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Hancock, Lucas Counties worst in the state for COVID-19 cases

Lucas County is approaching 300 cases per 100,000 residents.
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 12:54 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 3:49 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Northwest Ohio is now the region causing most concern for state health officials, as Hancock and Lucas Counties become the number one and number two counties for high incidence of COVID-19. Lucas County Health Officials sounded the alarm Thursday, showing that the number of daily COVID-19 cases recorded in recent weeks is nearly double what it was in late February.

Representatives with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department say that Lucas County is currently approaching 300 cases per 100,000 residents. That number is three times the CDC’s definition of “high incidence.” Each day, the health department is recording an average of 80 cases per day. That same average hovered around the mid-40s at the end of February.

Hancock County, meanwhile, has reached 335 cases per 100,000 making it the worst county in the state for high incidence. Lucas County is just behind.

To mitigate this increase, the health department is once again urging everyone who can to get vaccinated and continue mitigation practices like masking, social distancing, and limiting contact with others. In his semi-weekly press conference on Thursday, Gov. DeWine said that the state would be sending an additional 5,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to Lucas County as a result of the surge in cases.

This rise comes as the UK variant has become the most common strain of the virus in the US, causing a huge increase in cases in Michigan. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer at the Ohio Department of Health, said Thursday that the UK variant (B117) and two California variants have been fueling the increase in cases in Ohio. He also said that the variant are not only more virulent -- infecting a greater number of people at a faster rate than the original version of the virus -- but they are also more deadly. Luckily, he says, the vaccines have proved effective against those variants.

The increase also comes as Ohioans look to decrease those case numbers to meet a 50 case per 100,000 threshold, which would allow Gov. DeWine to remove all health orders.

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