COVID-related deaths pass 37,000 in Ohio as virus slackens

There have been more than 37,000 deaths of Ohioans linked to the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus transmission rate across the state reached the lowest point in more than seven months.

The Ohio Department of Health on Friday added 196 deaths, bringing the total to 37,018 over the course of the pandemic. The state reports deaths twice a week.

There were 900 COVID patients hospitalized in the state as of Friday, which is an 86% drop over the past 60 days, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

Coronavirus hospitalizations remain above the state average with 224 in Southwest Ohio, which includes Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Adams, Brown, Clermont and Clinton counties. Of those, 42 are receiving intensive care. Hospitalization rates have only decreased by 15% over the past week, and 73% over the last 60 days, OHA data show.

COVID hospitalizations in the Dayton area dropped by nearly one-third over the past week, with 72 patients in the West Central region — Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties — including nine in the ICU. The region mirrors the state with an 86% drop reported over the last 60 days, according to OHA data.

The state on Friday reported 918 new COVID cases, bringing the 21-day average to 1,403. The ODH also reported 65 new COVID hospitalizations and four new ICU admissions.

The transmission rate is an average of 104.7 cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks, the ODH reported Thursday. It’s the lowest transmission rate since Ohio reported 77.4 cases per 100,000 people on July 29. A month ago, Ohio recorded 949.5 cases per 100,000 people.

More than 7.2 million Ohioans representing 61.87% of the state population have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine as of Friday, including 71.89% of adults, 69.81% of those 12 and older and 65.76% of those 5 and older, ODH data show.

Also, more than 6.6 million Ohioans, representing 57.22 % of the population, have completed the vaccine, including 66.72% of adults, 64.74% of those 12 and older and 60.82% of those 5 and older.

Nearly 3.4 million Ohioans received a booster vaccine dose, including 3,626 in the last day, the ODH reported.

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