OTTAWA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly 1,000 tests were taken over the weekend on Put-in-Bay, and at least 66 people tested positive.
People there are being urged to take more precautions, but the party isn’t stopping.
Last month, a cluster of at least seven people who visited the islands popular restaurants and bars tested positive for the virus, so it isn’t a big surprise to learn that dozens more people in Put-in-Bay have it too.
Ottawa County is hoping the testing they did over the weekend will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks. The goal: to see if exposure in Put-in-Bay could lead to a large outbreak.
Ottawa County Health Commissioner Jerry Bingham says that number is low given the overall number tested, but the number of positive cases could still go up because they have not gotten all the test results back yet.
“At 7 percent or just below 7%,” said Bingham. “Ya you don’t want to see any positive cases. But what I mean by 7% is manageable and we can at least do our contact tracing and at least try to eliminate any further spread. If it was any higher than that then it would be community spread and an outbreak and it might be unmanageable at that point.”
A lot of this was prompted by pictures showing people partying on the island and not practicing any social distancing safety measures.
Now it’s required to wear masks on Jet Express, Miller Ferry and in some island businesses. A number of restaurants and bars in the area have chosen to close their doors due to an outbreak threat, including Frosty’s Bar which is closed until further notice, and the popular Put-in-Bay Boardwalk which has since re-opened.
The tests this weekend were done by the Put-in-Bay Fire Department and the Ohio National Guard.
Ottawa County is expected to release more results on Wednesday.