In 2021, Wood County never had more than 250 coronavirus cases in one day.
“Last Monday, we had 350 cases in a single day,” said Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Robison, in an update to the board on Thursday.
“There are just lots and lots and lots of COVID cases,” he said. “This is just an extraordinarily higher rate of COVID than we’ve seen at any point in this pandemic.”
Cases are being driven by the omicron variant, Robison said.
“It’s just infecting more people,” he said. “Right now we are drowning in cases.”
Robison said he suspects there are more cases that are not being reported. That could include people who have taken an at-home test and not reported to the health department, and those who are sick and not testing.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily trying to hide, just people know what to do and to do the right thing,” he said. “Even though we know about these 350 cases (from Monday), it’s likely higher than that.”
Robison also discussed how the vaccine is working.
“For individuals who are fully vaccinated, but not boosted, their incidence rate is comparable to folks who have not been vaccinated,” he said.
That doesn’t mean, though, that the vaccine isn’t working.
An example is a study of seniors ages 70-74 in Wood County and their incidences since August. Robison said 70% of this age group that is not vaccinated have got COVID.
“There is substantial need for our seniors in particular to be vaccinated, and for folks who are at adverse risk to be vaccinated,” he said.
For those who are not boosted, protection is at 35%. The boosted protection is 75%, Robison said.
He said it is likely that everyone is going to get COVID, and people should do what you can to not get sick.
“Get vaccinated to improve your outcome,” Robison said.
The pandemic could end, Robison said.
“I think we are coming to the cusp of a change,” he said.
Anti-virals, which are not widely available now, will help curb hospitalizations.
“If people get COVID and don’t seek care from the hospital, don’t die from it, this is going to change,” Robison said.”I’m hoping that within about three months we see a much stronger supply of those anti-virals, and we can really see what they might do in our community.”
Board member Rachel Bowlus asked that more solutions and treatments for COVID be posted on the health department website.
“It’d be nice to know for people getting it, what their treatment options are,” she said.
Robison said the Ohio Department of Health does have that information and they can promote it locally.