EMA director gives COVID-19 update

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — The Miami County Commissioners heard a COVID-19 update from Emergency Management Agency Director Joel Smith during Thursday’s regular meeting. This is the first such update Smith has given commissioners since late spring when his weekly updates ceased.

According to Smith, the case rate in Miami County, from the period of Aug. 22 through Sept. 8, is 698.5 per 100,000. That is up from a rate of 609 the previous two weeks. When compared to other counties in the state, Miami County currently ranks 46th highest in terms of case rate. Since the pandemic began, Miami County has recorded 13,283 total cases of COVID-19, with a total of 244 deaths recorded.

According to Miami County Public Health Department, since Sept. 1, there have been 1,087 new COVID-19 cases in Miami County, and seven new deaths. That is approximately 439 new cases, 21 hospitalizations, and two additional deaths reported since Friday, Sept. 10.

Smith spoke briefly about monoclonal antibody therapy.

In November 2020, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first issued an emergency use authorization to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. for casirivimab and imdevimab antibodies to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 for those who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. Casirivimab and imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies that are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells, according to the FDA. Additional monoclonal antibody therapies have since also received emergency use authorization for the same intent.

Smith said there have been discussions recently within local hospitals regarding the intent to make this therapy more widely available to people as a strategy to lower the hospitalization rate.

As for vaccination, Smith said 43.5% of the county has at least started a vaccination series, which is a total of 44,653 residents. As of Wednesday, 40.06% of the county’s residents are completely vaccinated.

In other news, the following items were approved during Wednesday’s meeting:

• Authorization for an agreement with Meijer Inc. (Meijer Pharmacy), of Grand Rapids, to provide prescription outpatient medications/drugs and/or services covered by this agreement to the Miami County Animal Shelter, effective Sept. 15, 2021.

• Cooperation with the city of Piqua for the resurfacing of Looney Road, from State Route 36 to County Road 25A, and authorization for the county engineer to pursue the successful completion of the proposed project with the city of Piqua. Said project is proposed to include, but is not limited to, the milling of the existing pavement surface and overlaying of the pavement with asphalt concrete, along with other associated improvements. The city of Piqua desires to submit the project for funding consideration through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) utilizing Federal STP funds. The estimated cost for said project is $746,884 with 80% federal ($597,507) and 20% local portion ($149,377). The local portion is proposed to be divided between the county and city in proportion to the frontages under the respective jurisdiction of each entity (43% Miami County, not to exceed $64,232 and 57% city of Piqua, $85,145).

• Authorization for the county engineer to submit an application for Federal Fast Act through the MVRPC for the Washington Road resurfacing project, estimated at $427,140 ($395,500 federal; $31,640 local).

• Authorization for a Memorandum of Understanding for Child Abuse and Neglect Assessment, as requested by the Department of Job and Family Services. The purpose of the MOU is to define the roles and responsibilities of each official or agency in assessing or investigating child abuse or neglect in the county.

• Approval of the quote from SHI International, Sumerset, New Jersey, and authorization for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase 10 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Tablets and Accident Protection, three-year extended warranty, with a total cost not to exceed $14,250.00.

• Adoption of the Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program, authorizing Miami County Transit, through partnership with Greater Dayton RTA and Greene CATS, to accept the Specialized Transportation Grant award in the amount of $243,995 to be used to assist the elderly and people with disabilities for transportation to medical appointments and related things such as prescription pick-ups.

• Authorization of moving/relocation expenses for the commissioners’ administrator. A quote was accepted from MVM Moving and Storage, of Columbus, at a cost not to exceed $7,450.