DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — On Tuesday, Ohio saw nearly 2,500 cases of COVID-19, as the delta variant surges through the Miami Valley. If this trend continues, public health officials warn the winter months could lead to more restrictions once again.
“We don’t have any end in sight and unfortunately we have kids going back to school this month which will drive people indoors and expect more virus to come in the next couple of months,” said Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.
Clark County is reopening their coronavirus testing center tomorrow due to the high volume of cases. The center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the corner of High Street and Buxton Avenue. It closed on May 31 due to low volume of testing needed but now, the county has rehired staff to operate the drive-thru center. They say if cases don’t start declining, this winter could be a dark time.
“Our decision to reopen was based on the need for it in the community, the need for a low cost testing option for our most at risk residents and for us to be able to quickly identify those positive cases and begin to isolate them to stop the spread,” said Patterson.
“If we have to go back to wearing masks and carrying out orders, it’s really going to hurt us,” said Nick Brandell, manager of Jimmie’s Ladder 11. “Currently, we are really low on staff and I know other restaurants are as well, but it puts us in a really difficult position to have to shut down and then reopen again, probably with less staff than we have currently.”
Restaurant owners say they know the industry is at an all time low with staffing. They won’t be able to keep their doors open if cases keep increasing.
Health leaders believe vaccinations may start to increase to fight the delta variant once all age groups become eligible.