Ohio coronavirus cases top 100K: ‘This is with us for the long haul'

Reported coronavirus cases in Ohio reached 100,848 Sunday as 879 new cases were reported by the Ohio Department of Health. One new death was reported, bringing the total to 3,669.

Local health officials say the grim milestone of topping 100,000 cases is a reminder of the scale of the challenge and need for continued vigilance even as some encouraging data emerges: new cases and hospitalizations statewide have declined recently from a peak in mid-July.

The number of COVID-19 positive intensive care unit patients and those on ventilators, however, have stayed generally flat. On Sunday, there were 365 coronavirus patients in ICUs in Ohio and 193 on venilators.

Sarah Hackenbracht, president of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said COVID-19 hospitalizations in their 11 county area— including Butler, Clark, Greene and Montgomery— have declined in recent weeks.

This underlines the importance of continued actions like social distancing, wearing masks in public and limiting gatherings, she said.

“This is with us for the long haul, so we really do have to understand that each of the actions we take individually will have this continuous impact,” Hackenbracht said.

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Montgomery County has likewise seen a decline recently in new cases and hospitalizations, but the spread of the disease remains high, according to state data shared last week. Montgomery County remains on a level 3 alert.

“The good news is we haven’t gone to a level 4 but we still haven’t been able to bring it down to a level 2,” said Dan Suffoletto spokesman for Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County. “We need to continue doing what we need to do.”

Clark County, meanwhile, marked its own milestone of reaching 1,000 cases Friday. The 64 new cases they recorded last week was up from the weekly average of 45 to 55 new cases, according to Gracie Hemphill, spokeswoman for the Clark County Combined Health District.

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“We here in Clark County are observing more people wearing masks because of the state mandate and that’s great thing,” she said. “It’s going to take a couple weeks for the numbers to show that and slow down.”

As of Sunday afternoon, 16 other states had reported more than 100,000 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit 5 million on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Ohio’s rate of 855 cases per 100,00 people is 41st among states and territories in the nation, according to CDC data; the death rate per 100,000 people is 31, or 24th in the nation.

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