FINDLAY, Ohio — Hancock County is leading the entire state of Ohio in active COVID-19 cases, currently sitting at 336 COVID cases per 100,000 residents.
That is proportionally higher that any other county in Ohio.
Hancock Public Health commissioner Karim Baroudi says there are many factors in play leading to this two-to-three week surge; from dealing with the UK COVID-19 variant, to a decline in vaccine demand and a growing general apathy among some residents.
"It could be that people are tired of the pandemic already and they feel like they don't need to mask as much as they used to," said Baroudi.
Currently, Hancock Public Health is averaging 1,700 to 2,000 vaccinations a week.
But the latest surge in cases is primarily in the 30 and under age group, who have only been able to get the vaccine for a few weeks.
Baroudi hopes that age group ends up embracing the vaccines, as he says the county and state need to reach herd immunity before too many more variants of the virus arise.
"We are in a race here between the virus and its variants and the vaccine and getting immune to it. And I think we should not quit the race right now, we should stay in it to win it, while putting masks on and social distancing and avoiding crowds," said Baroudi.
In April when the vaccine became more widely available everyone had earmarked early Summer for reaching herd immunity in the state of Ohio.
Baroudi says with two consecutive weeks of up-tick here in Hancock County, that is probably going to push back herd immunity another month.