities in Athens, the turn-around is typically 24-48 hours; the same goes for somebody tested at Holzer Health Systems’ facilities, Gaskell said.

Testing is not available on-demand at OhioHealth or any other local health-care agencies; people need to contact their doctor or health-care provider first, who will order a test if they believe it necessary.

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