Coronavirus: Cases pass 770,000, hospitalizations pass 41,000

The state reported 8,374 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, resulting in 770,977 reported cases since March of 2020.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 55 deaths and 270 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours, bringing deaths to 9,599 and hospitalizations to 41,057.

The Ohio Hospital Association reported that 4,007 people are hospitalized with coronavirus. In southwest Ohio, 1,103 people are currently hospitalized.

ExploreStudy suggests Pfizer vaccine works against virus variant

New research suggests Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in the two more-contagious variants of the coronavirus that have erupted in Britain and South Africa.

The study was preliminary and did not look at the two other major vaccines being used in the West — Moderna’s and AstraZeneca’s. But it was reassuring, given questions of whether the virus could mutate to defeat the shots on which the world has pinned its hopes.

“There’s no reason to think the vaccines won’t work just as well on these strains,” said Dr. Frederic Bushman of the University of Pennsylvania, who tracks how the virus mutates.

The mutated version circulating in Britain has also been detected in the U.S. and numerous other countries. That and the variant seen in South Africa are causing global concern because they appear to spread more easily — although how much more isn’t yet known.

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