Federal government offering free COVID-19 test kits

Fulton County case count continues to climb

Staff Report

Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:

• The federal government is now offering free COVID-19 tests. Visit COVIDtest.gov to request a test.

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are free.

The tests that will be sent are rapid antigen at-home tests that give results within 30 minutes. They are not the more accurate PCR tests.

Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days, so it advised to order them soon so you have them when they are needed.

• Free at-home COVID test kits are available at the Fulton County Health Department and public libraries in the county, although they can be difficult to find.

Now, the health department is also offering non-proctored COVID-19 test kits. They cannot be used for official purposes such as travel.

• Fulton County saw another increase in new COVID cases early this week, with 473 reported on Monday and Tuesday. The report covers the dates of Jan. 14-18.

This compares to 285 for those same days in the previous week.

The new cases were more prevalent in the younger age groups. There were 91 among people 19 and younger and 86 among people in their 20s.

There were 13 new cases among those in their 70s and 16 among those 80 and older.

The Fulton County Health Department also reported 6 new COVID deaths early this week. There were three deaths among those 80 and older, two people in their 60s and one in their 70s.

There have now been 150 COVID-19 deaths reported in Fulton County.

Nine new hospitalizations were reported early this week, for a total of 457. Five were in their 50s, 2 in their 40s, 1 in their 60s and 1 80 years or older.

The total number of cases reported in Fulton County is now 9,310. In the county, positive cases have included 5,047 females and 4,225 males.

• The level of community transmission of coronavirus in Fulton County is listed as high by the Centers for Disease Control. The levels are low, moderate, substantial, then high.

All counties in Ohio and about 99% nationwide have high community transmission.

Indoor mask wearing is recommended in areas with substantial or high transmission.

More information on the CDC categories of community transmission risk can be found at covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

• As of Tuesday, there had been a total of 2,418,722 COVID cases reported in Ohio. Just over 15,000 cases were reported that day.

Not including Jan. 1, when cases weren’t reported, that is the lowest number of the last three weeks. The daily average over the last three weeks is 22,063.

• Due to the volume of cases, there may be a delay in getting a call for contact tracing among those that test positive for COVID-19. If you are past your 5 day isolation period, you may not receive a call at all, according to the county health department.

They are asking those that test positive to be patient and do their part by staying home, separating from others, sanitizing and cleaning appropriately and seeking medical care if needed.

• In Fulton County, 51.96% of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The age range with the highest percentage in the county is 70-74 years old at 92.1%, according to Ohio Department of Health data.

Among the 75-79 age group, 88% have been vaccinated, with 87% of residents 80 and older vaccinated, according to Ohio data.

Among younger Fulton County residents, 20% of those 19 and under are vaccinated and 42.79% of those in their 20s.

In the county, 48.34% of residents have completed the vaccine. The highest age group is 70-74 at 85.9%.

• COVID-19 vaccine is available Mondays at the FCHD from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The last two hours are for kids ages 5-11.

Vaccine is also available at Rite Aid locations in Archbold, Swanton and Wauseon, the Wauseon Walmart, and Swanton Kroger.

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Fulton County case count continues to climb

Staff Report