Starting Wednesday, more detailed data will be available on coronavirus and how it has affected Wood County.
“The goal is to put out more detailed data, so we can start to follow the trends through the summer,” said Ben Batey, Wood County health commissioner. “This will give everyone an opportunity to watch what the trends are in Wood County.”
Batey spoke at Tuesday’s weekly telemeeting with the commissioners.
The data will go back to March, he said.
“It will show the daily case numbers and will be built out over time,” Batey said.
The data will show how Wood County peaked with COVID-19 cases in March and April, then started to come down, he said.
“We’re staying low and steady at this point,” Batey said.
The new information will be released on Wednesday, which is also the day that the long-term case numbers are updated. The health department daily lists the number of cases, deaths, hospitalizations and median age. They run in the paper on page 2 and online at sent-trib.com.
The data will help families that have a susceptible person decide on how much they want to go out, or if they should stay at home still, he said.
“We want families to make decisions for themselves that keep them safe,” Batey said.
As the data is calculated and posted over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see if case numbers will stay low throughout the summer and into the fall. The virus, he said, may rear again in the winter when it can linger longer in the dry air.
There has been a lot of activity — locally and nationally — that may also show up in the data over the next month, he said.
Daycares have opened, along with retail, restaurants, salons and gyms, and there were several George Floyd police protests over the last week that may drive up coronavirus cases, Batey said.
“We’re going to be watching for those things in public health, because we know there is that lag time,” he said. “Maybe 2-4 weeks out, we’re going to be watching as we approach through the month of June. Are we good for the summer? Will the seasonal components stay low as we move into the flu season?”
Batey said that he is hoping for a sense of normalcy this summer.
“But until we see what the numbers do, it’s too early to tell,” he said.
Wood County Commissioner Ted Bowlus asked if antibody testing would be available soon.
Batey said that Wood County Hospital is working on it, and may have antibody testing ready for individuals who want to be tested in the next week. Officials have been careful about selecting an accurate test, he said.
“We’re not going to push any antibody testing we’re not confident in,” Batey said. “They (Wood County Hospital) are going to be doing it in house and want to make sure it’s right.”
Jeff Klein, director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency, said vacationers venturing out of state should research that area’s coronavirus situation. Some areas in the east have strict quarantines, he said.
Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn reported there are 75 inmates in the jail.