Logan County Health Commissioner Travis Irvan reported at the Wednesday afternoon board of health meeting about the dramatic influx of COVID-19 cases felt in Logan County recently, relating that nearly 1 percent of county residents have tested positive for the virus in the past week.
“These numbers are unreal to me,” he said regarding the rolling seven-day case count, as communities around the country also feel the effects of the highly contagious omicron variant.
Relating to the hospitalizations of county residents with COVID-19, Irvan said 80 percent of those individuals had not been vaccinated, and thus far, none of the hospitalized individuals had received a booster vaccine.
With the high number of cases, the health district also has handled an increased demand for COVID-19 test kits. Wednesday afternoon, they were still waiting on a new shipment from the state after running out last week.
Irvan said the LCHD received 1,700 test kits at the 310 S. Main St. office on Monday, Jan. 3, and by Thursday, Jan. 6, they had run out of the kits.
“We were handing out as many as 500 test kits a day. That kept our front office staff very busy,” he said.
The health commissioner said the health district concluded its 2021 vaccine incentive program, giving out 200 Logan County Chamber of Commerce gift cards to individuals receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This year, the agency is working to offer a similar vaccine incentive program through available grant funding, with details still being developed.
At its immunization clinics each week, the health district offers all brands of the vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) and all doses (first, second, third or booster). The full clinic schedule available at www.loganhealth.org.
In addition, the agency is hosting a flu clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, for children ages 6 months to 18 years of age
Appointments are required for the flu clinic; to schedule an appointment, call (937) 651-6186. Everyone ages 6 months to 18 years will be accepted, regardless of insurance status.
During the environmental health report, Environmental Health Director Tim Smith reported that the department is preparing for the first round of Operation & Maintenance Program permit renewals for private sewage systems. All property owners with expiring one-year and five-year O&M permits will be mailed a renewal notice in January.
The health district program began a gradual roll-out of this program to the townships around Logan County starting in 2018.
In addition, for the initial enrollment phase of the program, the Richland and Washington townships are next to receive their mailings, and Jefferson Township will be the last remaining township to complete this enrollment phase.
“I’m very proud of our environmental technicians for all of their work with this program,” Smith said. “They’re behind it and they’re working as a team.”
Related to this work and her other efforts, environmental health technican Mary Moser was honored by the board as the employee of the month for January.
In organizational matters for 2022, the board re-elected Bob Harrison as president and Robin Price as vice president.
In other action, the board:
• accepted the resignation of employee Celeste Artis, effective Dec. 10;
• approved the 2022 appropriations resolution;
• ordered Lawrence Fry, owner of 11106 Cherokee Drive, Lakeview, a property being purchased on a land contract by Tim and Terri Hull, to remove all solid wastes from the property to a licensed disposal facility or demolition debris facility within 30 days; and
• approved well variance requests for Kyle Sharp, 9741 Foundry Road, East Liberty, and Yvette and Mark Fetterly, 11121 East Drive, Lakeview; and a variance request for John and Kama Stokes, 11900 Duff Road, Lot 55, Lakeview, to use a septic tank as a temporary holding tank until soil conditions permit the installation of their new sewage treatment system.
The next meeting is 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.