COVID hospitalizations remain high; 2 million receive booster vaccine in Ohio

More than 2 million people in Ohio have received an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the state continues to report high hospitalizations and cases from the virus.

As of Friday, 2.04 million additional vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with nearly 42,500 shots distributed in the last day, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Fifty-eight percent of Ohioans have started the vaccine, including 69.04% of adults and 62.29% of those 5 and older. Nearly 54% of residents have finished the vaccine, including 64.26% of adults and 57.26% of Ohioans 5 and older.

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Friday marked the seventh straight day Ohio had more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. The state reported 4,422 inpatients Friday, with 1,112 coronavirus patients in ICUs and 721 on ventilators, according to ODH.

One in five hospital patients and one in four ICU patients have COVID, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. Coronavirus inpatients are up 10% in the past week and 45% in the last three weeks. The number of COVID patients in Ohio’s ICUs increased 8% in the last week and 31% in the past three weeks.

Compared to 60 days ago, COVID hospitalizations are up 30% and ICU admissions up 18%, according to OHA.

Ohio’s hospitalization numbers are rivaling numbers reported during the peak of its winter surge, ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Thursday. Between the increase in patients and staffing shortages, some hospitals are having to delay elective procedures or divert patients to other facilities.

To avoid further stressing health care systems, Vanderhoff stressed getting vaccinated or receiving a booster dose. Those who are traveling for Christmas should consider getting tested for the virus before hitting the road and wearing a mask during any large gatherings.

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On Friday, Ohio added 419 hospitalizations and 50 ICU admissions. The state is averaging 279 hospitalizations and 28 ICU admissions a day over the last three weeks, according to ODH.

The state recorded 7,359 cases in the past day. Ohio’s 21-day average is 6,423 cases a day and is averaging 7,213 cases a day in the past week.

ODH reported 360 COVID deaths Friday, bringing the state’s total to 27,371. It’s the highest number of deaths reported in the last three weeks.

Death data can fluctuate because other states don’t regularly report death certificate information to Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. The day a death is reported does not reflect the day it occurred.

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