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Summit County Health Commissioner Says Flu Season Could Bring Spike in Coronavirus Cases

a photo of a test kit
Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says increased testing has led to more contact tracing which has helped stem the spread of coronavirus.

This week, entertainment venues across the state are reopening following three months of shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. As things open back up, officials in Summit County want people to continue acting responsibly when it comes to preventing the spread of the disease.

Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says that the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to increase. But the rate of those increases has slowed. She says the percentages of cases among black residents, and among people in long-term care facilities, have also stayed constant. But her office is seeing more cases among Summit County’s Asian population.

“Generally where there’s congregant living – groups of individuals that live together – which would be that North Hill zip code, 44310.”

Several agencies in Akron -- such as the Exchange House – have worked to translate coronavirus information for the area’s immigrant population.

Skoda adds that throughout the county, more testing has led to increased contact tracing – and that’s also helped slow community spread of the coronavirus. But it does not mean there won’t be more cases in the future.

“I am very guarded that we won’t see some sort of a second spike. If all of the modeling is accurate, we for sure would see something about the time normal flu season would hit.”

That’s usually defined as running from October until the following April each year.

Skoda adds that since the number of cases has continued to increase, it shows the disease does not go away in warmer temperatures.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.