MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Miami County recently had their first COVID-19 related death of July, and Public Health officials said they are also seeing a steady increase of cases, especially in the 20 to 39 age range.
Miami County is currently deemed a level two, or orange, level risk by the Ohio Department of Health. The county has had 599 cases of COVID-19, including 33 deaths, with many of those linked to outbreaks at two long-term care facilities.
Health Commissioner, Dennis Propes, said the most recent death was the first since June. It was an elderly person, but other details like whether or not the person was in a long-term care facility have not yet been released.
Propes said the cases in the county also continue to rise.
“In June, we were getting one or two new cases a day,” said Propes. “In July we’re seeing about seven, and actually we’ve seen as high as 16 new cases a day.”
Propes said the 20 to 39 age group now make up 65 percent of their cases.
The update came the same day that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a statewide mask mandate to help with the growing number of cases.
“Everybody wants to go out, go to the restaurants, go the bars and enjoy themselves and a night with friends and family,” said Propes. “If we want to continue to do that, these are some of the little bitty steps that we have to take. We could complain about it all day long, but it’s something we have to do.”
The mandate goes into effect Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m. Propes said they will respond to complaints but will look at it more as an educational opportunity, adding people need to remember there are reasons, including health issues, why someone might not be wearing a face covering.
“If we receive complaints we will call those facilities and make sure they’re aware of mask mandates and are enforcing them as best they can,” said Propes.