Friday, July 24th, 2020
Record 30 Mercer County cases
There could even be more cases
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - County health officials are pleading with Mercer County residents to protect themselves and those around them from the spread of COVID-19, as 30 new cases caused the county's total to skyrocket to 408.
Health officials in a news release on Thursday reported the 30 new cases, which is the largest daily number reported since the pandemic began.
In Auglaize County, four new confirmed cases were reported, raising that county's confirmed total to 160.
Of the 30 new Mercer County cases, 16 involve females: one from the age of 10-20, two from 20-30, four from 30-40, four from 40-50, two from 50-60 and three from 60-70, according to the release.
The remaining 14 cases involve males: two from the age of 20-30, four from 30-40, one from 40-50, six from 50-60 and one from 60-70.
All 30 are self-isolating at home, according to the release.
Kristy Fryman, health district public information officer, said 20 of the people were tested on Monday, eight were tested on Tuesday and two were tested on Wednesday.
Of the 30, four have been linked to an outbreak stemming from a funeral on July 11 in Coldwater, and two have been linked to the outbreak at the Cooper Farms processing plant in St. Henry.
However, Fryman said contact tracing is still ongoing. As investigations continue, Fryman said more cases could be tied to outbreaks throughout the county.
COVID-19 is community spread and affects all demographics across the county, according to the release, and health officials are no longer urging residents to take precautions - they're begging.
"The (Mercer County Health District) pleads to the citizens of Mercer County to take the precautions to protect themselves and those around them from the spread of COVID-19," the release reads. "We need cooperation from the public to slow the spread of the virus in our community."
The new cases arrive on the heels of a mandatory mask order from Gov. Mike DeWine, which began Thursday evening. Masks must be worn at all times when in an indoor location that is not a residence and outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of social distancing from those not in a person's household.
Masks must also be worn when waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, car service or private ride shares.
Individuals under the age of 10, individuals who have a medical condition or disability, officiants at religious services, individuals actively exercising or playing sports, individuals involved in public safety and individuals actively eating or drinking are not required to wear a mask.
Health district officials also reported eight probable cases, 267 people who have recovered, 214 pending tests, 1,729 negative test results, four hospitalizations, 10 deaths and one probable death from COVID-19, according to the release. Of the 408 confirmed cases, 130 are active.
Mercer County has one of the highest per capita rates in the state. When figured for population, it has a rate of 995 cases per 100,000 people.
In Auglaize County, the four newest cases involve a 90-year-old woman, an 88-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 60-year-old man, according to a county health department news release.
Health department officials said the county has experienced the largest increase over the past week since the beginning of the pandemic. A total of 49 new confirmed cases were reported between July 17 and Thursday.
Department officials reported that of the 49 cases, two have been children no older than 10, 14 from 20-30, eight from 30-40, seven from 40-50, 12 from 50-60, three from 60-70 and three from 80-90.
St. Marys residents account for 22 cases, while Wapakoneta has 18; New Bremen, three; Cridersville, three; Minster, two; and Botkins, one.
The number of cases surpassed 80,000 in Ohio on Thursday, as more than 1,400 new cases brought the state's confirmed and probable case count to 80,186, according to the Ohio Department of Health. ODH also reported 9,968 hospitalizations and 3,256 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19.
Ohio cases 80,186
Ohio deaths 3,256
Mercer County cases 408
Mercer County deaths 10
Auglaize County cases 160
Auglaize County deaths 5