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Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Regional COVID hospitalizations at record high

By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - County and regional health officials are urging residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine as regional hospitalizations climb to the highest level since the pandemic began.
Auglaize County Health Department officials in a news release Tuesday also reported one new death and 78 new cases of COVID-19 in the county since their last update on Nov. 23.
The newest death involved an unvaccinated female between the ages of 70-90, according to the release, raising the cumulative death toll to 84. The county's cumulative number of cases rose to 5,219.
In Tuesday's release, county health commissioner Oliver Fisher relayed information from Beth Keehn, director of government and community affairs at Mercy Health/St. Rita's of Lima.
Keehn on Monday reported hospitalizations at St. Rita's has climbed from 52 COVID-19 patients to nearly 100 over the past two weeks. Keehn said this is the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations the hospital has had yet, with COVID-19 patients accounting for one third of overall patients.
Keehn said hospitalization numbers this time of year is typically 240. As of Monday, it was 300 hospitalizations.
Regionally, there were 157 hospitalizations as of Monday, according to data provided by Fisher. Grand Lake Health System, which includes Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, had four COVID-19 hospitalizations. The critical care adult unit was at 100% capacity.
At Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, there were 12 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with two in the intensive care unit and two on ventilators. The critical care adult unit was at 80% capacity, according to the data.
In other parts of the region, Mercy Health/St. Rita's Hospital had the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Monday, with 91 COVID-19 positive patients. Of those, 27 patients were in the ICU and 27 were on ventilators. The critical care adult unit was at 100% capacity.
Lima Memorial Health had 40 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with three patients in the ICU and one on a ventilator. Their critical care adult unit also was at 100% capacity, according to the data.
At Van Wert County Hospital, there were 10 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Monday, with three patients in the ICU and two on ventilators, according to the data. Their critical care adult unit was at 75% capacity.
"The criticality of the patients is tremendous and it's impossible to describe what the team is dealing with," Keehn said of the regional hospitalizations in the release.
Health officials in Tuesday's release also reported a cumulative 2,465 probable cases, 471 hospitalizations and 7,034 people who are presumed to have recovered.
The county continues to have a high rate of community transmission, according to the release.
The county had a rate of 361.40 cases per 100,000 people during the past seven days, down from last week's rate of 534.43 per 100,000 people, according to the release.
The county's test positivity rate was 21.49%, meaning one out of every five people tested for COVID-19 is positive for the virus. Tuesday's test positivity rate is a decrease from last week's rate of 23.26%.
A high transmission rate is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as 100 or more new cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period or a test positivity rate of 10% or higher.
As of Tuesday evening, the Ohio Department of Health reported a cumulative 1,690,217 confirmed and probable cases, 86,453 hospitalizations and 26,587 Ohio resident deaths since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 cases/deaths:
Ohio cases 1,690,217
Ohio deaths 26,587
Mercer County cases 5,605
Mercer County deaths 100
Auglaize County cases 5,219
Auglaize County deaths 84
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
CELINA - Mercer County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to contribute $30,000 annually for at least three years toward a new career navigator position through the Mercer County Educational Service Center.
CELINA - Versa Pak's $15 million expansion project is nearly finished after the company's new 56,000 square foot facility was recently completed.
CELINA - Mercer County commissioners on Tuesday signed off on a request for a $48,000 revolving loan that will help the owners of 3 Graces Boutique purchase the building at 207 S. Main St., Celina, in which their business is housed.
Flyers hold off Cougars for victory
MARIA STEIN - In a span of just under six minutes of game time, Marion Local went from a double-digit lead to hanging on to a single-point margin against Van Wert.
COLDWATER - After Coldwater watched Kalida erase an early lead, the Wildcats had momentum heading into halftime.
But the Cavaliers clamped down on defense in the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth on the way to a 46-32 win in a girls basketball game at the Palace on Tuesday.
Area Roundup
Compiled By Tom Haines
The St. Henry girls basketball team earned coach Nate Uhlenhake his first win with a 47-33 victory at Ansonia on Tuesday.
The Redskins overcame an early deficit to take a two-point halftime lead, then scored 15 in the fourth quarter to ice the game.