As Columbus sees rise in COVID-19 cases, health commissioner urges caution

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — This weekend, things felt almost back to normal, with people attending Easter service and mass. Some were enjoying the beautiful weather with their loved ones at a bar or restaurant, but the crowds have health officials concerned.

According to Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus is now seeing an uptrend in COVID-19 cases, but she said it is not surprising.

“It’s very hard for individuals to change their lives too dramatically,” Roberts said. “That is what we’ve really been asking our residents to do now for over a year. There are ways to do this and do it in a safe manner.”

She said as of now, Columbus is seeing more than 200 COVID-19 cases daily.

“We’re starting to see this not only here, in Columbus, but around the state of Ohio,” she said.

While Roberts did not want to predict what the next two weeks would bring, she did say healt officials have to factor in not just Easter gatherings, but also look at the warmer days, spring break, and Passover that could contribute to a rise in cases.

“Here in Franklin County, we’ve probably vaccinated about a quarter, 25 percent of our population and that is not nearly enough,” she said.

Roberts added that she does not feel it necessary to set up more triages for COVID-19 cases if they spike, saying there are simply more testing options available.

“A lot of people aren’t using the testing that is available,” Roberts said. “We’d like to believe it’s because of the low virus activity in our community. As well as we know, they can now get at-home testing kits that people can use, but testing is still available.”

As more people continue to get vaccinated, Roberts urges those who are vaccinated to considerate of those who aren’t yet eligible.

“Keep in mind kids, most kids, are not eligible for the vaccine yet,” she said.

On top of this, if you are eligible and have gotten vaccinated, this isn’t to say you still cannot get COVID-19.

“We cannot let the vaccines give us a false sense of security,” Roberts warned.

If you’ve gotten both doses of Pfizer or Moderna and have gotten your single dose of Johnson and Johnson, it takes two weeks to fully kick in. Even then, people must continue to social distance and mask up.

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