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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Northwest Ohio universities keeping COVID-19 case numbers down

Both the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University have cut their reported case numbers in half over the past few weeks.

TOLEDO, Ohio — While daily Ohio COVID-19 cases are reaching record highs, northwest Ohio colleges are starting to see lower numbers.

Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski expressed frustration Thursday about the direction the virus has taken in Ohio and specifically Lucas County. Lucas is back in the Level 3 (Red) category of the state's Public Health Advisory map and on both Wednesday and Thursday, the state broke records for the most cases reported in a single day.

“We've been working so hard, especially in this community, to attack COVID-19 and keep numbers low," Zgodzinski said.

Despite state COVID-19 case numbers rising, both the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University have cut their reported case numbers in half over the past few weeks.

“We did a lot of contact tracing so we were able to quickly identify any positive cases, get them to isolate and then quarantine any contacts that they had,” Chief Health Officer at BGSU Ben Batey said.

Batey anticipates that if things continue the way they are, more in-person classes could happen next semester.

Health officials in both Lucas and Wood County have said that mask usage is getting better, especially in grocery stores and other public places.

“We are really significant in the percentage usage of facial coverings,” Zgodzinski said.

So, if masks are being used and universities are keeping things under control, why are case numbers rising? The answer comes down to social gatherings.

“We have mass gatherings that we limit the social distancing, we're not wearing face coverings, we're going to weddings,” Zgodzinski said.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, click here.