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'We're still in a pandemic': Lorain Co. health officials urging safety ahead of holiday travel

County reporting breakthrough COVID cases
Posted at 10:21 AM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 14:25:12-05

LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio — Before you gather with loved ones again, the Lorain County Health Department is urging everyone to stay safe while reminding the public that we are still in a pandemic.

The message comes as the county reports a spike in breakthrough cases.

The county’s deputy health commissioner, Mark Adams, said the county had nearly 150 vaccine breakthrough cases through the month of October. Of the 150, were 13 deaths. Adams says the majority of them were elderly with an average age of 80 years old. He says one of them had been given the booster shot. Only 11 out of the 150 breakthrough cases were under the age of 50.

There are preliminary reports that there have been three total deaths due to COVID-19 in Lorain County in the month of November.

“We're starting to see that that six to eight months after were getting some breakthrough and that's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended for those in that age group to get the booster,” Adams said. “It has been a very rough fall in terms of COVID deaths this fall as September and October 2021 rank 4th and 5th respectively in total deaths since the pandemic started…Last November, Lorain County had 72 COVID deaths, hopefully, the vaccine rate keeps us from reaching that high a number again.”

Adams tells News 5, up to one-half of people who get COVID have no symptoms. So, assuming you're COVID-19 free is not safe. He says the best thing you can do is to get vaccinated, especially before seeing friends and family for the holiday.

“There are ways to do it safely.”

The (CDC) recommends unvaccinated people mask up indoors and for everyone to wear a mask in high transmission areas. The agency is also advising against multiple families gathering together if unvaccinated.

“It's really just kind of staying alert because while you're in that crowd. The moment you leave there, you're in a different crowd. So, it's kind of easier just to not really let your guard down too much,” Adams explained.

Adams said if testing is part of your safety strategy, get tested as close as possible to the day of the gathering.

“If you're going to be around somebody, I'd rather have you mask up than test because that test can come back and not be accurate," he said.

If you’re looking for places to get vaccinated Tuesday, Nov. 23, check out the following:

  • Ashtabula's County Health Department - appointment-only clinic for ages 5 to 17; walk-in appointments available for 18 and older.
  • Wade Park School – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Lake County General Health District (Mentor) - appointment-only clinic for children ages 5 to 11

Major pharmacies also continue to offer vaccinations and COVID testing. Make sure to call ahead or make an appointment online.