COVID cases still creeping up; hospitalization data murky

COVID impacts are still dramatically smaller than during December and January’s Omicron surge.

Coronavirus cases continued their slow, steady march upward in Ohio last week. The 11,013 weekly cases reported Thursday is the most reported since Ohio moved to weekly updates on March 17.

In the past five weeks, new cases have gone from 3,103 to 4,808 to 6,890 to 8,731 to 11,013, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

These COVID case numbers are still dramatically lower than the 30,000 cases per day that Ohio was seeing during the overwhelming holiday season spike four months ago.

COVID deaths decreased for the fifth straight week with 65 deaths recorded in the last week, according to the state health department. That number has declined from 100, to 94, to 68 to 65 over the past month.

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Coronavirus hospitalization trends are more difficult to track.

The number of new coronavirus-related hospital admissions is continuing to decrease in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Last week, the state recorded 296 new COVID-19 hospitalizations. It’s the third week in a row the weekly total decreased and the fewest new admissions reported since April 7.

But at the same time, the state is seeing more of its total hospital inpatients testing positive for the virus, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. Statewide, hospitals are seeing a 26% increase in patients with the COVID virus in the past week and a 38% increase over the last three weeks, according to the OHA. As for intensive care units, coronavirus patients are up 16% in the last week and 41% in the past three weeks.

OHA’s figure is the number of patients currently hospitalized in an inpatient bed who are laboratory-confirmed as COVID-19 positive. It can include people who were admitted to the hospital for another reason (and therefore are not in ODH’s numbers), but then tested positive for COVID later.

As of Thursday, Ohio had 427 people hospitalized with COVID, including 20 in west central Ohio and 60 in southwest Ohio, according to OHA. Of the 58 people in the state’s ICUs with coronavirus, six are in southwest Ohio. West central Ohio did not have anyone in its ICUs with the virus on Thursday.

Southwest Ohio includes Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Clinton counties and west central Ohio consists of Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.

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More than 62.5% of Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccine, including 72.6% of adults and 66.51% of people 5 and older. Approximately 58% of residents, including 67.55% of adults and 61.7% of those 5 and older, have finished the vaccination, according to ODH.

As of Thursday, 7.31 million Ohioans have received at least on dose of the vaccine and nearly 6.79 million have completed it. About 3.55 million residents have received a booster or additional vaccine dose and 322,211 people got a second booster.

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