One county gets three numbers subtracted from COVID-19 case total, but doesn’t let down guard

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Belmont County had reached a new landmark of 600 positive cases on Monday, but the next day, county health officials were pleased to report that number was the result of mistakes on the state level, and their real total is 597.

Here’s how that’s possible.

Two of the positives are students at Ohio University, who were from Belmont County but are now living in Athens. The third is a resident of Somerton, Arizona, not Somerton, Ohio.

So, Belmont County is back in the yellow zone–that’s the least dangerous, but they won’t relax their guard.

Deputy Health Commissioner Rob Sproul said if you’re breaking quarantine, you’re breaking the law.

We’ve had to go to people’s homes and tell them they have to stay there until they finish their isolation because we could go to the prosecutor and have that person charged with knowingly spreading an infectious contagious disease.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

He sees people making some dangerous choices on vacation.

Staying in these high rise hotels, so now you’re stuck in close contact with a bunch of strangers in an elevator for an extended period of time. You’re going into bars. You’re going into restaurants and clubs. So, everybody’s in tight, close, with greater chance of spread.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

On the other hand, he says there is a much safer option.

A lot of people are going down to the beaches, taking only their family, taking their own groceries and just enjoying the beach. The chance of them getting this disease is very limited.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

Sproul is a staunch advocate of masks, distancing and hand-washing.

Until we get a vaccine or an anti-viral to take care of this, we have to  use what we have available to stop the spread.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

He also said when children go back to school in the fall, it will have to be done safely.

Otherwise he added they could spread the virus to the adults in their  lives; parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches, who are a more vulnerable population.

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