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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

COVID Cases In Hamilton Co. Falling, But So Are New Vaccinations

hamilton county covid chart
Hamilton County Health Department
Daily new cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County as of June 15, 2021.

COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County continue to decline, even as new vaccinations slow down.

"We are actually down [to] around 21 cases per day on average in Hamilton County as a whole," said County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. "This compares back to December when we were at 716 cases per day."

There are about 1,900 active cases in the county. Kesterman says the county continues to see new variant cases, mostly of the U.K. variant.

"Generally speaking, though, the vaccines continue to be effective against the variants so if you're concerned about catching a variant, I would recommend you get vaccinated," Kesterman said.

The county averaged 960 new daily vaccinations at the beginning of June, compared to an average 5,800 new doses per day two months ago. Kesterman says vaccines are readily available from about 200 providers in Hamilton County.

About 49% of residents have gotten at least one dose, but rates are still much lower for most minority populations. Less than 35% of Hispanic residents and less than 30% of Black residents are vaccinated. Kesterman says 70% of residents over age 60 are vaccinated.

The Hamilton County Health Department is shifting its vaccination strategy to focus more on hard-to-reach populations. The tuberculosis clinic at 184 East McMillan now offers walk-in vaccines Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The health department has three vans operating fulltime, including on weekends.

"This past weekend we were at a Hispanic soccer tryout and vaccinated 36 individuals," Kesterman said. "We've gone to breweries and had lines form of families getting their 12-year-old and older folks vaccinated."

The Get Out the Vax campaign, a Tri-State area collaboration, hoped to have 80% of the population vaccinated by July 4, but Kesterman says that goal is at around 55%.

Everyone over age 12 is eligible for at least one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.