Coronavirus: Just over 1,500 cases reported Saturday, case average drops below 2,000

People lined up Thursday to takes advantage of the free testing for the Coronavirus at the Five Rivers Health Centers pop up test site at the Samaritan Health Center. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF
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People lined up Thursday to takes advantage of the free testing for the Coronavirus at the Five Rivers Health Centers pop up test site at the Samaritan Health Center. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

Just over 1,500 new cases of coronavirus were reported Saturday, bringing the state to 977,736 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. In the past 24 hours, the Ohio Department of Health reported 1,506 new cases. The average number of cases reported in the past 21 days has dropped to 1,914, ODH reported.

Fewer than 1,000 Ohioans remain in the hospital, the Ohio Hospital Association reported Saturday. 922 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, approximately one in 20 patients. In the past 24 hours, 66 patients have been hospitalized. In southwest Ohio, 247 people are hospitalized. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 50,848 people have been hospitalized, ODH reported.

Nearly 2 million Ohioans have started the vaccine, ODH reported. As of Saturday, 1,929,773 people,16.51 percent of the population, have had at least one dose and 1,075,272 people, 9.20 percent of the population, have completed the vaccine.

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An exhausted Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Saturday as President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies notched a victory they called crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums.

After laboring through the night on a mountain of amendments — nearly all from Republicans and rejected — bleary-eyed senators approved the sprawling package on a 50-49 party-line vote. That sets up final congressional approval by the House next week so lawmakers can send it to Biden for his signature.

“We tell the American people, help is on the way,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Citing the country’s desire to resume normalcy, he added, “Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future.”