Southwest Ohio COVID hospitalizations remain high as state reports decrease

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Southwest and West Central Ohio remains high even as Ohio reports an overall decrease in COVID inpatients.

Of the 5,581 people hospitalized with the virus of as Friday, 1,587 of them were in Southwest and West Central Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health. There were 308 COVID patients in the region’s ICUs, the second highest number reported in at least two weeks.

Overall, the number of COVID patients in Ohio hospitals and ICUs have been declining compared to three weeks ago, but in the southwest region of the state it’s increased.

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In the last three weeks COVID inpatients are up 33% in the region’s hospitals and up 14% in ICUs, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. One in three hospital and one in three ICU patients have coronavirus in Southwest and West Central Ohio. Statewide hospital inpatients have decreased 3% in the past three weeks and the number of ICU patients admitted with COVID is down 9%, according to OHA. One in four hospitals patients and one in three ICU patients tested positive for COVID in Ohio.

However, both the Southwest and South Central region of the state and Ohio are still reporting more COVID hospital and ICU patients than 60 days ago.

“If you look at our numbers now, even though we’ve seen improvement up in Northeast Ohio, we’re still looking at numbers that are north of our peak surge back in 2020,” ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Thursday. “We’re still looking at extraordinarily high numbers. We have a long way to go.”

In the last day, Ohio added 476 COVID hospitalizations and 37 ICU admissions, according to the state health department. Ohio’s 21-day average is 378 hospitalizations a day and 34 ICU admissions a day.

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Ohio reported 742 deaths on Friday, bringing the state’s total to 31,987, according to ODH. It’ the most recorded in the last three weeks.

Ohio updates death data twice a week. The numbers can fluctuate because other states don’t regularly report death certificate data to Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. The day a death is reported does not reflect the day it occurred.

The state recorded 19,697 cases in the last day. In the past three weeks, Ohio is averaging 22,118 COVID cases a day.

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As of Friday, 61% of Ohioans have started the COVID vaccine, including 71.09% of adults and 64.83% of those 5 and older. Almost 56% of residents, including 65.71% of adults and 59.49% of people 5 and older, have finished the vaccine.

About 7.13 million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 6.54 million have completed it. More than 3.15 million Ohioans have gotten an additional vaccine dose.

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