Belmont County seeing COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, businesses

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – COVID-19 numbers are climbing in Belmont County, just as they are everywhere.

On Friday alone, Belmont County reported 52 new cases. The COVID death toll in Belmont County is now 123.

School kids are now testing positive by the dozens and parents were reaching out to 7News with their concerns.

The Belmont County Health Department is seeing outbreaks in businesses and schools.

We are in regular communication with the school nurses and the superintendents trying to mitigate outbreaks.

Linda Mehl, RN, Director of Nursing, Belmont County Health Department

School officials from several districts in Belmont County confirmed to 7News there are cases, but they are continuing in-school instruction, following protocols.

If you would like to be tested for COVID, the Health Department has rapid tests that you can pick up and use at home.

They can come in and sign out the test. There are directions with the test that they sign in to a website that the proctor at that location will walk them through the steps.

Linda Mehl, RN, Director of Nursing, Belmont County Health Department

Frustrated parents have reached out to 7News, saying there are 20 cases or more in their child’s schools, but very little is revealed because of the HIPAA Law.

We still protect confidentiality of the person who is positive and we do the best we can. Like I said, we’re helping to mitigate outbreaks the best we can.

Linda Mehl, RN, Director of Nursing, Belmont County Health Department

On a hopeful note, people keep coming to the health department to get vaccinated. Just on Friday, 70 people came in for their shot.

I believe very much in this. Not only for myself, but for the people around me. I have a friend in Barnesville who is very compromised and I take her to some doctor’s appointments and I visit with her and I certainly don’t want to expose her to anything.

Barb Hinkle, St. Clairsville

7,435 people in Belmont County have now had COVID-19. There are 716 active cases right now.

In Bellaire Schools, officials say there are about 15 cases. In Shadyside Schools, there are 20 confirmed and in Barnesville, 21.

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