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Monroe County continues to lose loved ones to COVID

Numbers of cases and deaths continue to rise for Monroe County’s battle with COVID-19.

The Monroe County Health Department announced another death Friday, Nov. 20. The most recent death gives the county 19 total deaths as a result of the virus.

To go along with the most recent death, the Health Department announced an increase of 24 confirmed cases in a matter of three days.

There were 277 confirmed and probable cases on Tuesday, Nov. 17. By Friday, Nov. 20, that number had jumped to 301.

“COVID-19 cases in Monroe County are rising,” the Monroe County Health Department said in a press release. “In order to slow the spread of the virus in our community, please continue to do your part in protecting the community by wearing facial coverings in public, practicing social distancing, staying home if you feel sick, washing hands often, and, as an additional measure to prevent illness, get your yearly flu shot. If we all take these preventative measures, we will hopefully see a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19.”

The increase in confirmed cases correlates with an increase in active cases.

As of Nov. 20, there were 66 active cases in the county, up 15 from Nov. 17.

Two-hundred-and-sixteen individuals have recovered from the virus.

Monroe County remains at Level 2 in the state’s Public Health Advisory System, which is updated every Thursday.

Level 2 indicates increased exposure and spread.

Each of Ohio’s 88 counties is at least at Level 2, with a majority at Level 3, indicating very high exposure and spread.

The Ohio counties immediately surrounding Monroe County are all at Level 2.

The Monroe County Health Department staff hopes that numbers level off but has concerns with Thanksgiving in a matter of days.

Regardless, health department staff will continue to work to educate and keep county residents safe.

“The staff at MCHD are working seven days (per) week to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” the health department’s press release reads. “MCHD has 16 employees on staff, and 15 of them are actively involved in COVID-19 response efforts – many while also balancing their regularly assigned public health duties.”

The tasks of tracking the virus and contacting close contacts require around the clock efforts.

“The public may not realize that MCHD staff can be found working late on Saturday nights to call individuals informing them of their positive test result, then subsequently isolating them to avoid the risk of making others sick,” the health department’s press release continues. “We have employees working early Sunday mornings to conduct contract tracing as quickly as possible and calling close contacts to quarantine. Other staff (members) work quickly to provide necessary documentation so that individuals can get back to work or school with the proper certification.”