NewsLocal NewsAkron Canton News


Summit County now has 8 coronavirus deaths, second highest in the state

Posted at 5:52 PM, Mar 31, 2020

AKRON, Ohio — The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Summit County. On Tuesday, health officials announced 128 positive cases, 8 deaths and 46 county residents hospitalized.

Summit County has the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the state. Mahoning County has reported nine deaths.

Summit County Public Health released a map with zip codes shaded blue to represent the areas where a positive case has been identified. All but seven of the zip codes are blue.

Summit County reported its first coronavirus case on March 13. By March 21, there were 15 cases. On March 29, the number jumped to 99 before reaching 128 on March 31. Forty-nine percent of the cases are female and 51% are male.

Dr. Erika Sobolewski, the medical director for Summit County Public Health, said the ages of the people who had died from the virus range from 66 to 94. Citing privacy concerns, health officials have not released further details, including gender and city of residence.

"Those who have unfortunately died from COVID-19, they were much older and a lot of those people had end of life measures already, including DNR's (do-not-resuscitate) or comfort care only," Sobolewski said.

Two Akron firefighters, who have tested positive for the virus, continue to recover at home, according to Lt. Sierjie Lash, a spokesperson for the department.

"They said they are doing okay. One of the biggest hurdles ahead of them is to stay home until they feel better and symptom free," said Lash.

Lash said both firefighters work at the same station. The city has 13 fire stations. All of them are being sanitized repeatedly and the firefighters are practicing social distancing as much as they can.

"Sleeping in different places throughout the station and spreading out more, but we do work in close situations."

Donna Skoda, the health commissioner of Summit County Public Health, and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan both said they would like to see a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Summit County, but indicated there are not enough testing kits available to them.

"Some of this stuff we don't control and we are kind of relying on the supplies that are able to do that, so we're trying to ramp that up as quickly as possible," Horrigan said.

"We have these plans on the back burner. We would like very much to implement testing. However, we just don't have the resources," Skoda said.

With an expected surge in cases in the coming weeks, Skoda is making a plea for healthcare volunteers-- specifically retired medical workers-- to volunteer during the pandemic, if healthy.

"If you are a retired medical person and feel as though you are capable to volunteer, we would love to have you go to that Ohio Responds site and register and then we would be in contact with you," Skoda said.

Click here for more information.