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Valley still ranks high in state for virus rates

While the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in Ohio is down significantly, the Mahoning Valley’s three counties still have some of the highest rates in the state.

The state average for the two weeks between May 26 and Tuesday was 39.1 cases per 100,000 people, according to data released Thursday.

Just two weeks ago, it was 82.3 cases per 100,000 people and was at 54.9 cases last week.

Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties also have seen major declines in the past couple of weeks. However, they remain among the highest in the state.

Mahoning with 66 cases per 100,000 people has the fourth-highest rate among Ohio’s 88 counties.

It’s considerably down from 100.1 cases last week, but with other counties dropping at a faster rate, Mahoning went from fifth last week to fourth this week. It was at 146.5 cases two weeks ago. That was the third-most in the state.

Trumbull is 14th in the state this week with 54.6 cases per 100,000 residents. It was 13th last week with 71.7 cases per 100,000 and 12th at 118.7 cases two weeks ago.

Columbiana is 20th in the state this week with 47.1 cases per 100,000 residents. It was 21st last week with 62.8 cases per 100,000 and 18th two weeks ago with 96.2 cases.

The Ohio Department of Health measures cases per 100,000 residents to provide a fair comparison among county because total case numbers would result in more-populous counties ranking higher.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday: “Ohio continues to move forward into a new phase of the pandemic. Vaccinations are working. That’s why cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down.”

But, he warned, “the threat of COVID-19 remains,” and he urged people who haven’t been vaccinated to do so.

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, a Wadsworth Republican who lost the 2018 U.S. Senate race, announced Wednesday he will challenge DeWine in next year’s GOP primary.

When asked about it Thursday, DeWine said it was rare for him not to have a primary opponent.

Renacci has been critical of DeWine’s handling of the pandemic and his overall leadership.

DeWine said Thursday: “I’ve always felt that protecting human life is an essential belief with people in the state and the country. Certainly, I believe that as far as Republicans, we talk a lot about protecting human life. But I also felt that protecting livelihoods, people’s ability to make a living, was also very dependent upon our ability to manage the pandemic.”

COVID-19 DATA

The 344 new cases Thursday is down from the daily average of 539 for the past 21 days, according to the ODH.

The state had a total of 1,106,064 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 1,073,962 presumed recovered.

The ODH provides death information on Tuesdays and Fridays. There were 20,021 deaths as of Tuesday.

Mahoning County had 22,315 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 21,341 presumed recovered and 600 deaths, according to the ODH.

Trumbull County had 16,512 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 15,772 presumed recovered and 479 deaths.

Columbiana County had 9,009 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with 8,692 presumed recovered and 229 deaths.

VACCINATIONS

There were 5,423,850 people, 46.4 percent of the state’s population, who at least had started getting inoculated as of 6 a.m. Thursday, including 14,476 in the previous 24 hours, according to the ODH.

In Mahoning County, 45.06 percent of the population (103,047 people) had received at least one dose with 43.21 percent of the population in Trumbull County (85,542 people) and 36.65 percent in Columbiana County (37,345 people) as of 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the ODH.

There were 4,848,707 people, 41.48 percent of the state’s population, who finished the vaccinations as of 6 a.m. Thursday, including 26,951 in the prior 24 hours.

In Mahoning County, 39.97 percent of the population (91,404 people) had completed the process, while 37.79 percent of the population in Trumbull (74,820 people) and 33.26 percent of the population in Columbiana (33,883 people) had as of 6 a.m. Thursday.

dskolnick@vindy.com

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