Using almost any measure, the communities in Richland County are in a very difficult place.
Whether you refer to the current rate of COVID-19 infection as a second or a third “wave,” it is certain that the situation has worsened substantially in the last 14 days.
Reported numbers bear this out.
Take, for instance, the number of school students and staff with positive tests over the last week, and compare that number to other locations in Ohio. As we reported on Thursday, Richland County had a total of 267 cases in local schools. Compare this to the number in Delaware County reported by our sister site, 1808Delaware. There, despite a steep rise, the number stood at 130.
One might expect the opposite result, as Richland County’s 2020 population is almost 90,000 less and has a correspondingly smaller school enrollment.
Interestingly, the fully vaccinated rate in Richland County is 36.91% as of Thursday, whereas Delaware County’s number sits at 64.21%.
Richland Public Health issued one of its now twice-monthly updates, also on Thursday, which demonstrated how infection is spreading. Of the 16,602 total cases which Richland County citizens have had, for instance, 1,691 new instances of COVID were reported in the last week alone — over 10% of the total.
For Ohio as a whole, new cases last week represented about 6.5% of the total number since the pandemic began.
The impact of this surge on hospitals and schools has been the subject of several stories in local media. As a reminder, 1812Blockhouse collects the latest posts on COVID and Richland County schools each day and shares them via a special page on our site, accessible via a link under Richland News.