Friday, June 26th, 2020
COVID-19 claims Celina woman, 84
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A ninth person has died of COVID-19 in Mercer County, according to a Thursday news release.
Health officials also reported no new cases in Mercer County and one new case in Auglaize County.
The most recent death involves an 84-year-old woman from Celina who was a resident at The Gardens at Celina, Mercer County Health District Public Information Officer Kristy Fryman said.
"The MCHD staff would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time," Thursday's release read.
An outbreak of COVID-19 at The Gardens at St. Henry was declared on May 13. The facility has reported 31 confirmed cases involving 15 residents, one former resident, 14 staff members and one former staff member, health officials have said.
With 51 residents, more than a third of The Gardens at St. Henry residents have been confirmed to have had COVID-19. Five deaths have been reported at the facility.
Health district epidemiologist Deb Scheer said on June 17 the outbreak at The Gardens at St. Henry appeared to have slowed, noting all 14 employees have recovered.
Health officials also declared an outbreak at The Gardens at Celina on June 3. According the the health district's online dashboard, 26 cases have been confirmed, 18 of which involve residents and eight involve employees. Thursday's COVID-19 death was the first reported at the facility.
Health officials in Thursday's news release emphasized that although the daily number of new confirmed cases in Mercer County has declined, a significant increase in cases has been reported across portions of the U.S. and Ohio.
District officials wanted to include the warning as the July 4 holiday approaches, Fryman said.
"Although our cases have been down, we don't want people to let their guard down," Fryman said. "People are still being tested, and COVID-19 is still out there."
People can protect themselves against COVID-19 by washing their hands often, using hand sanitizer, covering their mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, staying home when sick and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
"It is equally important to avoid close contact with others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, and wear face coverings," the release reads.
District officials reported 257 confirmed cases, three probable cases, 213 people who have recovered, 28 pending tests, 1,082 negative test results, three hospitalizations and nine deaths from COVID-19.
The health district began including probable cases on Monday. Probable cases have been reported at the state level for several weeks and are being reported locally as antibody testing has become available in the area, according to the release.
People are considered to have probable cases if they display signs and symptoms of the virus and were in close contact with a person with COVID-19, according to the health district.
People are also considered to have probable cases if they had a blood antibody test indicating a COVID-19 infection and had the signs and symptoms of the virus.
Celina has the largest number of cases at 111; Coldwater has 52; St. Henry, 43; Fort Recovery, 26; Maria Stein, 12; Rockford, six; Mendon, three; Chickasaw, three; and Burkettsville, one, according to the district's online dashboard at arcg.is/1mTqa5.
The new case reported in Auglaize County raises that county's total number of confirmed cases to 87. It involves a 32-year-old woman who is self-isolating at home, according to a county health department news release.
Health officials also reported 10 probable cases of COVID-19, 76 people who have recovered, 14 hospitalizations and three deaths from COVID-19.
As of Thursday evening, the Ohio Department of Health reported 47,651 confirmed and probable cases in the state, 7,502 hospitalizations and 2,772 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19.
Ohio COVID-19 cases:
Mercer County 257
Auglaize County 87