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Case numbers level as school begins

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County came out of the Labor Day with no new cases of the coronavirus recorded.

The county has confirmed 715 total cases since March, and 33 residents have active cases and are isolated at home, according to Belmont County Deputy Health Director Robert Sproul. He said there was no overall change through the weekend, however the numbers briefly increased to 717 total cases and 35 active infection. Sproul said the two new cases were then taken off Belmont County’s list, since those individuals actually reside in another county.

“They were listed as Belmont County address, but they’re house is in another location,” Sproul said. “Our numbers really haven’t changed.”

A total of five residents are hospitalized with the virus and 25 people have died while infected, including nine inmates at Belmont Correctional Institute.

Sproul hopes to hear of another batch of recoveries soon.

In recent weeks, the focus has remained on the school districts, as more reopen with the majority kicking off with full in-person attendance. There is a delay after exposure before coronavirus symptoms manifest, but Sproul said so far no new spread has been traced back to the schools.

“So far the schools sound like everything’s going well. There are very few people having issues with the masks. The students understand they have to wear them to go to school to try to keep everything going safely,” he said.

He has related various measures the schools are taking to quickly identify possible contacts should a student or family report infection.

In recent days, new cases have been reported in the Carrollton area and related to schools and colleges, but Sproul is confident of measures to stop the spread.

“A lot of them are actually keeping their students on-site and quarantining and isolating them there and monitoring there, so they’re not letting them come home, which is good,” he said.

He said so far his office has heard no complaints about gatherings during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“If they get into a large group and there was a spread, we’ll find out later in the week when they start feeling bad and have to get tested,” he said.

The Belmont County Junior Fair has also kicked off and will continue through the week.

“So far, we haven’t heard much, which is good,” he said.

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