WILMINGTON — In Clinton County, 34.7 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Clinton County health commissioner reported.
That Clinton County number is the percentage as of Sunday afternoon, said Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer. On Monday, the corresponding percentage statewide for Ohio’s population was 44.3 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard.
In raw numbers of individuals, 14,576 Clinton County residents have at least started their vaccine. Of that, 13,171 Clinton Countians (or 31.4 percent of the population) have completed their vaccine doses.
At Monday’s monthly meeting of the Clinton County Board of Health, the medical director Dr. Terry Holten passed out a National Center for Health Statistics chart showing the leading causes of U.S. deaths from 2015 through 2020 (data for 2015-2019 are final; data for 2020 are provisional).
If you look at the total number of deaths in pandemic-impacted 2020, remarked Holten, there is a 17 percent increase over the total number of deaths in 2019 (and even higher percentage differences compared to the annual death totals for 2015 through 2018). Nearly 70 percent of the additional deaths last year are attributed to COVID.
Holten said it is discouraging to see the rest of the world so far behind in vaccinations against COVID.
She noted that everyone attending the board of health meeting was fully vaccinated, and as a result they feel hopeful. However, Holten thinks the worst attitude people can have presently is to believe the public health emergency is over.
“It may not be over. It may never be over. If people don’t get vaccinated, it will be something that is ongoing,” said the medical director.
Bauer reported that in the past month in Clinton County, there was a cluster of COVID cases at a local fast-food facility. Thirteen people tested positive, and the business had to reduce its hours and close part of the time, she said.
While nobody in the cluster became seriously ill that the health department is aware of, the health commissioner said, “It just goes to show you that we still have this going on and it can still be easily transmitted in an un-vaccinated population. Kind of a lesson to be learned.”
Last Thursday at Uhl’s Market in Sabina, the Clinton County Health Department and its volunteers administered 28 vaccine doses.
The health department has transitioned to walk-in vaccinations where no appointment is necessary. This week, the Clinton County Health District holds vaccine clinics from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25 and on Thursday, May 27 (same hours) at its South Nelson Avenue location. In addition, there will be a clinic at the former Southern State Community College facility on Davids Drive from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.
Bauer said she wants to publicize that if there are businesses or organizations, including churches, that would like for the local health district to come and do a vaccination clinic at their locations, “we are happy to do that.”
The health department phone number is 937-382-3829.
She said, “We know it’s not over by any means. It will continue, but at least we have this wonderful tool [vaccines] and we know it’s working.”
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.