Coronavirus now fourth-leading cause of death in Ohio

Coronavirus deaths in Ohio have surpassed deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

If the death rate continues, COVID-19 deaths could reach the number of deaths caused by accidents, a category that includes unintentional overdoses.

The disease is not yet in the Ohio Department of Health’s database of causes of death, but the department plans to create a category for COVID-19, said Melanie Amato, press secretary for the ODH office of public affairs and communications.

The department this year launched a coronavirus dashboard on its website that is updated at 2 p.m. daily at

Death certificates can take up to six months to be final and reported to the state, but the preliminary top 10 leading causes of death in Ohio so far for 2020 are:

  1. Heart disease, 20,536
  2. Cancer, 17,231
  3. Accidents, 5,512
  4. COVID-19, 5005
  5. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 4,900
  6. Stroke, 4,727
  7. Alzheimer’s disease, 3,958
  8. Diabetes, 2,857
  9. Kidney disease, 1,512
  10. Flu/pneumonia, 1,455

The state ranks 25th in the United States in the number of deaths per 100,000 people with 42 deaths, compared to the national average of 65 deaths per 100,000, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Louisiana are in the top five.

When it comes to deaths in the last seven days, Ohio ranks 21st with 74 deaths reported in the past week. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Missouri are in the top five.

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