A key metric tied to when Ohio will lift its public health mandate moved closer to the state’s goal on Thursday.
Ohio reported 155.6 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
If the state reports less than 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks in a row, all public health orders, including the mask mandate, will be lifted in Ohio.
Last week, Ohio reported 185.8 cases per 100,000. Two weeks ago, the metric was at 200 cases per 100,000.
Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier this week that he still believes 50 cases per 100,000 people is still achievable number.
When asked if he’d consider tying the mask mandate to the state’s vaccination rate, the governor explained the state isn’t what figure Ohio would need to reach.
“Part of that is complicated by the fact that no one knows exactly what herd immunity will constitute, nor are we sure how many people are still carrying immunity even if they are not getting vaccinated,” DeWine said.
If more people continue to get vaccinated, it should bring down the number of cases, he added.
As of Thursday, more than 4,658,000 people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,715,000 are finished with the vaccination.
The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Ohio is starting to decrease, with 1,200 patients recorded in the state as of Thursday.
Two weeks ago, just over 1,305 people were hospitalized with the virus, according to ODH.
The state has shown signs of a gradual decline since 1,325 hospitalized COVID patients was reported on last Monday.
Thursday Ohio recorded 127 daily hospitalizations, which is slightly above the state’s 21-day average of 116 hospitalizations a day.
Twelve ICU admissions have been reported in the last day, bringing Ohio’s total to 7,772.
DeWine said Tuesday that he hopes hospitalizations will would soon show signs of following the state’s decrease in daily cases.
The state recorded 1,786 daily cases Thursday, just above the 21-day average of 1,770 cases.
Throughout the pandemic, Ohio has reported 1,070,771 total cases.