LOGAN — The number of positive confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Logan County continues to climb as the cumulative total has now topped the triple-digit mark.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Logan County had a cumulative total of 111 cases. Of those, 51 have recovered, one is deceased, and 59 are currently active, with four of them hospitalized. The age of the active cases ranges from 16 to 85.
Logan County has seen a sharp uptick in cases over the past two weeks. Steve Browning, the county’s health department director, says the increase is now largely community spread as people have come in contact with a carrier of the virus.
“Obviously, we had a few outbreaks that contributed to it, but what we’re seeing right now is more community spread,” Browning said. “It’s coming from those that were positive from their contacts, so that’s what we’re primarily getting in the last three or four days — positives that were from their contacts, or from a positive.”
Browning added that a large amount of the community spread is between families and friend groups rather than through strangers. “It’s more of a contact to a positive case,” Browning said.
Browning said he hopes to soon see a decline in positive cases, noting that the spike has put a strain on the county’s health resources.
“I’m really hoping that, within the next week or so, we can start to see the numbers decline,” Browning said. “I’m always hopeful of that, but I’m also realistic. I don’t know that until we really start taking — everybody starts taking precautions with it and being more of a conscientious person about it — that we’re going to see the numbers change for a long time. It’s a big number for a local health department to deal with, and it’s really putting a burden upon us and our hours here, so it would be beneficial in a lot of ways. One is we’d see less sick people. We’d see less people at the hospital, and we would be able to, maybe, get a little more back to reality or back to our normal life. I’m hoping that happens in the near future.”
Browning continues to urge the public to follow certain guidelines, such as wearing face masks, to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
“I’m always going to say wear the masks, and I know we always got people that’s not out there that wants to wear the masks, and I know that that’s a controversial issue, but look, I think it works,” Browning said. “I’m not a CDC scientist, but I do believe that they understand what they’re talking about, and I do think that they’re recommending the right things to do. If we want to get back to some normalcy, then I think that’s the way to go is for everybody to start wearing their masks and just take those precautions. If it doesn’t work, then nothing was lost, but if it does work, then maybe we can get back to normal behavior sooner.”
A free COVID-19 testing site was held at the LEASA operations center in Logan on Saturday, July 25. Results from those 367 tests will begin trickling in on Wednesday, according to Browning.
Browning said he hopes the site does not yield more than 15 to 20 positive results, but said it will depend on the amount of potential contacts that used the site. He said he would like to hold more testing sites like it, but lamented that additional state assistance would be necessary in order to help out the health department’s already-strained staff.
“We would like to see more of the testing go on just so we can get a better accurate number of how many people are probably really positive,” Browning said. “We would like to, but we would need to have more help from the state on that — the planning and all that that goes into it.”
For more information about testing, contact the Logan County Health Department at 304-792-8630.