BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — COVID case numbers are starting to rise.

In the Ohio Valley, the uptick was noticed several weeks ago.

According to the Belmont County Health Department, it’s not nearly as widespread as it was two years ago, and they don’t expect it to ever be again.

In Ohio, the state is reporting 148 hospitalizations a week, six of those being in intensive care, with about 15 deaths a week.

The next round of vaccine is coming out, but it is now a commercial enterprise, no longer to be distributed free from government entities like health departments.

“And it’s going to have to be paid for privately. Unfortunately the health department is not going to be able to administer this new round of COVID vaccines. It costs us about 117 dollars a dose, and we just don’t have the money to up front those costs. So look for it to be in doctors’ offices and big retail pharmacies to carry this vaccine.”

Christine Jenewein, RN | Immunization Nurse | Belmont County Health Department

She says they still recommend that people get the vaccine.

It is updated to protect against the latest variant.

And she says most insurances and Medicare / Medicaid will pay for it with no cost to the patient.

(Video in the story shows the top stories for Friday, September 15, 2023)