January sees over 5,000 cases for Miami County; ODH changes contract tracing guidance


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

MIAMI COUNTY — As of Friday, Miami County has seen over 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 during the month of January.

According to Miami County Public Health (MCPH), Miami County has had 5,370 cases, along with 158 hospitalizations and 47 deaths related to the virus, reported between Jan. 1-28.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Miami County has had 24,767 cases; 1,358 hospitalizations; 422 deaths; and 20,462 people who are presumed recovered.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Miami County currently has a positivity rate of 10.09%. Miami County’s case rate is approximately 1,175 cases per 100,000 people. Approximately 49.7% of the county has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 46.6% of the county is fully vaccinated.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released new COVID contract tracing guidelines this week, recommending local health departments shift from universal contact tracing to a cluster- or outbreak-based model.

“This strategy prioritizes people in high-risk settings, such as congregate residential settings (e.g., shelters, correctional facilities, and nursing homes) or for certain circumstances such as outbreaks or clusters in specific settings or in relation to initial cases or clusters associated with new variants, as appropriate,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, ODH Director, in the notice.

Vanderhoff attributed some of this shift to the omicron varient, saying that its quick spread and “its rapid clinical course have made universal contact tracing, case investigation, and exposure notification impractical when combined with newly reduced timelines for quarantine and isolation.”

Schools can also discontinune universal contact tracing, but ODH says schools should still assist local health departments on contract tracing, case investigation, and exposure notification when it comes to school-related outbreaks and/or clusters. ODH will also change the school case reporting to weekly.

MCPH officials said the testing shortage is also showing some improvement with more test kits being sent to households, but there is still limited availability.

Every home in the US is eligible to order free at home COVID tests. To order your tests, visit www.covidtests.gov. If you have had difficulty ordering the tests online or need additional support to place an order, you can call 1-800-232-0233 or TTY 1-888-720-7489.

According to ODH, Miami County has the following testing locations by appointment:

• The Little Clinic, Kroger, 1510 Covington Ave., Piqua, (877) 852-2677

• The Little Clinic, Kroger, 731 W. Market St., Troy, (877) 852-2677

• CVS, 154 N. College St., Piqua, (937) 773-3784 or (866) 389-2727

• ARCpoint Labs of Tipp City, 1487 W. Main St., Tipp City, (937) 541-1744

• Wellnow Urgent Care, 1430 W. Main St., Troy, (937) 335-3100

For information, visit: www.miamicountyhealth.net or coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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