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County sees increase in COVID cases

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By DAN ROBINSON

Times staff writer

Hardin County is reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases and is now seventh in the state in the number of cases per 100,000 people, Health Commissioner Cindy Keller reported to the  health board on Tuesday. 

“We are seeing a significant increase in cases,” Keller said. “However, it does not look like there has been any significant increase in the count for the 19-and-under age group. It has only gone up one percent from last month and is now at 10 percent.”

Marion County’s reported cases puts it third in Ohio, she reported, and Allen County has dropped to ninth place in the latest report. 

Hardin County remains below the state average for percentage of people getting vaccinated, Keller said. Hardin has the lowest rate of any of its surrounding counties with 38.83 percent. The state average is 58 percent, she noted. 

“Our (COVID) numbers are going up like everywhere else,” Keller noted. 

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Fred Rush updated the health board on the impeding deluge of people expected to make Hardin County their destination for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. 

Rush encouraged the board to join the county in taking steps to meet the demand the event will thrust upon the community. 

Rush told the health board he plans to remind them monthly of the impending flood of visitors who will be coming to the community for the eclipse. The epicenter of the solar show will be the village of Forest, scientists are predicting. 

“We are going to have an unbelievable amount of people here,” Rush warned the board. “We need to start planning the logistics and make a plan … When that day comes, we will be very busy.”

He predicted astronomy enthusiasts from throughout the nation will flock to the area for the event. U.S. 30, near Forest, could become a parking lot, Rush predicted. 

The last total eclipse centered in Hardin County took place in 1808, he noted, and is not to happen again until the year 2444. 

In other business, the board:

– Accepted the resignation of board member Dr. Larry Oates. A local physician is needed to fill his spot on the board. 

– Approved a variance for a well permit at 18003 Ohio 117, Roundhead.

– Approved the environment fees for 2022, which are the same as 2021 except a decrease in a vending fee of $1.22 per facility.

 

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