Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, Nov. 17 edition on page A1.
COVID-19 continues to rise in Athens County, reaching over 300 active cases over the weekend.
As of Monday at 2 p.m., when the daily numbers are released, there are 311 known active cases and 1,333 recovered cases of COVID-19 in Athens County. To date, there have been 1,648 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Athens County and four total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health unveiled a new section on the COVID-19 dashboard that displays the total number of cases per zip code. In Athens County, the 45701 zip code, representing the city of Athens had the highest number of cases in the county, totaling 1,273.
Other Athens County zip codes and the case counts are:
- 45764 – 102
- 45732 –59
- 45780 – 51
- 45710 – 49
- 45723 – 22
- 45761 – 16
- 45766 – 13
- 45778 – 10
- 45740 – 9
- 45735 – 8
- 45717 – 7
- 45711 – 7
- 45742 – 5
- 45782 – N/A
- 45776 – N/A
- 45716 – N/A
- 43144 – N/A
On Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that ODH Interim Director Lance Himes signed a revised health order to limit mass gatherings in Ohio. The order expands on the order signed in April that limited gatherings to 10 people.
“[W]e have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” said DeWine. “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward.”
In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles passing between people in close contact, wedding receptions, funeral repasts, and other events at banquet facilities are subject to the following restrictions:
- No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing.
- Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.
- If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.
- Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.
- No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.
The order does not apply to religious observances; First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators and any activity by media; or to governmental meetings which include meetings required to be open to the public.
The order went into effect Nov. 17 at 12:01 a.m.