Noble County went from one of the lowest rates of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio to among the highest, according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Health, though the actual increase was just 30 cases.
Each Thursday, the state publishes the rate of new cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks. From Sept. 1-14, Noble County posted 30 cases. In the county of 14,424 residents, that was a rate of 208 per 100,000, 86th among Ohio’s 88 counties.
From Sept. 8-21, which as usual overlaps with the prior span by a week, there were 60 new cases. The rate of 416 per 100,000 was 10th highest in the state.
The statewide average was 257.7 per 100,000, down from 320.5 in the previous period. Outside of Noble, area counties followed that trend.
Athens County went from the second-highest rate in the state, 809.8, to fourth highest, 491.4. The actual number of cases in the county of 65,327 (a figure that does not include all Ohio University students, although local health officials have said positive cases among them are counted) decreased from 529 to 321.
Morgan County, population 14,508, had 46 cases and a rate of 317.1 (23rd) after previously posting 62 new cases and a rate of 427.4 (16th).
Washington County had 170 new cases among its 59,911 residents for a rate of 283.8, 39th in the state. A week earlier, Washington reported 225 new cases and a rate of 375.6, which was 35th.
Monroe County, population 13,654, moved from 66th to 48th, despite reporting four fewer cases. With 36 cases in the most recent period, its rate was 263.7. In the previous span, it had 40 new cases and a rate of 293.
Monroe County moved from medium to low on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Community Levels, updated weekly based on new cases per 100,000 people in the previous seven days and hospitalization rates.
In counties labeled medium, the CDC recommends masking in indoor, public spaces for people at greater risk of severe illness. A low rating means masks are only recommended on public transportation.
Athens and Morgan counties remained high, where masks are recommended for everyone in indoor, public spaces. Noble County remained medium, while Washington County dropped from high to medium.