Jackson County continues to move in the right direction with regard to the state’s ranking system for all 88 Ohio counties when considering the occurrence of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of population. This update considered the time period of Aug. 31 through Sept. 13.

Information released during Gov. DeWine’s Tuesday, Sept. 15 COVID-19 press conference indicated Jackson County fell to 31st, while Vinton County moved to 76th. Athens County on the other hand rose to 6th worst in the state. Jackson County was listed as having 71 cases per 100,000 people and 23 actual cases, while Vinton County had 22.9 and three, respectively.

Gov. DeWine also spoke with two superintendents Tuesday afternoon, one from Brookville Local Schools and the other from Vandalia-Butler City Schools. Both districts reported very high percentages of families opting for an in-person start to the school year (90 percent at Brookville and 84 percent at Vandalia-Butler). The two districts have differing student populations, with Vandalia-Butler having around 3,000 and Brookville having close to 1,500 K-12 students.

Thus far in the school year, both superintendents told Gov. DeWine the experience has been quite positive and that feedback, even from veteran teachers, has been good as well.

As for universities and colleges, Gov. DeWine said most school leaders have reported having little issues with students in classes or the dorms. The issue, they say, lies with gatherings where people are not wearing masks, social distancing and so forth. Overall, Gov. DeWine and these leaders stress a message of caution.

As for the state’s COVID-19 statistics, Gov. DeWine said there were (cumulatively) 132,118 confirmed cases, 7,367 probable cases, 14,481 hospitalizations, 3,111 intensive care unit admissions, 4,207 confirmed deaths, 299 probable deaths and 117,130 presumed recoveries.