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More tests, more positives in Columbiana County

LISBON — The coronavirus numbers of Columbiana County continue to rise sharply, mostly due to a large increase in testing at the FCI-Elkton prison. There are now 738 COVID-19 accumulative cases in Columbiana County with 370 of the cases inmates from the federal prison.

County health commissioner Wes Vins said he spoke to the warden at the prison on Friday and nearly all the inmates there have been tested. He would expect the case numbers to continue to rise throughout the next week because not all the test results are in.

There are reportedly about 2,300 inmates at the facility and the testing of the inmates is part of a prison surveillance program. Those inmates who are testing positive are being quarantined from the rest of the population. There reportedly are only a couple inmates still hospitalized from earlier. Because there are no reports of inmates recently transported to a hospital, it is believed the majority of the newly reported cases are either asymptomatic or mild.

Laura Fauss, public information director from the county health department, said those cases are being moved directly into the recovered category. On Friday, she released that of the 738 cases, 53 people have died and 649 have recovered from coronavirus. That leaves 36 active cases of coronavirus in Columbiana County.

A recovered case is defined as a person who has experienced 10 days since the onset of the illness, has gone three days fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication and has considerable improvement of respiratory function or an asymptomatic person who has gone 10 days since their last positive test.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, since the beginning of the coronavirus situation, there are 332 recently positive inmates at the FCI-Elkton facility, along with seven positive staff members. Another 108 inmates and 46 staff members have recovered.

Those who believe they may have coronavirus symptoms should still call their doctor or the two local hospitals to be tested. Vins reported on Friday both local hospitals, Salem and East Liverpool, have test kits available, even though no new test kits arrived this week. Additional personal protective equipment did arrive to help local medical personnel treat those infected and there is no shortage currently.

Numbers in Ohio show the state has 32,202 confirmed cases and another 2,364 cases listed as CDC probable cases. There are 1,912 confirmed deaths and another 210 probable deaths. The number of hospitalizations has risen to 5,947, which is an increase of 136, well above the 21-day average of 82 daily new hospitalizations. Columbiana County’s hospitalizations increased by two to 132. There have now been 1,533 ICU admissions.

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