COVID-19 cases drop in Montgomery County

FONDA — The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County have dropped significantly since last week.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort announced during his weekly COVID-19 briefing that there were 150 positive cases this week; which is 87 less than the total positive cases last week — 237. He said, however, the daily and seven-day average for percentage positives are still a little high. Sunday the percent rate was 3.2; and the seven-day rolling average is at 6.1 percent.

“So that is still a little high, but overall, the numbers are continuing to trend in the direction that we’ve seen in the last month, which is fantastic news,” Ossenfort said.

He said time will tell if there will be a spike in cases again from Super Bowl Sunday get-togethers.

Ossenfort said St. Mary’s is remaining “cautiously optimistic” with patient levels and are continuing to keep an eye on its capacity. He added that elective surgery will be coming back sometime in the future.

“We’re all happy with what we’re seeing and the direction we’re going in, but also a little cautious as we move forward,” Ossenfort said.

The county will be getting another 100 vaccines for next week in which they are required to use those on essential workers. St. Mary’s has been notified they will be receiving 100 vaccines as well.

“The supply is still very scarce,” Ossenfort said.

Not only is there a limited supply of the vaccine, the primary location to get vaccinated in Montgomery County for those who are 65 years or older will be at a pharmacy, which Ossenfort said will be an issue for several reasons.

To get vaccinated at a pharmacy, individuals would have to sign up online by cell phone or computer, however, not everyone has access to a cell phone or computer or knows how to use them.

Ossenfort also said he isn’t sure if the pharmacy has the capacity to vaccinate hundreds of individuals as the county does.

“I’m really concerned with the pharmacy as a primary spot, and I think the state should reconsider — certainly when the supply is larger — counties in addition to hospitals to handle those numbers because we have all the resources in place to do 1,000, 2,000, maybe even 3,000 shots a week if we needed to,” Ossenfort said.

By Patricia Older