More than 5,000 patients hospitalized with COVID in Ohio

More than 5,000 people hospitalized in Ohio on Monday tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the highest number of hospitalized COVID patients in the state in a year. The last time Ohio saw 5,000 coronavirus patients hospitalized was during the peak of the state’s winter surge last December.

Ohio health officials last week urged residents who had not been vaccinated to get their initial shots, and they said those who had not received booster shots also should get those. Experts fear an increase in cases from the omicron variant and from people gathering during the holidays.

Of the 5,011 COVID patients hospitalized Monday, 1,208 were in the ICU and 804 were on ventilators, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

One in four people hospitalized in Ohio and one in three ICU patients have coronavirus, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

COVID hospitalizations have increased 4% in the last week and 19% in the last three weeks. The COVID rate has remained the same in the last week in Ohio’s ICU, but increased 9% in the last three weeks.

Over the last 60 days the number of hospitalized COVID patients increased 113%, according to OHA. It’s up 72% in ICUs in that time.

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In the past day, Ohio recorded 211 COVID hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions, according to ODH. The state’s 21-day average is 320 hospitalizations a day and 32 ICU admissions a day.

Nearly 15,000 deaths among unvaccinated patients have been reported in Ohio this year, according to ODH. There have been 664 fully vaccinated people who died from COVID in the state during the same time period.

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Nearly 60% of Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccine, including 69.78% of adults and 63.21% of those 5 and older. More than 54.75% of residents have finished the vaccine, including 64.8% of adults and 58.21% of Ohioans 5 and older, according to ODH.

More than 6.95 million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 6.4 million have completed the vaccine series.

As of Monday, 2.53 million residents have received an additional vaccine dose.

While the omicron variant is continuing to spread, the most recent ODH data indicates delta is still the dominant strain in Ohio.

From Dec. 5-18, 79.03% of cases were attributed to delta and 20.83% to omicron, according to the state health department. During the previous two-week period 99.19% cases were due to delta and 0.32% attributed to omicron.

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The state used genomic sequencing to determine which COVID variants are present in Ohio. It can only be preformed on PCR tests and there must be enough of a sample remaining and a high enough viral load to detect the variant. Results can also lag three to four weeks.

Earlier this month ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said omicron will overtake the delta variant in Ohio.

“There is no question that in the day and weeks to come where omicron is now the new dominant variant,” he said. “It’s happened everywhere else that omicron has gone.”

Health experts are continuing to research and monitor the omicron variant. Reports out of South Africa indicate the variant may result in fewer hospitalizations, but it’s not clear if it will have the same impact in the U.S.

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“Even if it turns out to be true that [omicron] causes proportionately fewer hospitalizations, if you’ve got so much more spread, we’re still going to have great pressure on our hospitals,” Vanderhoff said.

For the first time in a week, fewer than 10,000 new daily COVID cases were reported in the state . The stated added 8,092 cases in the past day. That was about what the numbers were one week earlier, when Ohio reported 8,082 cases.

Ohio is averaging 9,718 daily cases over the last three weeks.

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