Backlog in positive COVID cases to lead to inflated daily numbers in Ohio

More than 41,000 COVID cases added to Ohio’s total Friday

Ohio’s daily COVID-19 case numbers will be artificially high the next few days due to a backlog in positive cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A processing enhancement implemented Thursday reportedly expanded Ohio’s ability to process more lab results, allowing the backlog to begin to clear. Results are submitted to ODH from across the state via an electronic lab reporting system that feeds into the Ohio Disease Reporting System.

On Friday the state added 41,455 cases, bringing its total to more than 2.3 million cases of coronavirus. Ohio’s 21-day average is 18,890 cases a day, according to ODH.

With the recent surge in cases, the system reached its processing capacity, causing a multi-day backlog of tens of thousands of cases. Some cases also involved further manual review by state epidemiologists, according to ODH.

As the results are processed the positive cases will be given the correct illness onset day on the COVID-19 overview dashboard.

There were fewer than 6,500 COVID patients hospitalized in the state for the first time since since Jan. 5 Friday. Ohio had 6,488 people hospitalized with the virus, with 1,224 ICUs patients and 850 people on ventilators testing positive for the virus, according to ODH.

One in three patients hospitalized or admitted to the ICU in the state are COVID positive, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. In the last week, the number of COVID patients in Ohio’s hospitals and ICUs has decreased 1% and 6% respectively.

However, compared to previous weeks the state health care workers are still treating a large amount of patients with the virus. COVID inpatients are up 40% in the last three weeks and 135% in the past 60 days, according to OHA. As for ICU admissions, the state’s seen a 2% increase compared to three weeks ago and a 55% increase over the last 60 days.

Ohio recorded 472 COVID hospitalizations and 36 ICU admissions in the last day, according to the state health department. In the past three weeks, the state is averaging 348 hospitalizations a day and 32 ICU admissions a day.

The state reported 487 deaths Friday, bringing its total to 30,922 COVID deaths. The day a death is reported does not reflect the day a death occurred.

Because other states don’t regularly report death certificate data to Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistic COVID death data can fluctuate.

Nearly 7.093 million Ohioans have started the COVID vaccine and 6.512 million have finished it, according to ODH. Almost 3.033 million residents have received an additional vaccine dose.

As of Friday, 60.68% of Ohioans have received at least one vaccine dose, including 70.81% of adults and 64.49% of those 5 and older. More than 55.7% of residents have finished the vaccine, including 65.52% of adults and 59.21% of people 5 and older.

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