Ohio continues to see uptick in COVID, reports nearly 550 daily cases

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Coronavirus cases are continuing to climb once again in Ohio with the state reporting nearly 550 daily cases Thursday, one day after health leaders expressed concern about the delta variant and about potential increase resulting from Fourth of July holiday gatherings.

Ohio recorded 547 new cases Thursday, the second highest number reported in the last three weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Health. On July 1, the sate reported 579 cases.

The uptick comes after weeks of decreasing cases and hospitalizations in the state.

ExploreAfter weeks of declining COVID cases, Ohio sees slight uptick

On June 30, Ohio was averaging 267 cases a day and hadn’t reported more than 400 cases in a day in at least three weeks. As of Thursday, the state’s 21-day average has increased to 276 cases a day. Ohio has reported more than 500 daily cases twice this month.

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff said it isn’t clear what’s behind the recent increase in cases.

“It’s really too early for us to be able to definitively say that the uptick that we’re seeing now is the direct result of delta or the direct result of a post-holiday bump,” he said. “It could be both, it could be that plus other things.”

Vanderhoff discussed the delta variant on Wednesday, saying the variant is expected to become the dominant form of COVID in Ohio.

ExploreDelta variant on the rise in Ohio, expected to become dominant form of COVID, health experts say

Delta is reportedly 50% more contagious than the alpha variant, which is Ohio’s current dominant form the of virus.

“The good news is our current vaccines are effective against the delta variant,” he said. “The bad news is if you’re not fully vaccinated, you’re at real risk for serious illness, including hospitalization or death.”

As of Thursday, 5,646,850 people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 5,290,569 have finished it, according to ODH.

More than 45.25% of Ohioans have completed the vaccine.

Hospitalizations were just over the state’s 21-day average of 33, with 37 reported on Thursday.

ICU admissions hit a 21-day high with 14, according to the state health department. In the last three weeks, Ohio is averaging four ICU admissions a day.