Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Ohio as health experts urge residents to keep their vaccinations up to date.
In the last week, the state recorded 19,536 cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Cases have continued to increase since early April, and Ohio is averaging 15,506 weekly cases in the past three weeks.
When Ohio first transitioned to weekly COVID-19 updates on March 17, the state’s three-week average was 5,446 cases a week, according to ODH.
As of Thursday there were 640 people hospitalized with COVID in the state, including 44 in west central Ohio and 68 in southwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.
In southwest Ohio, which includes Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Clinton counties, the number of people hospitalized with the virus is up 6% in the last week and climbed 58% in the last three weeks.
West central Ohio is made up of Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties. In the past week the region reported a 13% increase in inpatients with COVID and a 83% increase in the last three weeks.
ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff noted Wednesday that while hospitalizations and cases are increasing, the state is far from the record-setting numbers reported during the omicron surge.
Some of the hospital inpatients with COVID were admitted for other reasons and happen to have the virus, he added.
The number of ICU patients with coronavirus are fluctuating across the region.
The four ICU patients with COVID in west central Ohio is a 33% increase from a week ago and compared to three weeks ago, according to OHA. But southwest Ohio is seeing a decrease. The region report 6 COVID patients were in the ICU as of Thursday — a 14% decrease from last week and from three weeks ago.
While cases and hospitalizations are increasing, coronavirus deaths continue to decline in Ohio.
Forty people died from the virus in the past week, bringing the sate’s total to 38,590, according to ODH. In the last three weeks, Ohio is averaging 54 COVID deaths a week.
When Ohio began weekly updates on March 17, the state’s weekly average was 447 deaths.
Vanderhoff reminded Ohioans vaccination is the best defense against severe illness form COVID-19 and encouraged people to stay up to day with their shots.
More than 62.5% of residents have started the vaccine, including 66.62% of those who are eligible, according to the state health department. Nearly 58.2% of the state’s total population has finished the inoculation, including 61.83% of eligible Ohioans.
About 7.33 million people in the state have received at least one dose and and nearly 6.8 million have completed their vaccine series, according to ODH. More than 3.57 million Ohioans have received a booster shot and 422,203 people have received two.