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Cases decline, vaccine distribution slows in Harrison County

CADIZ — The number of COVID-19 cases has begun to decline in Harrison County, along with the number of residents opting to receive the vaccine, according to county officials.

The Harrison County Health Department began offering two walk-in clinics each week for residents interested in receiving the vaccine.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the county health department, said they have only administered around 20 doses, most of which were second doses, in the last week since starting the clinics.

“Vaccines are pretty slow right now,” he said.

The health department will continue to offer the walk-in clinics throughout the remainder of this month.

“We plan to continue that through June then we’ll see how the interest continues,” he added.

The clinics will be held from 1-3 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays at the Hopedale Fire Department.

Currently, only the Moderna vaccine is available during these clinics which means residents must be 18 years or older to get the shot. Residents may attend any time during the time slots, no pre-registration or appointment is required.

More than 33% or just over 5,000 residents in the county have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Ohio Department of Health..

Rhome also said there is “good news” in the county as its cases have declined in the past week. There have only been two new reported cases in the last seven days.

“We’re really pleased to see those types of numbers and we hope that trend continues,” he said.

With the decrease in cases, Rhome said he expects the case rate to drop below 100 per 100,000 residents.

“The active case rate throughout the state is pretty low, and we’re seeing that come to Harrison County as well,” he said. “We don’t want to see that trend change, we want to continue to see it go in that direction.”

Rhome said he anticipates a “normal” start to the school year in the fall.

“Obviously something could change this week, next week or next month, but as we stand here today we are headed for a normal school year, a normal sports season, and back to normal in many, many ways,” he said.

As of Wednesday, the county has a total of 1,153 cases, 1,124 recoveries, 24 deaths and five active cases.

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