Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise as parts of the Miami Valley region see a return to masking.
Ohio added 26,610 cases of COVID-19 in the last week, making it the second straight week with more than 20,000 cases. In the past three weeks the state is averaging 23,304 cases a week, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
The state recorded 690 new hospitalizations and 40 ICU admissions in the past week, up from 550 hospitalizations and 39 ICU admissions the previous week. That hospitalization increase is a 25% rise, on the heels of a 34% rise the week before. Ohio’s averaging 550 hospitalizations and 36 ICU admissions a week over the last three weeks, according to ODH.
As of Thursday, 1,166 people hospitalized in Ohio had tested positive for COVID, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. There were 139 patients in west central Ohio — which includes Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties — and 196 in southwest Ohio.
Southwest Ohio consists of Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Clinton counties. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in the region has increased by 4% in the last week, but is up 131% in the past 60 days, according to OHA.
West central Ohio saw a 32% increase in patients with the virus over the last week and a 162% increase in the last 60 days.
Of the 147 ICU patients with COVID in Ohio, 26 are in southwest Ohio and 23 are in west central Ohio.
It’s a 109% increase from last week and a 360% increase over the past 60 days in west central Ohio.
Southwest Ohio reported an 18% increase in the past week and a 189% increase in the last 60 days, according to OHA.
Both Greene and Montgomery counties moved to high community levels of COVID in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reinstated a mask mandate after the base was transitioned to HPCON Charlie due to a steady increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations.
The CDC recommends people in counties with a high community level to wear a well-fitting mask while indoors in public regardless of vaccination status.
Those who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease should wear a mask or respirator and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public. They should also speak to their health care provider about possible treatment plans and other precautions they may need to take, according to the CDC.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID should get tested. People who feel ill should stay home and avoid contact with others.
The CDC also encouraged people stay up to date on coronavirus vaccines. More than 7.38 million people in Ohio have started the vaccine and 6.84 million have finished it, according to the state health department.