COVID-19 cases down in rural Holmes County as vaccinations increase

COVID-19 cases down in rural Holmes County as vaccinations increase

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Concerns over another coronavirus surge continue across the country and here in Ohio where cases are rising.

19 News is taking a closer look at one rural county in northeast Ohio that’s seeing a big drop in cases.

Holmes County, known for Amish Country, didn’t escape the pandemic untouched.

Holmes County General Health District Health Commissioner Mike Derr said at one point they had a “tremendous amount of infection.”

But that changed recently, as cases plateaued.

A few weeks ago, Holmes County was one of the first counties in Ohio that went back down to yellow, the lowest tier on the map from the Ohio Department of Health.

Yellow is considered a “Level 1 public emergency.”

Most counties in northeast Ohio are currently red, meaning “very high exposure and spread” of coronavirus.

“Pretty happy to see where that’s going, I think a lot of it is attributed to the vaccine effort,” Derr said.

Derr said at the end of March, the health department had given about 6,300 vaccinations.

That’s about 70 percent of the vaccinations in the county.

As of Monday, that number was up to 6,486 vaccinations, with another 400 to 450 expected by Friday.

Still, Derr urges people not to let their guard down yet.

“Number one, when you get the opportunity to take a vaccine, it doesn’t matter what brand it is, roll up your sleeve and take that vaccine. That’s the fastest way that Ohio gets back to normal, that’s the fastest way Holmes County gets back to normal,” he said.

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