Harrison COVID cases rise again; delta variant looming

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CADIZ—COVID-19 numbers began rising two weeks ago. They jumped by nine in one week, then reached 16 cases the following week. Now the county has hit 25 total cases, according to Harrison County health administrator Garen Rhome. 

Rhome said the curve being demonstrated resembles the same upward trend from last October and November when COVID began spiking nationwide. Total cases have now reached 1,221 in the county, with the 25 active cases. One new death could be attributed to COVID, but Rhome said they could not confirm this until a death certificate was released. 

Although Ohio has seen a spike in vaccinations, as well, Rhome said he had not seen it at the local level yet. But the health department still conducts walk-in vaccinations on Mondays and Thursdays. 

Another thing Rhome hasn’t seen is any new variant cases since the first one he reported in the county last week. But Rhome repeated what he — and many other U.S. and Ohio health experts — has consistently been preaching: the uptick in variant cases is fueled by a lack of vaccinated people. Rhome said if people, for whatever reason, do not want to get vaccinated, then they should be wearing a mask when in populated areas or at indoor functions. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also remarked on the uptick in cases that Rhome referred to: “The spread of the delta variant has dramatically accelerated since I last spoke 10 days ago. We are at the high level of cases since last February.” And according to DeWine’s Tuesday press release, only 35% of 12- to 17-year-olds have been vaccinated. 

“The best way to make sure that your child can stay in school and not have his or her classes interrupted is for that child to be vaccinated. If that child cannot be vaccinated, then best way to ensure a good school year is for that child to wear a mask in class,” added DeWine.

A new student-community study done by the nonprofit advocacy group Data Quality Campaign unearthed clashing perspectives between “parents and principals [and] uncovered considerable disconnects that could threaten efforts to use data to address the current moment and beyond.”

“…Teachers do not feel that their principals ensure that they have the time they need to use data effectively [and] did not receive trainings or resources about how to assess student learning and progress during spring 2020 school closures,” according to the study. It discovered that the teachers “would like that kind of support in the future.”

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