COVID-19 Interim Epidemiology Report


Report for Jan. 1-July 31


In late 2019, a respiratory disease outbreak identified in Wuhan, China. This outbreak was determined to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, SARSCoV-2. This novel virus can cause a mild to severe respiratory illness known as COVID-19.

By January 2020, the first cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the United States, and on January 31, 2020 a public health emergency was declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the virus began to spread around the world, more and more countries were affected, and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

On March 9, 2020, Ohio’s first three confirmed COVID-19 cases were identified in Cuyahoga County. All three cases were travel-related.

Only two days later, another case was confirmed in Stark County, this time from community spread. By March 19,2020, the first Ohio COVID-19 death was reported. Through disease tracking and testing, it is believed that COVID-19 has likely been circulating in Ohio since early January.

Local overview

Morrow County’s first COVID-19 case was laboratory confirmed on April 1, 2020 in a person who had symptoms develop after they traveled out of the county for a social event in late March. As of July 31, 2020, a total of 156 Morrow County COVID-19 cases had been reported.

Approximately two-thirds of Morrow County COVID-19 cases have been males. COVID-19 cases have been identified across nearly all ages with the exception of the youngest age groups. The majority of COVID-19 cases fall within the 35-49 year old age group, with 29 percent of all cases being in this group.

Contact tracing

Each Morrow County COVID-19 case is interviewed to determine if they have close contacts who are at risk of contracting COVID-19. People are considered to be a contact of a case if they have been within at least 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or longer.

All people who are designated as a case contact are notified and monitored by our staff to ensure they do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Case demographics

Approximately 2/3 of Morrow County COVID-19 cases have been males. COVID-19 cases have been identified across nearly all ages with the exception of the youngest age groups. The majority of COVID-19cases fall within the 35-49 year old age group, with 29percent of all cases being in this group.

Case location data

Mount Gilead had the largest percentage of COVID-19 cases reported, with 38percent of all community cases located in Mount Gilead. Marengo had the second highest percentage of cases at 15 percent.

Adjustments were made by separating the Morrow County Jail cases from the rest of the community cases to show a more accurate picture of COVID-19 distribution in the county.

Case exposure history

The greatest number of exposures occurred via institutional spread at the Morrow County Correctional Facility.

Workplaces implicated in COVID-19 spread included hospitals, prisons, factories, and others.

Those reporting close contact exposures included contact with spouses/significant others, other family, and close friends.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 through asymptomatic carriers, a number of cases were unable to determine where their exposure may have occurred.

Case symptom data

The COVID-19 symptoms reported for cases in Morrow County varied widely.

Less than half of the Morrow County COVID-19 cases reported any fever, cough, or shortness of breath symptoms. Approximately one-third of the total cases reported having no symptoms at all.

Pre-existing condition data

Seventy-seven percent of the cases in Morrow County reported having a preexisting condition before being diagnosed with COVID-19.

A past history of smoking and a history of cardiovascular disease were two of the most commonly reported preexisting conditions.

The “other” category refers to various other conditions and health issues that are not specifically listed here.

Jail outbreak

The Morrow County Correctional Facility experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 that began when the first case was reported in the facility on April 23, 2020.

A total of 55 cases were reported in staff and non-staff individuals as a result of this outbreak. Nearly two-thirds of the cases reported that they had no COVID-19 symptoms.

The final case was reported on May 19, 2020, and the outbreak was declared over on June 16, 2020.

Morrow County Health District

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