On March 22, Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff said the state had 173 variant cases, nearly a 150 case increase from the 32 cases reported two weeks ago.
“This is not the time to throw caution to the wind,” he said.
In approximately 10 days, that number has increased by 137 cases.
The majority of Ohio’s variant cases are the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom. The variant has approximately a 50% increased transmission rate and is believed to result in more severe cases, according to the CDC.
The state also reported three P.1. variant cases and two B.1.351 variant cases.
All three variants are included on the CDC’s list of variants of concern.
DeWine shared concerns about variant cases, especially when asked when public health orders will be lifted in Ohio.
The state is also keeping an eye on variant cases in other states. Michigan had 1,242 variant cases as of Tuesday, the second-highest number of variant cases in the country.
According to the CDC, Florida has reported the most variant cases at 2,415.
As for Ohio’s other neighbors, Indiana has 139 variant cases, Kentucky has reported 41, West Virginia has 53 and Pennsylvania has reported 434.