Henry County

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Henry County Health Department reported 95 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. There are also currently nine probable cases in the county. To be counted as a probable case, certain criteria must be met, but those cases are not lab-confirmed. The probable case number can change depending on testing and other factors. These figures are cumulative since the beginning of the pandemic. The active cases category is the number of individuals who tested for positive for COVID-19 and are currently under isolation. As of one week ago (through July 23), the county had 73 lab-confirmed cases.

Henry County is nearing 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as cases continue to be linked to a recent outbreak, as well as community spread of the virus.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Henry County Health Department reported there are 95 confirmed cases in the county as well as nine probable cases, 10 hospitalizations and one death. These are the cumulative numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those cases, there are currently three hospitalizations and 18 active cases, meaning they have tested positive and are in isolation.

Cases continue to rise in connection with an event at Leisure Time Winery July 11, and Bethany Wachter, health communications specialist for the Henry County Health Department, said there are 90 total cases linked to the outbreak — 87 confirmed and three probable — as of Wednesday afternoon. Within those cases, there are 37 in Henry County, 15 in Defiance County, 17 in Fulton County, 13 in Williams County and eight in Wood County. Since cases are reported by the place of residence, Henry County’s number of cases only includes the Henry County residents and the other county’s cases reflect their number of residents with the virus.

“We’re still investigating so those numbers are going to continue to go up,” Wachter said, adding it can also take additional time for out-of-county departments to link cases back to the outbreak.

Wachter added many of the cases associated with the winery have moved past the isolation period, which is now 10 days according to revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although it does come with other stipulations such as being fever-free for at least 24 hours. Isolation occurs when a person has tested positive for the virus, while the quarantine period — when you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but haven’t shown symptoms — remains at 14 days because it can take up to that long to show symptoms.

Wachter noted the health department is starting to receive secondary cases related to the July 11 event, which she explained means someone who attended the event at the winery who caught the virus then infected someone else.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, Genacross — Lutheran Home in Napoleon has two resident cases and two staff case as of the last update done on Monday. Wachter noted the one death in the county was one of those cases, so the facility has one current patient case as of Wednesday.

Overall, Wachter said the long-term care facilities in the county have done a good job with putting extra procedures in place to prevent the virus spreading in their facilities.

As the county is nearing its 100th confirmed virus case, Wachter said more of the county’s cases are coming from gatherings and community spread of the virus, not from the long-term care facilities.

“We can go out and do these things with taking those extra precautions,” she said. “Even if you go to a family birthday party, if you’re around people that don’t live in your household, you should be taking those precautions and wearing a mask, staying six feet apart and washing your hands.

“I think we tend to let our guard down,” she continued, adding it’s important to protect each other. “We want people to go out and enjoy things, but you really need to do so safely and not let your guard down.”

Wachter added one question the health department has been frequently asked is if one individual who has tested positive for the virus multiple times is counted as one positive case in the county’s numbers or if it’s counted as separate cases.

“There’s no double counting, it’s counted one time,” Wachter said. “The state does that as well.”

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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