Ohio enters 2nd week of daily COVID hospitalization records

COVID-19 patients now make up one-third of all hospitalizations in Ohio, a burden that has health care systems postponing and rescheduling some procedures.

More than 6,500 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Ohio on Thursday, which marked the eighth consecutive record of coronavirus hospitalizations that have increased daily since Christmas, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Hospitals reported 1,313 COVID patients in the ICU, which accounts for one-third of all ICU patients, with 877 on ventilators.

The rise in hospitalizations has prompted some systems to postpone elective procedures. Gov. Mike DeWine activated more than 2,000 Ohio National Guard members to help with staffing problems and with testing centers.

Of those in the ICU for COVID-19 at Kettering Health and Premier Health hospitals, 89% are unvaccinated, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association reported Thursday.

Ohio had 19,442 new COVID cases reported Thursday, according to the ODH. This brings the 21-day case average to 14,901. There have been 2,132,266 cumulative cases reported in in the state since the pandemic began.

The uptick in cases has prompted some schools to go to remote learning or close for short periods because of staffing shortages because of COVID-19.

As of Thursday, 60.16% of all Ohioans have now started the vaccine, including 70.36% of adults and 63.94% of those 5 and older. Of those, 55.32% of Ohioans, including 65.24% of adults and 58.8% of those 5 and older, have completed the vaccine.

More than 2.8 million Ohioans have received a booster vaccine dose, including 31,977 reported in the last day, according to ODH data.

Court decision

A federal appeals court on Wednesday declined to lift a ban in Ohio and two other states on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers who contract with the federal government.

The ruling comes after a nationwide ban on the mandate for federal contractors was imposed by a federal judge in Georgia last month.

A judge in Louisville, Kentucky, blocked the Biden rule in November for that state and two others: Tennessee and Ohio.

A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld the injunction for the three states in a 2-1 ruling Wednesday.

“This ensures, while the case continues to proceed, that federal contractors in Kentucky aren’t subject to the Biden Administration’s unlawful mandate,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican who filed the suit challenging the mandate, said in an emailed statement Thursday. Cameron said in a release last year that federal contractors accounted for about one-fifth of the country’s labor force and $9 billion in contracts in 2021.

The lawsuit from the states claims the vaccination requirement is unlawful and unconstitutional. The mandate requiring employees of federal contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 had been set to take effect this week.

In his ruling in November, U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, wrote that “the question presented here is narrow. Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no.”

The ruling applies only to the three states. The Georgia judge’s order came in response to a lawsuit from several contractors and seven states. It applies across the U.S. because one of those challenging the order is the trade group Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., whose members do business nationwide.

How to get a vaccine

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County has three upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics scheduled.

The vaccinations are free and by appointment only:

--- Saturday, Jan. 8: 9 a.m. to noon for ages 12 and older, SugarCreek Packing, 900 N. Gettysburg Ave., Dayton. Register here or call 937-225-6217.

--- Wednesday, Jan. 12, 8:30 a.m. to noon for ages 5 and older, Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton. Register here or call 937-225-6217.

--- Thursday, Jan. 12, 1 to 5 p.m. for ages 5 and older at Sinclair Centerville, 5800 Clyo Road, Centerville. Register here or call 937-225-6217.

Children between 5 and 17 must have a parent or guardian present.

Flu shots also will be available, but proof of insurance is required to receive a flu shot.

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