ASHTABULA — The combination of the start of school and flu season is expected to bring new challenges in battling COVID-19, Ashtabula City Health Commissioner Christine Hill said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Just when area residents are starting to feel like they know how to get back to life in the new normal, this fall will bring changes that have the potential to increase the number of cases.

So far in the city alone, the Health Department reports 118 positive cases; 20 hospitalizations; 5 deaths, and 394 quarantine orders as of Tuesday.

Ashtabula County, including the city, reports 636 positive cases; 106 hospitalizations and 46 deaths due to COVID-19, she said.

“With school starting this fall, parents must report a confirmed positive COVID-19 to their child’s school within 24 hours and they also have to notify the Health Department,” she said. “It’s very similar to what we’ve been doing with nursing homes.”

Hill said flu shot clinics are planned and even if someone doesn’t usually get a flu shot, it’s very important to get one this year.

“It’s going to be a very critical year for everyone to get a flu shot,” she said. “We are worried about COVID-29 at the same time as the flu.”

Hill also reported on the last week’s pop-up COVID-19 testing at Our Lady of Peace Parish Community Center. There were 136 people tested and of those 136, seven people tested positive, she said.

“Everything went very smoothly,” she said. “We were ready to do 500 tests.”

Hill praised everyone who helped the Ashtabula City Health Department and made the testing possible.


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