Coronavirus: Ohio surpasses 500,000 cases, adds antigen results to total

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Ohio surpassed half million total coronavirus cases Tuesday for a total of 510,018 cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health. More than 25,700 cases were added today.

Ohio began reporting positive COVID-19 antigen tests Tuesday without additional verification, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting guidelines. Previously, ODH manually verified the cases before the state added them to its totals.

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Gov. Mike DeWine noted Monday that the change would result in a spike in cases being reported. Ohio had a backlog of 12,600 positive antigen cases pending, which were added to the rest of the positive cases dating back to Nov. 1.

“After understanding more about antigen tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, changed their case definition in August allowing antigen tests to be included in case counts without additional verification,” said ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. “ODH is now aligned with CDC’s current definition and we will begin reflecting those tests immediately in our daily reported case counts moving forward.”

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On Nov. 28, Ohio surpassed 400,000 total cases after reporting more than 6,800 daily cases. The state has recorded another 100,000 cases in less than two weeks.

Hospitalizations increased by 657 Tuesday, for a total of 30,226.

There are 5,181 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Ohio, with 1,226 patients in southwest Ohio.

The region has 1,992 hospital beds, or 27.95%, available, according to ODH.

Southwest Ohio also is reporting 273 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and 209 on ventilators today. Ohio has recorded a total of 5,010 ICU admissions during the pandemic.

Deaths increased by 81 Tuesday, bringing the total to 7,103.

On Monday, DeWine announced that the state’s curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be extended. The curfew was set to expire on Thursday. It is not clear how long it will be continued.