COVID cases spike Thursday in Ohio after downward trend

The number of new coronavirus cases reported Thursday in Ohio was more than double the state’s 21-day case average.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 579 new COVID-19 cases and 48 new hospitalizations, compared to 200 new cases reported Wednesday. The 21-day average is now 278, up from 267 reported Wednesday.

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The last time the state reported more than 500 cases was June 4.

The state’s total coronavirus cases reported since the pandemic began is 1,111,903.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has continued to push for more residents to get the coronavirus vaccine, in part because of the emergence globally of the delta variant, which the World Health Organization called “the most transmissible” so far.

So far, 96 countries, including the U.S., have reported the variant.

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The delta variant makes up 19% of new COVID-19 cases reported in Region 5, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Ohio it makes up less than 1% of cases so far, the ODH reported.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer for the state health department, said he expects the delta variant to increase in Ohio and in the rest of the country.

Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines all appear to be effective against the delta variant, he said.

“It’s the way out of the pandemic,” Vanderhoff said. “It’s out best protection, including against the delta variant.”

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As of Thursday, 5,578,940 people in Ohio have started the coronavirus vaccine and 5,196,046 have finished it.

The ODH reported 47.73% of Ohioans have had at least one dose and 44.45% completed the vaccine.

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