Ohio reports highest daily COVID case total of entire pandemic

Ohio had more COVID-19 cases reported to state officials Tuesday than on any other day since the pandemic started almost two years ago.

“The 12,502 cases reported in the past 24 hours is the highest true 24-hour case reporting throughout the entire pandemic, with only days that have reflected backlogs or multi-day reporting after holidays exceeding today’s figure,” said Megan Smith, Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman.

In the last three weeks, Ohio has averaged 8,453 COVID cases a day. As cases tied to the Omicron variant surge, that cases-per-day number has risen to 9,798 in the last week.

That rivals the worst of the pandemic last winter. According to daily data that ODH released a year ago, Ohio reported 13 days with more than 10,000 COVID cases between Nov. 20, 2020, and Jan. 10, 2021. But only nine of those were true single-day reporting, as the other four included catch-up reporting from holidays or previous cases.

The issue is not just the number of new COVID cases. In the last 60 days, the number of coronavirus patients in Ohio hospitals increased by 80%, and the number in intensive care units increased by 55%, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

As of Tuesday, Ohio had 4,797 COVID patients in its hospitals, with 1,206 people in ICUs and 769 on ventilators, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio has reported 28,277 COVID deaths since the pandemic began, and there have been 683 deaths reported in the last seven days, according to ODH. The day a death is reported does not reflect the day it occurred. Because the state updates death data twice a week, trends can fluctuate.

Surges of new cases and hospitalizations can result in surges of deaths reported weeks later.

On Monday, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County urged local schools not to drop their mask mandates, saying that “now is not the time for us to let our guard down.”

“Vaccinations and the proper use of face masks are the two best precautions to avoid infection and reduce your risk of hospitalization or death,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director for PHDMC.

One in four patients in Ohio’s hospitals and one in three ICU patients has COVID, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. The virus has increased 1% in the last week and 23% in the past three three weeks in the state’s hospitals. In ICUs, COVID is up 2% over the last week and 23% in the past three weeks.

The state recorded 584 hospitalizations and 81 ICU admissions in the last day. It’s highest number of daily ICU admissions reported in the past three weeks and the second highest number of daily hospitalizations during the same time period. On Dec. 7, Ohio recorded a 21-day high with 612 hospitalizations in a day.

The state’s 21-day average is 326 hospitalizations and 34 ICU admissions a day.

As of Tuesday, 59.27% of Ohioans, including 69.58% of adults and 62.99% of those 5 and older, have started the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state health department. More than 54.6% of residents have finished the vaccine, including 64.66% of adults and 58.04% of those 5 and older.

More than 6.92 million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 6.38 million people have completed the series. In the last day, 32,290 people in Ohio received an additional vaccine dose, bringing the state’s total to 2.41 million, according to ODH.

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