This page will be updated as the coronavirus pandemic develops.

New Cases

When a new report covers multiple days new cases are divided evenly over the days since the last report.

Data from Mercer and Auglaize county health departments. Updated 9/3/21 1:57pm

Mercer and Auglaize county COVID-19 cases and Vaccinations

Daily numbers are cumulative, except for hospitalizations. District officials report hospitalizations as the total number of people currently hospitalized, noting that when a person is discharged he or she is removed from the hospitalization total. Hospitalized patients remain in the COVID-19-positive total count.

Vaccinations are completed, that is after the second dose of a two dose shot.

Vaccinations per day

Ohio COVID-19 cases

New cases each day in Ohio 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 11000 3-14 3-29 4-13 4-28 5-13 5-28 6-12 6-27 7-12 7-27 8-11 8-26 9-10 9-25 10-10 10-25 11-09 11-24 12-09 12-24 1-08 1-23 2-07 2-22 3-09 3-24 4-08 4-23 5-08 5-23 6-07 6-22 7-07 7-22 8-06 8-21 9-05 9-20 Total Cases Total Hospitalizations Total ICU Total Deaths Total cases each day in Ohio 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 350000 400000 450000 500000 550000 600000 650000 700000 750000 800000 850000 900000 950000 1000000 1050000 1100000 3-14 3-29 4-13 4-28 5-13 5-28 6-12 6-27 7-12 7-27 8-11 8-26 9-10 9-25 10-10 10-25 11-09 11-24 12-09 12-24 1-08 1-23 2-07 2-22 3-09 3-24 4-08 4-23 5-08 5-23 6-07 6-22 7-07 7-22 8-06 8-21 9-05 9-20 Total Cases Total Hospitalizations Total ICU Total Deaths
Source: Ohio Department of Health. Updated 9/23/21 3:22pm.

Community pictures

Sidewalk Art
Tuesday, April 21st
Brennan Stachler, a fourth grader from St. Henry, worked to create this sidewalk art for two solid days.
Submitted by: Nikki Moor.
Photo submissions encouraged
The Daily Standard invites local residents to share their photos of local people, events and scenes. If you have a photo you think would interest our readers, email it to newsroom@dailystandard.com. By emailing a photo, you confirm you own the rights to the image and grant us the right to use it or not use it as we see fit in print, on our website, through social media or other means.

Symptoms of COVID-19 versus common cold and flu

People can protect themselves against COVID-19 by washing their hands often, covering their mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing and frequently cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. They should also avoid close contact and stay at least 6 feet away from others.

People should consult their medical provider for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Some of our local coverage
September 23rd
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A 49-year-old unvaccinated man is among three new deaths and 98 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Mercer County during the past week, according to a Wednesday news release from the Mercer County Health District.
Health district administrator Jason Menchhofer on Wednesday night said the newest deaths also include an 84-year-old man and an 80-year-old man. Both were fully vaccinated, marking the third and fourth fully vaccinated individuals to die from the virus. [More]
September 18th
By William Kincaid
COLDWATER - As of Friday morning, Mercer County Community Hospital had exceeded its maximum capacity by 25% due to a surge in significant illnesses that is taking a toll on staff and resources.
Those illnesses are not just COVID-19. They also include respiratory syncytial virus and pneumonia, according to Mindy Kremer, Mercer Health Vice President of Development, Marketing and Communications. [More]
September 14th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County board of health members during their Monday meeting remembered the life and service of board president Linda Kitzmiller, who died Sept. 1.
Kitzmiller, Minster, had served on the board of health for 30 years and had an extensive background in nursing and health care, bringing an unparalleled level of expertise and care to the position, board members said. [More]
September 9th
Mercer reports 85 new virus cases
By William Kincaid
CELINA - An 88-year-old, fully-vaccinated Celina woman is the latest to die from COVID-19 in Mercer County, according to county health officials, raising the cumulative death toll from the virus to 89.
Eighty-five new cases of COVID-19 and 17 probable cases also were confirmed in Mercer County since the county health district's last report a week ago. [More]
September 2nd
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - Seventy-five new cases of COVID-19, 11 probable cases and two new hospitalizations have been confirmed in Mercer County since the county health district's last report a week ago.
Health officials have said the highly contagious delta variant is circulating in the area. [More]
August 26th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - An 87-year-old woman is the latest to die from COVID-19 in Mercer County, according to county health officials, raising the cumulative death toll from the virus to 88.
Thirty-one new cases of COVID-19 also were reported Wednesday, raising the county's cumulative number of cases to 4,336. [More]
August 24th
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Health officials warn the highly contagious delta variant is likely to blame for the increased COVID-19 activity in the area, as 38 new cases reported since Wednesday raised the county's cumulative case count to 4,305.
Mercer County Health District officials in a social media post Monday reported the new cases and said the active number of cases in the county is 69. [More]
July 28th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - The state's department of health Tuesday issued updated COVID-19 guidance for staff and students returning to school this fall, noting the highly-contagious delta variant is rapidly becoming the dominant variant in Ohio.
Citing new information about the variant's ability to spread among vaccinated people, the Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status. [More]
June 18th
Regulations lifted on nursing homes
From staff reports
COLUMBUS - The state emergency in Ohio caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted today, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a Thursday news release.
DeWine urged those who have not yet been vaccinated for the virus to find a clinic near them by visiti [More]
June 10th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - She never thought the day would come but on Monday, the Mercer County Council on Aging's senior center reopened its doors to in-person activities and events for the first time in more than a year.
Seniors returned to the comfortable, familiar setting of the senior center on Monday for a chair yoga session and Tuesday for bingo. The center had been closed since March 16, 2020, due the COVID-19 pandemic. [More]
June 2nd
Vaccine clinic set in Coldwater for Friday
By Leslie Gartrell
All COVID-19 health orders officially expired early this morning, including the state's mask mandate and capacity limitations for outdoor facilities, among others.
Businesses and schools will still be able to require masks and social distancing if they choose to do so, according to a news release from Gov. Mike DeWine's office on Tuesday. [More]
May 20th
Managers thankful for state COVID aid
By William Kincaid
Mercer and Auglaize counties fairs are both in line to receive a much needed $50,000 to help out with substantial revenue losses caused by COVID-19 related disruptions.
Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine this week signed Senate Bill 109 into law, providing $4.7 million to the Ohio Department of Agriculture to distribute evenly to all 94 county and independent agricultural societies, according to an ODA news release. [More]
May 19th
Several vaccine clinics set in Celina
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Registration for the Ohio Vax-a-Million program opened Tuesday, allowing vaccinated adults to enter for a chance to win $1 million or a four-year, full-ride scholarship for Ohio youths in a series of five weekly statewide drawings.
The Oh [More]
May 18th
Celina School Board rejects mask motion
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Celina City School board members on Monday night voted down a motion to remove immediately the mask mandate in all school buildings and properties, after an animated and at times emotionally charged debate among school officials and parents [More]
May 15th
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio is removing a mask requirement immediately for people who are fully vaccinated, in keeping with new guidance from the federal government, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday.
DeWine said in a statement that unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks and socially distance, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. [More]
May 13th
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio's mask mandate and most other coronavirus-related state orders will end on June 2, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday, in a declaration allowing three weeks for more people to get vaccinated before then.
DeWine's announceme [More]
April 23rd
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer and Auglaize counties followed a national trend in 2020 as COVID-19 contributed to excess deaths of local residents and Americans at large.
According to a Daily Standard analysis of obituaries submitted to the newspaper from 2017-2021, more than 200 additional obituaries were submitted in 2020 than in the three years prior. [More]
April 17th
Prom and graduation back with modifications
From staff reports
School districts in Mercer and Auglaize counties have made plans for prom and graduation with some modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most districts are utilizing social distancing and limited capacity to comply with state guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health. [More]
April 16th
Gov. DeWine urges state to vaccinate
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Cases of COVID-19 are increasing locally and statewide as health officials urge the public to increase safety measures to protect themselves and others.
Mercer County Health District officials on Thursday reported nine new cases since Tuesday, raising the county's number of cumulative cases to 3,985. Also on Thursday, Auglaize County Health Department officials reported eight new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday, raising that county's number of cumulative cases to 3,520. [More]
April 7th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials on Tuesday announced the district likely will cease its weekly drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinics due to a decline in demand.
Today's clinic at the fairgrounds likely will be the final drive-thru clinic for first-dose COVID-19 vaccine, according to a health district news release. It's the first clinic held by the health district open to Ohioans age 18 and older since eligibility expanded on March 29. [More]
April 2nd
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Mercer County residents age 18 and older can get vaccinated by Mercer County Health District officials at a drive-thru vaccination clinic this Wednesday, according to a news release Thursday.
The clinic will be held from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina. The Moderna vaccine will be administered. [More]
March 23rd
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District staff have had a whirlwind of a year, juggling their COVID-19 responsibilities while helping community members navigate the seemingly ever-changing state health orders.
Health district administrator Jason Menchhofer presented the district's report during the annual Mercer County Health District Advisory Committee meeting on Monday evening. [More]
March 17th
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced people age 40 or older and people with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and obesity are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting today.
DeWine also announced individuals 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccines on March 29. [More]
March 16th
At-home test kits available at Auglaize libraries
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Health Department officials on Monday reported five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since their last update on Wednesday, raising the county's total number of cases to 3,416.
The Mercer County Health District releases numbers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. [More]
March 9th
By Leslie Gartrell
  WAPAKONETA - Phases 1D and 2B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan will include people with type-2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease and gradually open vaccinations based on age, starting with people age 50 and older.
Phase 2B opens the door for Ohioans age 50 and older, roughly 1.2 million people, to get vaccinated, according to a news release from Gov. Mike DeWine. [More]
March 5th
Decision depends on infection rate
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Saying victory against COVID-19 is within reach, Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced all health orders will be rescinded once the state's infection rate drops to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks.
Mercer County Health District officials also provided updated vaccine registration information for a March 10 clinic. [More]
February 26th
Mercer County virus level is downgraded
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced the state will receive more COVID-19 vaccine doses next week, adding additional vaccine providers such as Meijer and Walmart to the roster.
However, Keith Kleman, Celina Walmart pharmacy manager, said officials don't know when their location will receive doses. [More]
February 22nd
Experts think vaccinations and COVID precautions may be a reason why cases of the flu are low
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - As COVID-19 continues to pull focus both globally and locally, seasonal influenza activity has been almost nonexistent in Mercer County and the U.S.
Flu activity in the U.S. has been "unusually low," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, flu activity is the lowest it's been since the CDC started routinely collecting data in 2005. [More]
February 20th
Restaurants make changes to keep staff, customers safe
By William Kincaid
Area restaurateurs have been forced to change radically how they serve customers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some believe operations will return slowly to normal while others doubt they'll see pre-pandemic sales levels again.
"The restaurant business is changed forever," said Patrick Rosenbeck, head chef at The Grill on Main in Coldwater. [More]
February 10th
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - While Gov. Mike DeWine has asked school districts around the state to make up for any lost or delayed learning due to the pandemic, Coldwater Exempted Village Schools educators reportedly already have worked to keep students on track. [More]
February 4th
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - People 65 and older are eligible for vaccination at Mercer Health's COVID-19 vaccination clinics next week.
Mercer Health holds weekly clinics at Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, on Thursdays and Fridays. People can register for the clinics by calling 567-890-7188. [More]
February 1st
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Jails and prison systems throughout America have been recurring hotspots for COVID-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began.
The Mercer County jail isn't one of them.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, only one incarcerated person has tested positive, and only six of the 75-strong staff at the Mercer County Sheriff's office have tested positive. [More]
January 26th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer Health on Monday announced it has added a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Friday for people age 75 and older that will be held at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater.
Registration for the new clinic opens at 9 a.m. today, according to a Mercer Health news release. People can register by calling 567-890-7188. [More]
January 25th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials over the weekend gave additional information on how people will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health district administrator Jason Menchhofer on Sunday said when a person receives their first dose, they are automatically reserved a spot at the corresponding second dose clinic. [More]
January 23rd
By Daily Standard Staff
  Eligibility for vaccines starting Jan. 25: Adults 75 and older and people with a developmental or intellectual disability and have a severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorder. See story for details.
Mercer County
The Mercer County Health District and Mercer Health are the only vaccine providers in the county. Only register at one location. All clinic dates and times are subject to change depending on weather and vaccine availability. [More]
January 21st
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County's first COVID-19 drive-thru vaccine clinic doled out nearly 800 vaccines to people age 80 and older on Wednesday.
Mercer County Health District officials had planned to administer about 300 vaccines until Tuesday evening, when officials received an additional 500 doses of the vaccine. [More]
January 20th
One new local death reported
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials on Tuesday were notified the district would receive an additional 500 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the state for its first drive-thru vaccine clinic planned for today.
Mercer County's drive-thru clinic, scheduled for people age 80 and older, is set to run 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. Clients will receive the Moderna vaccine. [More]
January 15th
Fairgrounds clinic for those 80 and older
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Organizers of Mercer County Health District's COVID-19 drive-thru vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday at the Mercer County Fairgrounds will now accept appointments.
Officials from the district and Mercer County Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday issued a joint news release detailing plans for the clinic, which is for people aged 80 and older. [More]
January 14th
Vaccine will be on first-come, first-served basis
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The Mercer County Health District will host its first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic for people 80 and older on Wednesday.
Officials announced the clinic during Wednesday's health board meeting and later in a joint news release with the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency. [More]
January 13th
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - Coldwater Exempted Village Schools officials are awaiting a date for staff members to be inoculated against the coronavirus.
Superintendent Jason Wood said during Tuesday's school board meeting the entire staff will be able to receive the vaccine once the Mercer County Health District sets a date. Bus drivers and classified, certified, administrative and support staff will all reportedly have access to the vaccine, which reportedly will be administered at the school. [More]
January 11th
Several falsehoods persist about the COVID-19 vaccines
By Leslie Gartrell
  As COVID-19 continues to spread, health officials have said vaccines are the best way to end the pandemic. But with so much information to sift through and rampant misinformation, some may be hesitant as to whether the vaccines are safe and effective. [More]
January 8th
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced people in Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan will be able to receive vaccines beginning Jan. 19.
The announcement arrived as Mercer County reported one new death and 27 new cases on Wednesday and 13 new cases on Thursday, raising the county's death toll to 67 and total number of cases to 3,493. [More]
January 6th
Mercer County records 66th death
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Gov. Mike De-Wine on Tuesday said Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan will roll out in about two weeks.
The announcement arrived as Mercer County health officials reported one new death and 45 new cases, raising the county's total deaths to 66 and overall cases to 3,453. Auglaize County officials reported 16 new confirmed cases, raising that county's cumulative total to 2,882. [More]
January 5th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Health Department officials reported 57 new cases since their last update on Dec. 31, raising the county's cumulative confirmed total to 2,866.
In Mercer County, health district officials reported 39 new cases since their last update on Dec. 31, raising the county's total to 3,408 since the pandemic began. [More]
December 31st
Health, safety workers get first COVID vaccine
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Recipients described their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as quick, easy and painless during the county's first vaccination clinic for Phase 1A groups on Wednesday morning.
Mercer County Health District officials were enthusiastic and emotional when asked for their thoughts on the long-anticipated clinic. Director of nursing Julia Shaffer stifled tears as she expressed her excitement. [More]
December 22nd
First shots administered Monday in Mercer Co.
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Briarwood Village in Coldwater and Celina Manor officials were among the first in the area on Monday to begin COVID-19 vaccinations for residents and staff.
Briarwood Village Administrator Eric Ireland on Friday said the facility should receive about 300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is enough for all residents and staff. The vaccination clinic began on Monday and is not mandatory. [More]
December 17th
Ceremony paid tribute to health care workers
By William Kincaid
ST. MARYS - Flashing lights and wailing sirens enveloped Joint Township District Memorial Hospital's parking lot on a snowy Wednesday evening in a rousing show of solidarity with health care officials fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adults and children bundled up in winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves, held aloft signs and cheered as area police, sheriff, Ohio State Highway Patrol, fire and other first-responder vehicles slowly made their way by. [More]
Authorities prep for arrival of 1st COVID vaccines
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District and Mercer County Community Hospital officials are preparing for the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines.
Health district administrator Jason Menchhofer at the board's Wednesday meeting said he is anticipating 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the first shipment. The shipment could arrive next week if the Food and Drug Administration approves emergency use authorization. [More]
December 15th
Health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients first in line
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - The Mercer County Health District and Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater should receive their first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in about a week.
District administrator Jason Menchhofer said the Moderna vaccine dispersement will take place pending final approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. [More]
December 7th
Educators separate facts from agenda in classroom
By Leslie Gartrell
  Teachers have had a lot on their plates in 2020, adjusting their approach and classrooms to address a pandemic.
However, some area teachers are turning the pandemic into a teachable moment.
At Minster Local Schools, high school biology and anatomy teacher Marianne Bruns and principal Austin Kaylor have created a video series called "Ask Mrs. Bruns," in which Bruns tackles questions about COVID-19 from high school students. [More]
December 4th
Dentists, doctors seeing, treating many issues related to 2020-induced anxiety
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - This year has been stressful for many area residents. For some, it's led to more trips to the dentist or doctor's office.
"I would definitely say I have noticed an increase in tooth fractures, people grinding/clenching their teeth," said [More]
December 2nd
COVID-related orders replace event rental
By William Kincaid
CELINA - When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event rental industry to dry up, Celina Tent personnel began to fret, thinking they were stranded with the loss of a key clientele base.
"Because the rental companies do not rent anything. There's no parties. There's no anything, and that was our main business as far as the commercial business," Celina Tent owner Janice Grieshop told Celina Rotarians on Tuesday. [More]
November 30th
By Sydney Albert
Many people have felt the effects of increased stress and changes to everyday life since the the onset of the pandemic, but few have been affected so acutely as health care workers as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb.
Mercer and Augl [More]
November 27th
Kids appreciate health care workers
By William Kincaid
COLDWATER - On the day before Thanksgiving break, Coldwater Elementary second-graders offered a cornucopia of handmade cards, snacks and sugary treats to Mercer Health officials battling a resurgent pandemic.
The kids filled boxes with cards beari [More]
November 25th
First responders shine lights for health care workers
By Leslie Gartrell
COLDWATER - Dozens of area first responders turned on their lights to show their support for health care workers by parading to Mercer County Community Hospital and circling Briarwood Village on Tuesday evening.
Zach Piper, 32, Celina, said his wife works at the hospital and could tell that staff morale has been low. [More]
November 19th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Health district staff are struggling to manage their time effectively as the ever-increasing workload caused by COVID-19 continues to pile on top of additional duties employees need to complete.
Health board members at Wednesday's meeting discussed how staff could use their time most effectively. Director of nursing Julia Shaffer said workers are bogged down primarily by phone calls and requests from patients to return to work. [More]
November 17th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - School officials vow to forge ahead with in-person learning for as long as they can even as the coronavirus continues to lob obstacles their way, superintendent Ken Schmiesing asserted at Monday night's regular board meeting.
Since July, [More]
November 14th
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Regional hospitals are getting more patients, and experiencing increased wait times and a strain on the entire health care system as local COVID-19 cases continue to surge, area health officials say.
Mercer County health officials on a c [More]
November 13th
COVID deaths, hospitalizations continue to rise
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - Local health department and hospital officials are pleading with the public to get serious about the COVID-19 pandemic as deaths and cases increase.
The effort comes as Mercer County Health District officials reported a staggering 183 new cases over Wednesday and Thursday, raising the county's total number of cases to 2,135. [More]
November 10th
159 new local cases reported over weekend
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - One new death from COVID-19 was reported in Mercer County over the weekend, raising the county's total to 31.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the county also increased by 83 over the weekend, raising the county's total to 1,924.
Auglaize County officials reported 76 new confirmed cases over the weekend, raising that county's total to 1,388. [More]
November 5th
Record 70 cases seen in Mercer
By Leslie Gartrell
  CELINA - County health officials may create a resident-led group to fight community spread of COVID-19 in Mercer County as deaths, cases and hospitalizations continue to increase.
The announcement arrived as the county experienced its third death this week - the 30th overall - as well as a record-shattering 70 new cases, raising the county's total to 1,726, according to a county health district news release Wednesday. [More]
October 29th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday highlighted Mercer County's struggle with COVID-19 as he discussed the growing number of cases across the state.
DeWine's comments arrived the same day the county saw a record 39 new cases on Wednesday, raising the county's total to 1,523. [More]
October 28th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Two deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Auglaize County on Tuesday, raising the county's total to 16.
Officials also reported 14 new confirmed cases, increasing the total to 1,026.
In Mercer County, seven new cases brought that county's total to 1,484. [More]
October 24th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Four Celina Primary School staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and 25 to 30 students who had direct contact with them are in quarantine.
Also, Mercer County Health District officials reported 20 new cases on Friday, raising the county's total to 1,432. Auglaize County reported a total of 70 new cases between Wednesday and Friday for a total of 934 confirmed cases. [More]
October 23rd
People improvise to make candy giving COVID appropriate
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercer County residents can have a safe, spooky Halloween if they take the right precautions.
Deciding whether to participate in Halloween festivities is up to parents, guardians, individuals and community members, and those celebrating can look to the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for creative ideas and safety practices. [More]
October 21st
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The number of COVID-19 cases continues to mount in Mercer County, yet the disease has not resulted in catastrophe, Mercer County Health District Administrator Jason Menchhofer said.
Menchhofer updated Mercer County Board of Elections members on the local status of COVID-19, saying though case numbers remain high, the vast majority of people who have tested positive are not getting seriously ill. [More]
October 16th
Local child has rare syndrome
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A boy under 6 years old has Mercer County's first reported hospitalized case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious condition associated with the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a county health district news release on Thursday. [More]
October 14th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey on Tuesday was reluctant to commit to the idea of covering some of his staff's payroll and insurance expenses with COVID-19 funds, saying it would be difficult for him to justify such a move with his office's operations having changed only slightly amid the pandemic. [More]
October 2nd
St. Henry High School has COVID outbreak
By Leslie Gartrell
The fourth death in three days from COVID-19 was reported Thursday in Auglaize County raising that county's total to 14 and Mercer County reported its 18th death.
An outbreak also has been declared at St. Henry High School, said local health officials. [More]
September 30th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Two new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Auglaize County on Tuesday, as 18 new confirmed cases raised the county's total to 573.
In Mercer County, seven new cases increased its total to 1,061.
The newest deaths in Auglaize County involved a man and woman, both between 80 and 100 years old, according to a county health department news release. [More]
September 25th
Grey says vehicles will help keep staff safe from virus
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Mercer County commissioners agreed to spend more than $160,000 in federal COVID-19 funds on four new cruisers and GPS/routers, which sheriff Jeff Grey said will help safeguard his deputies against coronavirus exposure.
Commissioners on Thursday morning signed off on Grey's request for two COVID-19 related purchases - four new police SUVs totaling $126,020 and 29 GPS/routers for law enforcement vehicles totaling $35,626.50. [More]
September 24th
By Leslie Gartrell
Health officials are urging people to get the flu shot this fall and winter as flu viruses and COVID-19 may both spread at the same time.
People have many reasons to get a flu vaccine this year, Mercer County Health District Administrator Jason Menchhofer said on Wednesday. [More]
September 22nd
By Tom Millhouse
Six months have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic forced area seniors into quarantine to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
With a little help from their friends, family and various agencies, however, they are making the best of it.
Celin [More]
September 15th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A Rockford resident is the 16th person to die from COVID-19 in Mercer County, according to a health district news release on Monday.
District officials also gave an update on outbreaks throughout the area and reported seven new cases of the virus, raising the county's total to 921. [More]
September 10th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Three COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at Celina facilities since Saturday, health district officials sid.
Health board members learned of the outbreaks during Wednesday morning's meeting. District administrator Jason Menchhofer said the outbreaks are located at Celina Manor, the Celina city administration building and Mercer County Head Start. [More]
September 2nd
By William Kincaid
  CELINA - Mercer County a few weeks ago was leading the state in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita. As of Tuesday, however, it had moved down to fifth out of 88 counties with a rate of 204 cases per 100,000 people.
The state's updated list of top 10 counties ranked by highest occurrence shows Putnam County in front, followed by Darke, Jackson, Meigs and Mercer counties. Auglaize County is listed at No. 10 with 166.5 cases per 100,000. [More]
August 31st
By Leslie Gartrell
Editors note: This story is the second in a series answering common questions about COVID-19 from readers and residents.
Deb Scheer, epidemiologist for both the Mercer County Health District and Auglaize County Health Department, spoke with the [More]
August 28th
Some students learn from home during pandemic
By Sydney Albert
  Some local school districts have seen more than 10% of their student body opt for online or remote learning due to the coronavirus pandemic and have also seen a slight increase in numbers of home-schooled students.
Some enrollment details are sti [More]
August 27th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Two more people have died from COVID-19 in Mercer County, raising the total number of deaths to 15.
Seven new confirmed cases were also reported, raising the county's total number to 761, according to a Wednesday news release from the county health district. [More]
August 26th
Only four new cases reported in the area
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A 61-year-old St. Henry man reportedly is the 13th person to die from COVID-19 in Mercer County.
The newest death was accompanied by two new confirmed cases, raising the county's total to 754, according to a county health district news release on Tuesday. [More]
August 21st
By Leslie Gartrell
Editors note: This story is the first of a series on common questions about COVID-19 from readers and residents.
Deb Scheer, epidemiologist for both the Mercer County Health District and Auglaize County Health Department, spoke with the newspaper on Thursday to explain some key facts on the novel coronavirus, commonly used COVID-19 terminology and why they matter. Scheer has worked in public health for more than 27 years, with a focus on infectious disease for the majority of her career. [More]
August 19th
Fall high school sports are a go
From staff reports
COLUMBUS - All Ohio high school sports can take place this fall, with an option for sports such as football or soccer to be delayed until the spring if school officials wish, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday in one of his most-anticipated coronavirus-related announcements that came just days before the start of the school year. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - An eighth death from COVID-19 was reported in Auglaize County on Tuesday, and three new cases raised the county's confirmed number of cases to 305.
The number of Mercer County cases increased marginally, as five new cases raised the county's total to 689. [More]
August 18th
By Sydney Albert
MINSTER - After a long discussion with parents concerned about the district's mandatory mask policy on Monday night, school board members passed an initial policy with guidelines to be finalized later.
The policy was approved 4-1, with board member Ted Oldiges voting against it. [More]
By William Kincaid
CELINA - For King and Country, one of two acts originally booked for the Mercer County Fair's now canceled 2020 Christian concert, will perform a drive-in show on the fairgrounds parking lot at 8 p.m. Sept. 27, fair manager Cara Muhlenkamp said.
Fair officials also have arranged for the other act - Casting Crowns - to perform at next year's fair on Aug. 14, 2021. [More]
August 13th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The Mercer County Health District clarified its COVID-19 enforcement guidelines on Wednesday as the county continues to see more cases.
Cases in the county topped 650 after 23 new cases were reported, according to a health district news release. [More]
August 12th
District to enact safety protocols, hold staff training
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The start of the school year has been pushed back a week to give principals, teachers and staff extra time to enact safety protocols and train to limit the spread of COVID-19 and assign students to classrooms.
Celina City Schools Board of [More]
August 11th
Free admission an added feature to summer fair
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Mercer County Fair officials went into high gear to come up with an entertaining and satisfying fair schedule after a last-minute curveball from the state forced them to ax big-name concerts and traditional fair staples.
Gov. Mike DeWine late last month announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic county fairs will be reduced to junior fairs featuring livestock competitions for children and teens, without the usual rides, games and grandstand events. [More]
August 10th
In an interview with The Daily Standard, Gov. Mike DeWine called on Ohioans to stop the virus through behavior
By William Kincaid
  Mercer County residents must practice social distancing and wear face coverings if they want to get a handle on a surging pandemic and see some sense of normalcy this fall, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in an exclusive phone interview with The Daily Standard on Sunday. [More]
August 8th
By Colin Foster
Will pigskin be played during the pandemic?
If there is a season, it will be a condensed version.
Following a recommendation this week from the governor's office to shorten the season due to concerns that COVID-19 may spike in early winter, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that if high school football games are approved by the Gov. Mike DeWine, all teams will enter the playoffs beginning Oct. 9 and the state championship games will be played no later than Nov. 21. [More]
August 7th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday after testing positive earlier in the day before he was to meet with President Donald Trump, according to his Twitter page.
The governor's Twitter page said his wife, Fran, and staff members also tested negative. [More]
August 5th
Governor makes masks mandatory for K-12 students
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday singled out Mercer County as having the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.
"At least for the last two weeks, the county that has the highest number per 100,000 that I think would be a shock to most people would be Mercer County," DeWine said in a news briefing. [More]
August 4th
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - A revised junior fair- only schedule was approved on Monday after officials were forced to adapt to Gov. Mike DeWine's mandate that limited fair activity.
DeWine on July 28 announced county fairs will be reduced to junior fairs featuring livestock competitions for children and teens, without the usual rides, games and grandstand events, according to The Associated Press. It also allows harness racing without spectators. [More]
July 31st
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Mercer County Fair officials have been forced to drop the country and Christian concerts from this year's fair schedule due to Gov. Mike DeWine's recent order prohibiting rides, games and grandstand events.
Fair officials had secured marquee acts Sawyer Brown and BlackHawk for the Aug. 14 country concert and Grammy Award-winning For King and Country for the Aug. 15 Christian concert. [More]
July 30th
By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - Plans for the 168th Auglaize County Fair, set for Sunday-Aug. 8, had to be scrapped at the last minute after Gov. Mike DeWine's Tuesday announcement that fairs are limited to junior fair events only.
DeWine's order limits fairs to livestock competitions, 4-H and other events for children and teens. It also allows harness racing without spectators and food vendors. [More]
July 24th
There could even be more cases
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - County health officials are pleading with Mercer County residents to protect themselves and those around them from the spread of COVID-19, as 30 new cases caused the county's total to skyrocket to 408.
Health officials in a news release on Thursday reported the 30 new cases, which is the largest daily number reported since the pandemic began. [More]
July 23rd
Mask order takes effect 6 p.m. today
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - A mandatory mask order will be expanded statewide across Ohio to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday.
The mask mandate takes effect tonight for everyone age 10 and older when they're out in public or in places where they can't follow social distancing rules, DeWine said. It will not be required for children under 10 or anyone who has a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask. [More]
By William Kincaid
COLDWATER - Mercer Health's COVID-19 drive-thru testing site moved from the Mercer County Fairgrounds to a site called Mercer Health at North Main at 115 Summit St., Celina.
The new location will allow for extended testing capabilities for the next year or two, depending upon the duration of the pandemic, said Susan Miller, Mercer Health vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. [More]
July 22nd
Husband contracts virus; couple still waiting on aid
By Leslie Gartrell
ST. MARYS - When Don Ring tested positive for COVID-19 on June 23, he and his wife, Angel, thought he would receive unemployment benefits within a couple of weeks.
Nearly a month later, the Rings are still waiting for their application to be processed and have said the situation is a nightmare. [More]
July 21st
Officials see cases 'across our county'
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County experienced its largest increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 25 newly confirmed cases reported over the weekend.
The sharp increase raised the county's number of confirmed cases to 145, which is still less than half of Mercer County's total. [More]
July 20th
By Leslie Gartrell
Health experts for months have asked Americans to take precautions to protect themselves and those around them, from the spread of COVID-19 such as frequent hand washing, social distancing and staying home when sick.
However, no precautionary method has drawn quite the same contempt as wearing face masks. [More]
July 18th
Chief, Walmart, CVS among local retailers
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - Due to recent spikes in coronavirus cases around the country, more business owners have announced they will require customers to wear face masks.
Beginning today, at least two Chief Supermarket locations will require customers to wear masks. Employees at the Celina and Coldwater locations on Friday confirmed customers will be asked to wear masks when shopping at the stores. The employees were unsure if all Chief Supermarket locations will require masks. [More]
July 17th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - School district officials plan to reopen buildings to students on Aug. 26, the first day of classes, superintendent Ken Schmiesing announced via an open letter and video posted to the district's social media.
District officials believe the benefits of having the students return to the classroom "far outweigh a decision that would keep the students isolated at home at this point in time," according to the letter outlining the the key elements of the reopening plan. [More]
July 15th
Officials urge residents to take situation seriously
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Health officials continue to ask local residents to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 as one new case brought Mercer County's total to 303.
A fifth death was reported in Auglaize County along with one new case, bringing that county's confirmed number of cases to 107. [More]
By Gary R. Rasberry
The Ohio High School Athletic Association is planning for the fall sports season to begin as planned on August 1.
Interim executive director Bob Goldring did say in a Tuesday teleconference that while everything is still planned, everything is "fluid" based on decisions and guidance made by the governor's office. [More]
July 11th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A 10th Mercer County person has died from COVID-19, according to a news release on Friday.
Three new cases of the virus also were reported, raising the county's total to 294. No new cases were reported in Auglaize County.
The 10th death was a 93-year-old woman who was a resident at The Gardens at Celina, county health district officials said in the release. [More]
July 10th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A new case of COVID-19 raised Mercer County's total number of cases to 291 as the county was elevated to a Level 2 public emergency in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System on Thursday.
In Auglaize County, two new confirmed cases brought that county's total to 102. [More]
July 6th
By William Kincaid
Local school district superintendents and health officials will convene this week to address Gov. Mike DeWine's directives about reopening schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that shows no signs of slowing down nationally.
Most teachers [More]
June 30th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mercer County on Monday, raising the county's total to 267.
No new cases were reported in Auglaize County.
The two newest cases involve a man from the age of 80-90 who is hospitalized and a woman from the age of 70-80 who is self-isolating at home, according to a Mercer County Health District news release. [More]
June 27th
Celina grads receive diplomas amid pandemic
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A sea of green and white filled Celina Stadium on Friday night as the graduating class of 2020 was honored with an in-person ceremony.
Students and school staff were reunited for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in mid-March. High school principal Phil Metz said the gathering was amazing to see. [More]
June 26th
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. [More]
June 25th
From staff reports
CELINA - All four Mercer County District Library locations will reopen with normal hours of operation on Wednesday, following guidance from the Ohio and Mercer County departments of health.
Patrons are asked reserve the first hour of the day for at-risk community members, including individuals 65 years and older and those with underlying medical conditions. Curbside pickup will still be available through the online curbside pickup form or by calling the library to schedule an appointment. [More]
June 22nd
Mercer Health 5K Challenge taking virtual path to summer running
By Gary R. Rasberry
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the routines of many, including those who may run for recreation and fitness.
Also affected has been some of the running events that take place around the area, significantly the Mercer Health 5K Challenge, which encouraged runners to compete at 5K events held around Mercer County from June to August. [More]
June 17th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - The Auglaize County Fair will go on Aug. 2-8 this year, according to manager Ed Doenges.
Doenges said fair board members met last week and decided to continue with the Junior Fair, and met again on Monday and approved proceeding with this year's other events with some restrictions. [More]
June 16th
By Leslie Gartrell
FORT RECOVERY - School board members during Monday evening's meeting authorized the superintendent to proceed with a virtual academy pilot program for the 2020-2021 school year.
Superintendent Larry Brown said the district will join a consortium of public school districts called the Northwest Ohio Virtual Academy. The group includes roughly 50 school districts and career centers. [More]
June 15th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mercer County over the weekend, raising the county's total to 243.
One new confirmed case was reported in Auglaize County, raising that county's confirmed number to 77.
The Mercer County Health District did not release information on the two new cases by press time. [More]
June 13th
Half-marathon, 5K and Kids Run are still planned
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - The Grand Lake Marathon initially set to take place in September has been canceled, though the half-marathon, 5K and Kids Run are still commencing as planned.
Organizers decided to pull the plug on the full marathon due to lower-than-average registration and the costs associated with hosting the full event. [More]
June 11th
State leaders promise plan to help county fairs
By William Kincaid
Mercer County Fair Manager Cara Muhlenkamp said organizers are working diligently behind the scenes to stage the best fair possible this summer while adhering to the state's COVID-19 pandemic-based safety measures.
Meanwhile, Auglaize County Fair Board members have moved to host a junior fair this year but are still weighing whether to proceed with a full fair as they await more information from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, according to the fair's Facebook page. [More]
June 8th
By Leslie Gartrell
When people become sick with COVID-19, what is their treatment regiment like? What happens if a person is hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications?
Dr. John Terpstra, an emergency medicine physician and chief of staff at Mercer Health Hospital in Coldwater, said treatment can vary depending on the severity of symptoms. [More]
June 5th
2 residents, 3 staff have virus
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A COVID-19 outbreak was reported at The Gardens at Celina on Thursday, and three new cases raised the county's total to 221.
One new confirmed case was reported in Auglaize County, raising that county's total to 70.
Five confirmed cases are connected to the outbreak at The Gardens at Celina. Three involve staff, and two involve residents, according to a Mercer County Health District news release on Thursday. The facility has 13 pending test results. [More]
June 4th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - An eighth person has died from COVID-19 and three news cases of the virus reported on Wednesday raised Mercer County's total count to 218.
In Auglaize County, one new confirmed case raised that county's confirmed total to 69.
The eighth person to die from COVID-19 was a 91-year-old resident at The Gardens at St. Henry, according to a Mercer County Health District news release on Wednesday. [More]
June 3rd
Fair likely will be pared down
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The Celina Lake Festival was called off on Tuesday night due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, joining a growing list of long-standing area summer celebrations to have been scrapped.
Meanwhile, Mercer County Fair officials are still committed to "putting on as much of a full fair as possible," manager Cara Muhlenkamp said. [More]
May 29th
Mercer County men were both in their 80s
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA -Two deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Thursday, raising Mercer County's toll to six.
No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the county, keeping the total cases at 201.
In Auglaize County, one confirmed case raised that county's number to 65. [More]
May 28th
County records 4th virus death
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A fourth person has died from COVID-19 in Mercer County, and two new cases raised the county's total to more than 200, according to a Wednesday news release.
Auglaize County health officials reported one new confirmed case, raising that county's confirmed number of cases to 64. [More]
By William Kincaid
CELINA - City officials have decided to open Bryson Pool on June 6 but on a limited, private-party-only basis to comply with state COVID-19 pandemic directives, city safety service director Tom Hitchcock said.
They also on Wednesday afternoon reopened Huffy pond in Eastview Park, which contains a beach area. Yet the city is not allowed to turn on the splash pads at either Bryson Pool or the Bryson Park District along Lake Shore Drive or allow access to playground equipment, per state orders. [More]
From staff reports
Mercer County no longer has the lowest unemployment rate in the state.
Pandemic-caused job losses caused Mercer County to drop from the state's lowest rate of unemployment to 14th in a three-way tie with Clermont and Fairfield counties. Mercer County had maintained the lowest unemployment rate in the state since March 2016. [More]
May 21st
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Officials on Wednesday said the fight against COVID-19 isn't over as a third person has died in Mercer County, and five new cases raise the county's total to 160.
One new case of COVID-19 was announced in Auglaize County.
A 56-year-old St. Henry woman is the third Mercer County resident to die from COVID-19, county health district administrator Jason Menchhofer said. He believed the woman died on Monday. [More]
From staff reports
From Staff and Wire Reports
The Grand Lake Mariners will not have a season.
Late Tuesday evening, the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League announced that it was canceling its season amid ongoing coronavirus concerns.
"We are truly disappoi [More]
May 20th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A hospitalized boy 10 years old or younger represents one of 14 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported on Tuesday, raising Mercer County's total to 156.
In Auglaize County, one new confirmed case has raised the number of that county's confirmed and probable cases to 57. [More]
Novolex normally makes customized plastic packaging
By William Kincaid
COLDWATER - A Coldwater manufacturer of customized packaging will soon crank out 2 million isolation gowns a month for health care providers, assisted-living centers and other businesses in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Coldwater is home to one of Novolex's nine North American facilities that are mass-producing personal protective equipment being shipped across the nation, said Galen Killam, a senior technology and product manager. [More]
May 19th
Mercer County virus cases reach 142
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The Mercer County Health District launched its online COVID-19 dashboard on Monday and reported five new confirmed cases of the virus, raising the county's total to 142.
No new cases were reported in Auglaize County.
Four of the newly c [More]
May 18th
20 new cases raise Mercer County to 137
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A second person has died and more than 20 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mercer County over the weekend, raising the county's confirmed total to 137.
The second death was a St. Henry man from the age of 90-100, according to Mercer County Health District administrator Jason Menchhofer. He said the man died on Saturday. [More]
May 16th
OHSAA to lift no-contact rule for 6 sports
By Daily Standard Staff
By COLIN FOSTER and GARY R. RASBERRY
sports@dailystandard.com
Youngsters are getting ready to play ball again.
Ohio's top leaders said Thursday that low-impact sports leagues and other activities will resume later this month. Yesterday, Gov. Mike DeWine's office released a list of mandatory safety guidelines to follow for the youth baseball and softball seasons. [More]
May 15th
By Sydney Albert
Despite having fewer vehicles on the road during the statewide coronavirus shutdown, the number of accidents reported by some law enforcement offices has remained about the same.
Lt. John Westerfield said since March 15, the number of accidents handled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Wapakoneta Post has been about the same as in the same time period in 2019. [More]
May 14th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - More than 100 Mercer County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, as 15 new cases reported on Wednesday raised the county's total to 101.
An outbreak of COVID-19 was reported at The Gardens at St. Henry after an employee and a former resident tested positive. [More]
May 12th
No new cases in Auglaize Co.
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The number of positive coronavirus tests continues to rise in the area, as the Mercer County Health District on Monday reported seven new cases, raising the county's total to 86.
Auglaize County health officials reported no new cases on Monday. [More]
May 11th
By Leslie Gartrell
ST. HENRY - Of the 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County, 24 are currently employed by the Cooper Farms Processing Plant in St. Henry, according to a news release from the Mercer County Health District on Saturday.
The plant employs approximately 700 people, and infected employees make up 4% of the workforce at that location, according to Kristy Fryman, public information officer at the health department. [More]
May 9th
By Daily Standard Staff
By WILLIAM KINCAID
and SYDNEY ALBERT
Mercer and Auglaize County's jails so far have avoided coronavirus infections.
Mercer County jail inmates have been spared so far, thanks in part to strict protocols enacted almost two months ago, sheriff Jeff Grey said. One law enforcement employee, though, had tested positive for the coronavirus but has since recovered and returned to duty. [More]
May 8th
By Daily Standard Staff
Rockford cancels festivities
ROCKFORD - Bicentennial celebration organizers have reluctantly canceled all events for the year.
"Being our bicentennial celebration year, this was a super hard decision," they wrote in a news release. "It saddens [More]
Week's worth of private test results arrive
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Eighteen new positive coronavirus tests were reported on Thursday, raising Mercer County's total number of confirmed cases to 59 - more than triple the number of cases reported last Monday.
In Auglaize County, two new cases were announced, raising that county's confirmed number of cases to 37. [More]
May 7th
ODNR offers ideas for Ohioans tired of endless quarantine
By Sydney Albert
As students begin to tire of being stuck indoors with school classes canceled and businesses shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state offers an option to remind them of the great outdoors.
People looking to explore the great outdoors or simply looking for kid-friendly activities as summer break begins, can check the Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Digital Discoveries page for ideas. [More]
May 6th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections continue to climb in Mercer County as five new positive tests raised the county's total to 38.
Auglaize County officials reported one new case on Tuesday, increasing the total there to 36.
In Mercer County, the 34th and 35th cases are women between the ages of 30-40 and 60-70, respectively. Both are hospitalized, according to a Mercer County Health District news release. [More]
May 5th
By Sydney Albert
ST. MARYS - When Gov. Mike DeWine first ordered schools to switch to remote learning, Amy Wenning had thought it would last only a few weeks.
The fourth-grade math teacher at West Intermediate School in St. Marys, along with other teachers, put together assignments for her students - just enough to get them through the initial period. [More]
May 4th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA -The Mercer County Health District reported four new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, urging residents to continue social distancing as a string of new cases has raised the county's total of confirmed cases to 30.
The health department on Saturday reported the 27th confirmed case of COVID-19 is a woman from the age of 30-40 years old who is self-isolating at home. [More]
May 2nd
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday issued an appeal for Ohioans to stick together as the state slowly reopens, underscoring a point he has made multiple times in recent days: that it's possible to restart the economy and keep people safe at the same time. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
MARIA STEIN - Moeller Brew Barn is brewing up something good by distilling alcohol for hand sanitizer.
Owner and master brewer Nick Moeller had the idea to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer after Gov. Mike DeWine announced a stay-at-home order in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. [More]
April 30th
By Daily Standard Staff
Chickasaw Picnic is canceled
CHICKASAW - Chickasaw Picnic organizers have postponed the annual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Committee members decided holding the festival during the scheduled weekend of June 5-7 would be impossible, park board president T.J. Hess said. [More]
Nurse with COVID-19 gave birth, now home and slowly recovering
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - Megan Sites, a local nurse and mother who had been hospitalized due to COVID-19, is back home and looking forward to a return to normalcy, though she acknowledged that process will probably take time.
Many in the community have heard Site [More]
April 29th
From staff reports
Together for a Change will distribute homemade cloth masks for the community from noon until they run out on Friday at Romer's Catering, St. Henry, and at The Shack in Coldwater Memorial Park.
Together for a Change is a group of Mercer County volu [More]
April 28th
But DeWine is clear: 'No masks, no work'
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - Gov. Mike DeWine's first steps toward reopening the state after more than a month of strict stay-at-home orders will require masks for workers and shoppers, while giving hope for businesses eager to open their doors again and indefinitely putting off Ohioans' return to restaurants, barbershops and gyms. [More]
Glut of milk results from school, restaurant closings
By Leslie Gartrell
The closing of schools and restaurants due to COVID-19 has created uncertainty in an already volatile dairy market, causing dairy farmers throughout the nation including those locally, to prepare for the worst.
Demand for dairy products has fluctu [More]
April 24th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Elections officials have kept busy working behind the scenes the last few weeks to prepare for Tuesday's in-person absentee vote to complete the March 17 primary election.
Gov. Mike DeWine's administration had ordered the closing of in-person polls on March 17 - the day originally designated as the state's primary election day - to halt the spread of the coronavirus. [More]
April 23rd
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Five more people in Auglaize County have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the county's total to 28, and one more person in Mercer County has tested positive, bringing it's total to 14.
Health commissioner Oliver Fisher said he does not believe the new cases represented a related outbreak. With increased testing and new testing criteria, an increase in the number of cases is to be expected, he noted. [More]
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - Mercer Health's financial turnaround over the last fiscal year may help cushion the blow from disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even so, hospital administrators are looking at various funding options as they start the new fiscal year in uncharted waters. [More]
April 21st
Area fields light up to honor class of 2020
By Gary R. Rasberry
On a day when the 2020 spring sports season was officially canceled, schools all over Ohio paid tribute to high school seniors.
The lights at area football, baseball, softball, track and soccer stadiums were turned on Monday night to honor those seniors who lost the final portion of their school year due to the state shutting down buildings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [More]
April 20th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - An 82-year-old woman is the second person to die of COVID-19 in Auglaize County.
According to a news release posted on the Auglaize County Health Department's Facebook page Saturday, the woman was being treated at a local hospital. No further information was released by the health department. [More]
April 18th
By Daily Standard Staff
By WILLIAM KINCAID and SYDNEY ALBERT
newsroom@dailystandard.com
County officials are keeping a wary eye on the economic fallout local governments face from the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of large parts of the economy.
Mercer County had been on pace for another bumper year of sales tax collections when Republican Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home directive brought much of the local economy to an abrupt halt, county auditor Randy Grapner said. [More]
April 16th
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - The Auglaize County Health Department reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday bringing the county's total to 18.
The three new cases involve women ages 87, 84 and 86, respectively. All are self isolating at home.
Testing was completed by a privately contracted lab, according to the health department. Department officials also reported four hospitalizations and one death from COVID-19. [More]
Pantries are stressed but still helpful
By Leslie Gartrell
Local food banks are responding to increased demand with limited resources as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the U.S.
CALL Ministries executive director Homer Burnett said the Celina nonprofit has had to drastically reduce its services. While CALL usually offers eight services such as a clothing pantry and weekly hot meal program, the ministry has had to shutter all but the food pantry, which has had its hours slashed. [More]
April 15th
Pregnant nurse, 27, infected with virus delivers baby
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - The family of a young mother who was hospitalized with COVID-19 and forced to deliver her baby weeks before her due date has a message for others: This disease is real, it's scary and it can affect even the young and healthy.
Sandy Jeffries hopes that by sharing the story of her daughter, Megan Sites, others will begin to take shelter-in-place and social distancing orders more seriously. [More]
April 14th
Businesses rush to file in order to get stimulus money
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - Local accountants are conducting business as usual during this extended tax season, though in a slightly different manner.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to file personal tax returns has been extended to July 15, according to Matt. J. Muhlenkamp, a CPA and financial adviser at Muhlenkamp & Associates, Celina. The extension is for federal, state, school and city taxes. [More]
April 11th
From staff reports
The following grocery stores are offering various special services amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:
• Friendly Market, 725 W. Logan St., Celina, is designating 11 a.m.-noon each day for people 50 or older and those considered at-risk to shop, according to a store employee. The store is also offering delivery every day for an additional $5. [More]
April 10th
Auglaize County man was 64
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - A 64-year-old Auglaize County man is that county's first resident to die of COVID-19 and the second locally.
The Auglaize County Health Department announced the death in a Thursday news release. Health commissioner Oliver Fisher said the department learned of the death early that morning. [More]
April 9th
Isolation tough on people struggling with mental issues
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Social distancing is expected to slow the spread of the coronavirus and in turn save countless lives.
Yet for those battling mental illness and substance abuse, that isolation is a bitter pill to swallow as it runs counter to their efforts to build and tap into a support network in times of weakness, self-doubt and temptation. [More]
By Colin Foster
The Jamba Hoops 3-on-3 Easter Classic was supposed to be held this weekend in Minster.
And the event was going to see a record turnout in its 14-year history.
"Our previous high (for teams) was 32, and we were already at 37 this year," explain [More]
April 8th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - The Mercer County Health District is coordinating planning and communication among local and regional partners to prepare for a potential peak in coronavirus cases.
Plans are in place to keep Mercer County residents safe and prepared during the pandemic, said Deb Scheer, district epidemiologist and director of emergency preparedness. [More]
April 7th
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Many people are feeling the blues after being cut off from friends and family members under Ohio's stay-at-home order.
Grady Jackson of Celina was one of them as his birthday inched closer and closer, knowing this year he wouldn't be able to celebrate the special day with his pals due to social distancing guidelines. [More]
April 6th
8 Mercer County cases, 1 death
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Two more Mercer County residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to eight.
The new case is a woman from 30 to 40 years old who is self-isolating at home, according to the Mercer County Health District reports. [More]
April 4th
Mercer County man was 71
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A 71-year-old Mercer County man became the first local person to die from the coronavirus, health officials reported.
Mercer County Health District officials announced the death in a news release on Friday evening. The man had been hospitalized and was the first person in the county to test positive for the virus. No further information about the man will be released to respect his family's privacy, according to the release. [More]
April 3rd
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Help is coming for people needing emergency shelter or struggling with rent, mortgage and utility payments because of setbacks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal and state funds have been repurposed to meet the pressing needs of those adversely affected by the unprecedented outbreak rampaging across the nation. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A sixth person in Mercer County has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The woman, between 20-30 years old, is in self-isolation at home, according to a news release Thursday from the Mercer County Health District.
Also on Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine extended the stay-at-home order until 11:59 p.m. May 1. The order goes into effect at midnight on Monday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. [More]
April 2nd
Local company making plastic protective shields
By William Kincaid
CELINA - A hometown company is harnessing its wellspring of ingenuity to churn out new products to protect retail workers, health care professionals and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Visions/AwardCraft, a leading global manu [More]
April 1st
Nurse on the front lines of virus fight in New Orleans
By William Kincaid
YORKSHIRE - Seeking out a new medical experience, Premier Health X-ray technician Lauren Bohman landed her first travel assignment in New Orleans.
Little did the 24-year-old Versailles High School graduate know her eight-week placement in The Big Easy's second-largest hospital would put her on the front line of a hellish, unfathomable pandemic with sickened patients descending upon the emergency room in droves. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials have reported two new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing Mercer County's total number of positive cases to four.
Auglaize County officials also reported a new case, bringing its total to three.
The Mercer County district reported the third positive patient is a woman between 30 and 40 and the fourth is a woman between the ages of 20 and 30. Both are in self-isolation at home, according to Kristy Fryman, district public information officer. [More]
By Gary R. Rasberry
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has been the public face at state tournaments in presenting trophies and honoring teams.
Of late, it has also meant making announcements and answering questions about the status of high school sports in the state due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has shuttered all of the state's schools until at least May 1. [More]
March 31st
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The first wave of absentee ballots left the Mercer County Board of Elections office on Monday in accordance with recently enacted state legislation that, among other provisions, extends absentee voting-by-mail for the primary election due to the coronavirus pandemic. [More]
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Ohioans who didn't get to cast a ballot in the presidential primary election on March 17 because the polls were ordered closed can do so via an absentee ballot that can be delivered or mailed to the board of elections.
In light of extended voting opportunities, Mercer County elections officials gave a rundown of how to request and fill out an absentee ballot, particularly for people accustomed to voting in-person at their polling location on Election Day. [More]
March 30th
Some teachers are recording videos
By Leslie Gartrell
Teachers, parents and students are cooperating as schools have students learn from home.
Schools have been closed since Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that all public, community and private K-12 schools close at the end of the school day March 16 and remain closed through at least April 3. The order stipulated that during the closure, teachers should educate through alternative means. [More]
March 28th
Board makes activity baskets for its clients
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - The world may seem like it's been brought to a standstill, but the Mercer County Board for Developmental Disabilities is still working to provide services and bring a little cheer to locals with disabilities.
Many staff members are working remotely as they continue helping families get supplies or information, while direct-care providers continue to provide hands-on service. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - An Auglaize County resident has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Auglaize County Health Department news release, the first for that county.
Health commissioner Oliver Fisher said the department received the positive test result from an Ohio Department of Health lab at 4:25 p.m. Friday. The person is a 65-year-old female, who is being treated at a local hospital. [More]
March 27th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A second person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Mercer County, according to a Mercer County Health District news release issued Thursday evening.
The district received results around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, district administrator Jason Menchhofer said. Testing was reportedly completed at an Ohio Department of Health testing lab. [More]
Residents put toys, drawings in windows of their homes
By Amy Kronenberger
Bears have been popping up all over the area, peeking out of windows and perching on porches, waiting to be discovered by families on the hunt.
Care Bears have invaded Brooke Wente's shop, Lather: A Hair Company for Him and Her in New Bremen, but for her and her three kids, Lucy, 6; Jack, 4; and Olive, 2, the hunt didn't end there. By Wednesday morning, her kids were excited to hit the sidewalks to see just how many bears they could find lurking in the community. [More]
From staff reports
The Ohio High School Athletic Association formally canceled the remaining winter sports tournaments on Thursday, as expected with schools remaining closed due to an order from Gov. Mike DeWine.
In a news release, OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass stated that the continued priority was the health of athletes and fans. [More]
March 26th
Board told virus has cut off supply chains
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER - Prudent use of personal protective equipment has become a priority for Mercer Health staff as both the state and nation are critically short during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with creating high demand for certain medical supplies and preventive gear, COVID-19 has also disrupted the global supply lines that would provide such supplies. [More]
From staff reports
  ST. MARYS - Mayor Patrick McGowan reassured residents that water, sewer, electric, police, fire and EMS services will be provided in the face of the coranavirus pandemic.
Officials have limited access to city buildings and having employees work remotely, he said in a news release. Non-essential services such as brush pickup and curbside recycling pickup will face temporary disruptions or interruptions until further notice. [More]
March 25th
Army of volunteers mass-producing for COVID-19 fight
By Amy Kronenberger
NEW BREMEN - The iconic image of Rosie the Riveter has become the symbol for a local organization whose volunteers have stepped up to help keep area health care workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blanketeer founder Emilie Britton of New Bremen changed gears in recent days. The group that typically sews blankets for people in hospitals or nursing homes or anyone needing comfort, is also making protective face masks. [More]
From staff reports
  Local health care facilities and emergency responders are seeking donations of personal protective equipment due to a national shortage during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mercer Health
Mercer Health officials are welcoming donations of unopened PPE, along with fabric masks made by community members, according to a news release. [More]
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A Mercer County resident has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Mercer County Health District news release.
The district received the test results after 6 p.m. Tuesday and announced the person was a hospitalized patient, health administrator Jason Menchhofer said. [More]
March 24th
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - Something different is brewing these days at 110 S. Main St.
Many people know Brew Nation and Lake Rat Brewing Co. for their food, beer and live events, but the local hangout has been closed since Gov. Mike DeWine's executive order barring dine-in dining and drinking due to the coronavirus pandemic. [More]
From staff reports
  Due to the continually evolving COVID-19 pandemic and recent state orders, Mercer County District Library in Celina and its branches in St. Henry, Chickasaw and Mendon are closed until further notice. Curbside service at the Celina branch will no longer be offered. [More]
March 23rd
From Associated Press
Gov. Mike DeWine's administration is enacting a stay-at-home order as the number of cases in the state spiked Sunday to more than 350.
DeWine said the stay-at-home order will start to be enforced Tuesday by local health departments and local law enforcement, and last for at least two weeks. [More]
March 21st
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - When people hear, read or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease such as COVID-19, they may feel anxious and show signs of stress.
However, local and national experts say people have several ways to calm themselves in times of crisis. [More]
From staff reports
  ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Ohio small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced on Friday. [More]
March 20th
By Leslie Gartrell
ST. JOSEPH - People in more than 200 cars crammed into St. Joseph Catholic Church's parking lot to see the Eucharistic procession in honor of the Feast of St. Joseph on Thursday evening.
The procession was a way to ask St. Joseph, protector of families and homes, to intervene and protect local homesteads during the COVID-19 pandemic. [More]
March 19th
From staff reports
  Mercer Health is postponing elective surgeries and procedures. Patients affected by this change will be contacted directly from their physician's office.
Elective status of surgical cases will be determined by the clinical judgment of Mercer Health physicians using criteria to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. Surgical procedures deemed necessary to avoid risk to life, permanent dysfunction, progression of disease or risk of rapidly worsening symptoms will still be performed. [More]
From staff reports
The following events/locations have been canceled, postponed or temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
• The Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable meeting is canceled for March 26. Whether members will meet on April 23 will be decided at a later date. [More]
March 18th
From staff reports
  CELINA - Mercer County Common Pleas Court will increase the availability and use of hand sanitizers and increase efforts to disinfect hard surfaces.
Personal attendance for court proceedings will be decreased in favor of proceedings done via telecommunication, including video proceedings done in partnership with the Mercer County jail for on-record proceedings. [More]
From staff reports
The following events/locations have been canceled, postponed or temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
• Autism Life Center's in-person Regional Disability Conference & Resource Fair, which had been scheduled for March 28 in Lima, has been canceled. Officials are working on creating an online platform. [More]
March 17th
Most community events postponed
By Sydney Albert
ROCKFORD - Several Rockford community leaders on Monday explained how COVID-19 has affected village life and encouraged residents to continue supporting local businesses.
The segment was hosted on the village radio station WRKD 101.3-FM. A recording will be posted on the station's website, according to Chris Rasbach, a member of the station's board of directors. [More]
By Daily Standard Staff
  WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County officials are limiting gathering and physical contact while continuing to provide services.
These actions are effective March 18-April 8.
Administration building
The administration building, 209 S. Blackhoof St., Wapakoneta, is open for scheduled appointments only. [More]
From staff reports
  CELINA - In response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, the Mercer County Health District has increased its incident command system structure to full activation.
As of Monday, 3,487 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68 deaths were reported in 49 states. Ohio reported 50 confirmed cases and 14 hospitalizations due to the virus. District officials report no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. [More]
March 16th
From staff reports
  Local school districts are making plans to handle classroom assignments and to help feed students who depend upon their school cafeterias for healthy food.
Celina City Schools 
Starting Tuesday, free breakfast and lunch will be provided in carr [More]
By Georgia Rindler
COLDWATER - Parents and educators are sharing their tips for keeping children engaged and learning despite being home from school for at least the next three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lack of the normal school-break activities makes the effort even more complicated. [More]
March 14th
From staff reports
From staff reports
CELINA - The coronavirus test on a local resident has come back negative, according to a Mercer County Health District news release.
On Wednesday, the district reported that a resident was being tested for novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. On Friday, district officials were notified that the test did not detect the virus. [More]
From staff reports
  Friendly Market owner Dave Giesige had to think back to the Blizzard of 1978 to recall such a surge of customers dead set on stockpiling supplies during a crisis.
"It does compare to the blizzard," Giesige said. The difference is back in 1978, people were hoarding bread, milk and cigarettes. [More]
From staff reports
The following local events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
n The Auglaize PERI Chapter No. 9 luncheon meeting scheduled for April 7 at St. Marys is canceled. The next meeting is set for June 2 at the Wapakoneta Eagles Aerie. [More]
March 13th
Closed for coronavirus
By Leslie Gartrell
Local educators are among those scrambling to deal with the governor's order to close all kindergarten through 12th-grade schools in Ohio for three weeks due to the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis.
Leaders of businesses, churches and social groups also are taking steps to avoid gathering large groups of people. Events including this weekend's St. Patrick's Day celebration in St. Henry have been canceled. [More]
Closed for coronavirus
From Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP) - Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday ordered Ohio schools closed for three weeks beginning at the end of the day Monday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Here is a look at the decision:

Length
The order takes effect at the [More]
OHSAA calls off remaining winter sports tournaments
By Daily Standard Staff
By COLIN FOSTER and GARY R. RASBERRY
sports@dailystandard.com
Following the lead of professional sports leagues suspending their seasons and the NCAA calling off March Madness, the Ohio High School Athletic Association postponed indefinitely the remaining winter sports tournaments on Thursday. [More]
March 12th
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials on Wednesday announced they are monitoring a person who could be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Samples from the patient have been taken and sent to a private lab for testing, K [More]
March 11th
Coronavirus concerns
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The coronavirus will probably make its way to Mercer County, however, residents should not give into fear, one county official said on Tuesday.
"We want to urge people to be prepared, and we want to be prepared as a health department and know that something could be coming that's worse than what we've got right now, but we're not running around saying 'the sky is falling,' either," Mercer County Health District Administrator Jason Menchhofer said. [More]
March 9th
By William Kincaid
PIQUA - U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, is confident the federal government has the resources and capability to handle the coronavirus COVID-19, saying the media coverage of the outbreak has been somewhat hyped.
Davidson addressed the virus at Saturday's 2020 Farm Forum held at Edison State Community College in Piqua, where he also laid out his top agriculture-based legislative priorities to an audience of farmers and agriculture advocates. [More]