As Ohio’s health orders end, how will people and businesses react?

As one of the lowest counties for COVID vaccination rate in Central Ohio, Fayette County did not earn that status for lack of trying.

Like many other counties with small, overworked health departments, Fayette still held mass vaccination clinics, pushed into businesses for smaller clinics and continues to offer shots at its main building alongside a handful of other local providers.

Still, the county as of Tuesday had only a little more than 33% of its residents receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and around 28% fully vaccinated. Both are far behind the statewide averages in Ohio.

“After the first of the year, we were number one for the highest rate,” said Fayette County Public Health spokesperson Missy Smith on Tuesday, only hours before Ohio’s mask and social distancing orders expired. “We were in the top five in December…we started to see more masks worn and worn correctly. But then a few weeks later, we were number one.”