Miami Valley health leaders uncertain of fall 2021 as cases double

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Ohio as health officials continue to warn about the Delta variant and the dangers of not being vaccinated.

The Ohio Department of Health reports 744 new coronavirus cases in the past day which is double the amount in the past 21 days.

“It’s not ‘if’ the Delta variant gets here it’s ‘when’, and although we haven’t specifically identified delta here in Clark County we know it’s only a matter of time before we see it and the only way to combat that is to be vaccinated,” said Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

With cases doubling in the past month, health leaders say their fears are coming true. Warmer weather has encouraged large crowds to gather but the Delta variant is spreading among unvaccinated residents. The state’s vaccination dashboard shows low vaccination rates are among younger eligible age groups.

“Sometimes people who are younger maybe don’t pay attention to health related situations or think they’re invincible and think nothing is going to hurt them,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor for Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “That might be what’s contributing to the lack of vaccinations in that age group.”

If current trends continue, health leaders aren’t too optimistic for the rest of summer as we transition into colder weather.

“I think a lot of those people are not going to switch it and unfortunately we will deal with the aftermath of what happens when we have 50 percent of our population not vaccinated,” said Patterson. “We’ve seen in other parts of the country that when delta grabs hold, it spreads like wildfire in those people who are unvaccinated.”

Patterson continued to say that he believes if children under 12 become eligible in October and vaccines receive full FDA approval, that may help get the state to over 50-percent of residents vaccinated.

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