DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Health Officials from Montgomery County held a briefing Friday to give an update on the spread of COVID-19 cases in the county.
Montgomery County Health Commissioner Dr. Jeff Cooper said the rise in cases in the county is concerning and urged everyone to observe social distancing and to wear masks. Cooper also asked everyone to stay home unless they must go out.
Sixty-eight of Ohio’s 88 counties are now in the red, or Level 3, on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.
Cooper said Montgomery County has been hovering around 4% in terms of case positivity and has now risen to 11% in the last few weeks. That number, Cooper continued, is expected to rise as numbers are updated next week.
The first cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County were reported in January and began to significantly increase in June and July. While the number began drop in September, Cooper said the numbers are again spiking. Health officials said more than 4,300 cases were reported to PHDMC in October and as of Nov. 23, 2,400 cases have been reported for the month. Cooper said that represents between 200 and 250 new cases reported per day to the Health Department.
“Clearly we are on pace for the month of November to exceed 5,000 total new cases during the month,” Cooper said. One of the causes for concern is the potential strain on hospital systems in the community as the virus continues to rapidly spread.
“Every single person listening to this news conference knows what to do,” Cooper said. “We need to wear a mask. We need to social distance. We need to avoid social settings of any kind. That means no gameday watch parties, minimal size at wedding receptions, avoiding crowded spaces, not congregating in bars. No house parties, no extended family gatherings.” Cooper acknowledged this is a difficult message to give but said “It’s a message we all have to adhere to.”
Cooper said health officials are most concerned about the elderly and at-risk populations.
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