YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise around Ohio and in nearby counties, Mahoning County Health Officials said they’ve actually seen a decrease of cases.
“I think in the months of June and July, I think it was an average of like eight or nine a day,” said Mahoning County health commissioner Ryan Tekac.
Still, more than 800 cases were reported Thursday in Ohio and nearly 550 in Pennsylvania. Experts believe nearly all of those involve unvaccinated patients – a national poll found most unvaccinated Americans were unlikely to get vaccinated.
“There are some counties that have low vaccination rates and there is concern in those counties that they’re going to head in the wrong direction,” Tekac said.
Those concerns are spreading – just like the virus.
“I know we as healthcare workers are starting to be in a little bit of a panic mode, because we remember what it was like in the early days… and nobody wants to go back to that,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Dee Banks.
There’s been a lot of concern over the so-called Delta variant, as experts claim it’s now responsible for more than 80% of new cases nationwide. In Ohio, that number is less than 40%.
“You know, there is a scientific way and academic way of doing it, but I would have to say we’re probably guesstimating with some of this,” Dr. Banks said.
Doctor banks told First News roughly 25% of the nation’s population is simply refusing to be vaccinated – so how do we connect with those and convince them to change their minds? The doctor believes it will involve taking the message to the people.
“We know how t make people go to the grocery store and buy some product… Marketing in this country is a fine science,” Dr. Banks said.
She said science needs to be applied to those who are still hesitant about getting a vaccine.