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All quiet with coronavirus cases in Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — COVID-19 coronavirus cases appear to be at a slow crawl in Belmont County, with no new cases Tuesday according to reports from Belmont County Deputy Health Director Robert Sproul.

On Tuesday, Sproul stated that the numbers stand with 747 total positive cases, 676 recoveries, and 41 people with active cases in quarantine. There are five people hospitalized and 25 people have died, including nine inmates at the Belmont Correctional Institution west of St. Clairsville.

Sproul has added that very few new cases have been added to Belmont County due to pop-up testing sites operating by the Ohio National Guard for the past two Saturdays. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this coming Saturday the third free testing site will be set up at Ohio University Eastern.

In the early days of the pandemic, Belmont County was an initial site of high infection numbers compared to the surrounding area due to a number of factors including the heavily-traveled routes and travelers who brought the virus to the area from other places. The prison was also called a “hotbed” of infection during the summer, with National Guard and highway patrol personnel assigned to assist when much of the staff were infected.

While many of Belmont County’s popular summer and fall festivals have been heavily restricted, if not outright canceled, there seems to be some return to normalcy. Schools have reopened across the district after much preparation and advice from the health department, and education appears to be going well.

Currently, county leaders are looking to next year as they construct the budget, taking into account the financial losses incurred during the pandemic and likely reduction in sales tax going forward.

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