By Bob Weaver

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, rural Calhoun County seemed to be slipping by with a steady but relatively low caseload.

Just over two weeks ago that changed, numbers increasing to 70 cases or more.

First and second person reports indicate that some of the afflicted have been in serious condition, some on ventilators, while others have had multiple hospitalizations, while most suffered minimal problems.

First and second person reports say the outbreak was connected to a state basketball tournament game in Charleston with attendees from Calhoun Middle-High School.

Players, students, parents and attendees contracted the virus, in some cases spreading to multiple family members.

Many others have been quarantined.

While most of Calhoun Schools were closed because of the outbreak, state officials ordered them reopened.

Meanwhile, the local vaccination rate remains low.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department did not respond to multiple requests from the Hur Herald to confirm the cause of the outbreak.

Calhoun School's Superintendent Kelli Whytsell said, "I can not confirm the outbreak came entirely from the basketball tournament. I think that it contributed to the outbreak. However, I feel that many factors could have contributed to the outbreak."