Ohio has now passed 250,000 reported cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, and in the last week the Buckeye State has broken several records for new cases reported and hospitalizations.
The state reported more than 30,000 new cases since Monday, Nov. 2. And, in that same time, 214 total deaths were reported.
On Nov. 2, Ohio reported 2,909 new cases and 37 deaths, with 182 hospitalizations. At the time, the average hospitalization rate was 141 people per day.
On Nov. 1, Gov. Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans in an open letter, calling them to come together and unite ahead of the election, especially in the midst of the pandemic.
“As we confront this new enemy, time is not on our side,” he said. “We must focus. We must rally together. And, in two days when this election is over, we must–as Ohioans–immediately pull together to fight it. The stakes could not be higher.”
The governor also called on residents to “protect each other” and “keep the virus at bay until we get the vaccine.”
In recent weeks DeWine has frequently pleaded with Ohioans to wear face masks, social distanced and avoid gatherings as the state’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to grow.
Ohio saw 4,229 new cases reported on Election Day, the first time the state reported more than 4,000 new cases, with 33 new deaths. Ohio almost matched its record for daily hospitalizations, with 213 newly hospitalized patients reported Tuesday. The record of 216 was set on Oct. 20.
Coronavirus patients accounted for 8.23% of southwest Ohio’s hospital beds, with non-COVID-19 account for 63.07% As of Tuesday, the region still has 28.7% of its hospital beds available.
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is seeing the infection spread in many places, but especially between people in their homes and among groups of family members and friends, said Dan Suffoletto, an agency spokesman.
“This is not the time to be hosting or going to parties at other people’s homes,” he said.
He said everyone needs to work together to stop the spread of the virus by wearing face masks, staying at least 6 feet apart and washing their hands frequently.
Suffoletto said cases are not rising because of increased testing. He said testing only identifies cases that already exist.
Ohio passed 4,000 new cases once again on Wednesday with 4,071 new cases, the second highest number the state has ever seen since the beginning of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the 21-day case average was 2,693. It has only grown since then.
Hospitalizations increased by 186 on Wednesday and deaths increased by 55.
Greene County is a red county at level 3, which means it has very high exposure and spread, said Laurie Fox, public information officer with Greene County Public Health.
Fox said the virus is spreading because many people have “pandemic fatigue” and have let their guard down and have become careless and complacent.
She also said there’s a ton of “distraction and noise” and false information has resulted in people not taking precautions that will keep themselves and their families safe.
Some people believe conspiracy theories, she said, while others think the threat of infection is fake or has been politicized and is not a serious threat.
About 20 people are dying for every 1,000 people who have a positive COVID-19 test, and that definitely could continue, she said.
Thursday brought a third record-breaking day, with nearly 5,000 new cases. The state added 4,961 cases for a total of 235,170, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In the last three days Ohio had added 13,261 cases. Hospitalizations increased by 214 on Thursday and deaths increased by 33.
“This has never gone up this fast,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “This has just skyrocketed.”
The governor pushed back against claims that the state’s increase in cases was due to increased testing, noting that cases have increased at a higher rate than testing has.
Since Sept. 24, Ohio has increased the total number of tests by 44%, he said. In that same period, cases increased by 280%.
As of Thursday, 86% of Ohioans live in a red, or level 3, county.
DeWine announced new members to the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, including naming Stephanie McCloud as the state’s new health director.
“This is the most dangerous stage we’ve been at,” he said. “I need a person that can focus on administration, making things run, getting a vaccine out. In Stephanie McCloud I have someone I have a great deal of confidence in. She will do what needs to be done every day.”
Friday was the first day that Ohio passed 5,000 new cases in a day, breaking the previous day’s record of over 4,900 new cases. The state added more than 4,000 cases per day for the last three days. Of the last four days, three of them have set the daily record. Friday also set a record for hospitalizations in Ohio, with 231 new hospitalizations recorded.
As of Friday, 2,170 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals across the state and 547 were in the ICU. In southwest Ohio, there were 587 hospital patients and 149 in the ICU, according to the ODH.
“I don’t want to alarm you because our hospitals are so faithfully managing to care and treat all of the patients who come in and seek care in the community, whether they’re coming in for COVID-19 or anything else, but the trend that we’ve seen in the last month is disturbing,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.
Dr. Steven Burdette, who has been on the front lines of the pandemic response at Miami Valley Hospital, said every so often a patient has no idea where they caught COVID-19, but the majority can name a specific time where they let their guard down and socialized in a group without masks.
“They got together to go out for drinks to watch the Ohio State game. They had eight people over for some sort of activity. They had a retirement party, and they wear masks all the time, but they didn’t at the retirement party,” Burdette said.
“Masking works. Social distancing works. Is it perfect? No, but it’s really good. And it can make a difference. But the problem is, we don’t do it enough,” Burdette said.
On Saturday, Ohio broke records again, with over 5,500 new cases reported. The average for new reported cases rose above 3,000, with a 21-day average of 3,119. Every day since October 20, there has been more than 2,000 new cases reported every day, the Ohio Department of Health reported.
Testing for the coronavirus has become more and more important.
Health officials at both state and local press conferences Thursday urged Ohioans to get back to the basics to slow the spread.
“Game day watch parties, large wedding receptions, house parties, extended family gatherings, all of those social settings are why this virus is spreading,” Jeff Cooper, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, said.
Today, Ohio passed 250,000 reported cases since the pandemic, with at least 4,500 of those cases reported in the past 24 hours.
102 new hospitalizations were reported today, bringing total hospitalizations to 20,497. A total of 11 deaths were reported, resulting in a total of 5,517 Ohioans dead since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of Sunday, the 21-day case average is 3,261, the 21-day death average is 21 and the hospitalization average is 164.
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