Williams County sees COVID spike

Williams County Health Department
Williams County Health Department(reporter)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Williams County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Northwest Ohio at 38%.

Jim Watkins is the Williams County Health Commissioner and he says while 85% of the county’s 65 and older population is vaccinated, it’s younger, largely unvaccinated people that are a concern.

“Zero to 50 years of age...that group in there is really where we’re starting to see the uptick.”

Watkins says the feedback the health department is getting from residents is that COVID is only a serious health threat to the elderly and won’t affect younger people as severely. And he says “people just have questions and concerns about the vaccine. It’s new to them, how does it work those types of things.”

Watkins says the health department is doing everything it can to educate the public and make it available at all health care centers, pharmacies, and at the health department. The hope is to get more people vaccinated as soon as possible because school starts in a few weeks.

Jamison Grime is the Superintendent of Montpelier Schools and says “I think we’re all kind of looking at doing what it takes to keep our doors open and stay in school.” The back-to-school COIVD plan will allow people who want to wear a mask to do so, but “We’re not going to force anyone to wear a mask as far as vaccinations and that.

The Williams County health department recommends that people get vaccinated but we’re not going to force people to do that.” Grime goes on to say that schools will do things they can control like encouraging hand washing and social distancing. But he admits with high case numbers of COVID in the community the year ahead makes him nervous.

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