Mercer County COVID-19 cases trend upward

CELINA — The state health department reported almost 5.600 new COVID-19 cases the last 24 hours, which is about the same numbers as the state’s 21-day average.

In Mercer County, the cases have jumped as well. Two to three months ago, there were fewer than 20 cases per 100,000. That number has now increased drastically, and the Mercer County Health Department is explaining what trends they are seeing locally.

A year ago, Mercer County had the highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in the state of Ohio. Now, it’s a very different story in the county, but it doesn’t mean that there’s no cause for concern.

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Mercer County Health Administrator, Jason Menchhofer, said, “Much like other locations, our numbes have increased over the last month or fairly significantly in terms of new cases. Fortunately, we’ve not seen a great jump in severe cases here in Mercer County.”

Menchhofer said the majority of hospitalizations haves been unvaccinated people. The county typically has been between four to eight hospitalizations at a time recently and had six as of 11:45 a.m. this morning.

The county has 415 cases per 100,000, which is about one third of the where they county was at it’s peak last year.

“It’s beginning to look like there’s a kind of a pattern to that. To where the severity in the number of cases, the spread of the virus seems to move in a sort of a wave-type fashion from the south to the north,” Menchhofer said.

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He said Mercer County is 80th out of 88 counties in cases per capita, but the upward trend is concerning. Especially, looking at where some of the cases are coming from.

“We’ve seen the largest increases in the 0-20 age range which probably isn’t very surprising considering that kids have all just gone back to school recently. Going back and looking at our data last year at this point in the school year, we had two confirmed cases at that time. This year at this point in the early point in the school year, we have 46 confirmed cases across Mercer County schools,” Menchhofer said.

The county health department is continuing to monitor the numbers to try to determine what it might need to do to try and help bring those numbers back down again.

James Rider

James Rider

I was born in Virginia and have moved several times in my life as a member of an Air Force family. I've lived in Virginia, California, Germany, England, and Ohio. I graduated from Centerville High School and then went on to attend Ball State University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree.