(10-22-20) The Mercer County Health District (MCHD) has provided factual information on a situation that is being discussed across our community concerning a batch of possible false-positive COVID-19 test results.  As a skilled nursing and assisted living facility, Briarwood Village is required to test staff weekly for COVID-19.  After routinely swabbing staff on Tuesday, October 13, Briarwood received 25 COVID-19 positive test results on Friday, October 16.  All of the staff who tested positive were asymptomatic and had tested negative on October 8, which aroused suspicions that the positive results were false.  On Saturday, October 17, MCHD consulted with Ohio Department of Health and Briarwood Village to help determine an appropriate path forward.

Briarwood Village further investigated by screening all 25 staff with a point-of-care rapid test, which yielded negative results for all but one of the staff members who originally tested positive.  The 24 staff who tested negative with the rapid test were swabbed twice at least 24 hours apart between Friday and Sunday for confirmatory laboratory testing at a different lab.  The specimens were spaced more than one day apart in keeping with the CDC’s Test-Based Strategy for Discontinuing Transmission-Based Precautions.  As of today, 19 of those have tested negative twice.

Of the 25 individuals who originally tested positive, those who have received two negative laboratory test results have been cleared to return to work and their close contacts have been released from quarantine.  Any individual who has not had two consecutive negative confirmatory COVID-19 tests will continue to be managed as confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Monthly COVID-19 Stats:

MonthNumber of Confirmed Cases
March (First case on 3/24)5 cases
April19 cases
May190 cases
June56 cases
July239 cases
August295 cases
September 283 cases
October – present263 cases

As of October 22, 2020, the Mercer County Health District (MCHD) reports 1,412 confirmed cases, 157 probable cases, 1,198 recovered cases, 53 pending cases, 4,107 negative cases, 8 hospitalizations, 26 deaths, and 2 probable deaths of COVID-19. There have been 3 confirmed cases who have passed away due to causes other than COVID-19. Currently, there are 188 active cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County.

As of today, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports Mercer County has seen 420 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. This is the third highest incidence rate in the state.

Flu season is upon us.  MCHD is holding a walk-in flu shot clinic on Tuesday, November 3 from 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM.  Anyone who is unable to make the walk-in clinic can call 419-586-3251 to schedule an appointment to get a flu shot at a time that works well for them.

To make the process quicker and more convenient, a link to the necessary forms is found on the front page of our website at www.mchdohio.org. We ask that the forms are filled out prior to the clinic.