Is Southeast Ohio Headed for Trouble?

Southeast Ohio is beautful, remote and many of its residents are desperately poor. In the early phases of the pandemic, the sparsely populated region was relatively unaffected by COVID-19. That is beginning to change.

Orman Hall

Southeast Ohio is a region of tremendous physical beauty, but also home to deeply entrenched multi-generational poverty. Recent data suggest the area may also be an emerging hotspot for COVID-19.

The rate of infection for the region is now virtually identical to the remainder of the state. That in itself would be cause for concern, but a review of recent hospitalization trends shows that admissions are now about 50 percent higher than the rest Ohio.

There have been three distinct waves of COVID-19 transmission throughout the state. Overall, deaths have been lower in the second and third wave. While COVID-19 deaths were much initially lower in Southeast Ohio than the remainder the state, deaths have steadily increased throughout the region.

Lower initial rates throughout the region may have resulted in a degree of complacency. Disproportionate numbers of area poor residents who have underlying conditions combined with disregard for basic COVID-19 health practices could cause unnecessary loss of life in Southeast Ohio and other rural communities across the state. These data were extracted from the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard.1

Covid-19 Deaths Over Time

  1. COVID-19. (2020). Retrieved 6 December 2020, from


Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Hall (2020, Dec. 20). The Alliance Blog: Is Southeast Ohio Headed for Trouble?. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Hall, Orman},
  title = {The Alliance Blog: Is Southeast Ohio Headed for Trouble?},
  url = {},
  year = {2020}