GALION — Galion City Board of Health reported 75 new COVID-19 cases in the month of February, a big improvement from January. In January the city saw its highest number of cases.
“Actually our highest number of cases was in January of this year, they were higher than last year,” said Director of Environmental Health Andrea Barnes.
Last year there were more restrictions going along with the infectious sickness, and that helped somewhat. This year it was not the same case.
“It was kind of difficult for us because we had more restriction we could put in place in January of 2021,” Barnes said.
A significant cause was dealing with a different variant. “I think it was one of the new variants and it was much more contagious. It went that way for the rest of Ohio as well,” Barnes added.
People are continuing to test, but not at the same rate as previously.
“We had test kits to give to the public to give for free to the public from November and we still have them. The actual requests for them have gone down. I just think less people are sick.”
In January there was nearly 600 cases of COVID-19 reported. This number had gradually increased from November to January. With the number dropping quickly in February, the health department was able to lighten some restrictions.
“I can share that things have improved enough that we are not requiring masks for the staff or the public that visits the health department,” Health Commissioner Jason McBride said.
“We are still remaining vigilant; we are not getting complacent or anything,” McBride added.
As of Monday March 7, the Galion Health Department had not received a positive test in days, which is a good sign for the community.
“I have not had a case in six days… it feels really good to say that. I say that very cautiously as people are probably sick and not reporting it,” Director of Nursing Emily Miller said. “We are seeing a decline in people coming to get tested.”
During the month of February there were 25 COVID-19 vaccines reported to the Galion Health Department, bringing the total number to 4,434 vaccines.
With COVID-19 numbers down, the health department hopes to be able to return to normal duties soon — at least to a certain extent.
“Hopefully the decline in numbers will allow us to get back to our normal duties,” Barnes said.