Ohio’s coronavirus death toll passes 5,000

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine visited Dayton's Patterson Homestead Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, where he gave an impromptu press conference urging greater mask usage. Ohio set a daily record Friday of more than 1,800 COVID-19 cases. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Coronavirus deaths have reached a grim milestone: more than 5,000 people have died in Ohio since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year.

The Ohio Department of Health reported Monday that 5,005 Ohioans have died of the disease since COVID-19 reached the state early this year. The new death toll was reached just three days after Ohio set a daily record of 1,840 new coronavirus cases.

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Ohio ranks 13th in deaths the United States, according to data posted Monday on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online COVID Data Tracker, with New York, California Texas, New Jersey and Florida in the top five.

COVID-19 is now one of the main causes of death in the state. It makes up nearly 5% of the 98,747 Ohioans who have died so far this year, as of the most recent mortality statistics reported Sunday by the ODH.

Gov. Mike DeWine made stops Friday in Dayton, Lima, Toledo and Youngstown to urge residents to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings as the number of cases rise.

“We have a statewide problem, but we also very much have a western Ohio problem,” he said during his informal address outside the Patterson Homestead on Brown Street in Dayton.

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“This really comes down to what the citizens of Ohio do, because no matter what order I issue … we have no way of controlling what people are doing where we’re seeing the most spread,” DeWine said. “We’re seeing the most spread in their own houses, in their own backyard … in their own private events.”

The Ohio Democratic Party issued a statement Monday after the announcement that more than 5,000 Ohioans have died from COVID-19.

“Today we reached a tragic milestone — 5,000 of our fellow Ohioans lost to the coronavirus epidemic. We cannot lose sight of the fact that each one of these 5,000 lives was important. Each one of these 5,000 Ohioans meant the world to someone. They were lived as grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers. Their lives are not forgotten,” Chairman David Pepper stated.

The 5,005 deaths are split 51% male to 49% female with 80 as the median age.

A breakdown by race shows that 77% of the deaths, 3,874, are of whites and 18%, or 884, are of Blacks in the state.

To put the 5,005 Ohio COVID-19 deaths to date into perspective, hundreds more people have died from COVID-19 than can be seated at The Rose Music Center in Huber Heights or Fraze Pavilion amphitheater in Kettering.

The 5,005 COVID-19 deaths so far is greater than the populations of any village in Ohio, which by definition are incorporated municipalities with fewer than 5,000 residents.

The 5,005 Ohio COVID-19 deaths so far is nearly the entire student enrollment of some area school districts, such as Huber Heights City Schools, Middletown City Schools or Springboro Community Schools.

The 5,005 Ohio deaths from COVID-19 to date are more than the deaths from breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined for all of 2018, the most recent full year data available from the ODH.

All but four of Ohio’s 88 counties has at least one death due to COVID-19, according to mortality metrics on the ODH’s online coronavirus dashboard.

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