Pollen is up, but how often it gets counted is down

Posted at 3:51 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 20:08:34-04

The weather is changing, flowers are blooming and those springtime allergies are on the way, but COVID-19 is affecting how often we get pollen counts.

Christina Boss, environmental analysis coordinator at the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency, said the agency's offices, like many others, are emptier.

“The limited staff in the office has resulted in not being able to provide the pollen and mold count on a daily workday basis like we have in the past,” Boss said.

The agency normally has a rotation of five people counting pollen and mold. Now, it’s down to one, which means you’ll find out pollen levels only three days a week.

Unfortunately, it’s all happening during the busiest time for allergies. You’ll still get the counts — but only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. According to the latest pollen count, we’re in the high category.

“The type of pollen is typical for this time of year as well. We mostly have oak and mulberry as our predominant species,” Boss said.

As for right now, there is no concrete plan to move back to a daily pollen count, but Boss said the agency is trying to remain flexible and modify the schedule as needed.