White House reports gauge Ohio’s response to COVID-19: What they say

Over the past four weeks, Ohio’s new coronavirus cases have declined by nearly 50 percent, according to the White House’s weekly COVID-19 reports.

The first report for the week through Jan. 22 showed 39,540 new cases, which was a 24 percent decline from the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The cases saw a double-digit decline over the next few weeks, and the week through Feb. 12 ― released Wednesday ― saw a 48.8 percent decline from the first publicly released report.

Positive test results for the coronavirus have been on the decline over the past four weeks in Ohio, as have the number of tests taken. For the week through Jan. 22, more than 306,900 tests were taken with a 9.9 percent positivity rate. The week through Feb. 12, nearly 255,260 tests were taken with a 5.8 percent positivity rate.

ExploreSurvey: Most area adults follow some COVID-19 safety measures, but not all
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Middletown City Schools employees were some of the first teachers in Ohio to receive their Covid-19 vaccines Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at Middletown High School. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown City Schools employees were some of the first teachers in Ohio to receive their Covid-19 vaccines Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at Middletown High School. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Middletown City Schools employees were some of the first teachers in Ohio to receive their Covid-19 vaccines Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at Middletown High School. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has acknowledged the decline in recent weeks, saying the vaccine likely has a small role, but it’s more likely because people are taking safety protocols more seriously.

A recent southwest Ohio COVID-19 Health Issues Survey by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati showed most adults in the 22-county tri-state area were complying with protocols that help reduce the spread of the virus, and intent to get vaccinated.

Nine out of 10 adults are wearing masks indoors, and more than seven out of 10 are wearing masks outdoors, according to the survey. Nearly 9 out of 10 are using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distances of at least six feet, and nearly all surveyed are washing hands frequently. But, less than 60 percent of adults in the region follow all recommendations.

New daily increases in cases have hovered around the 2,000-mark, which the governor said at his Tuesday press conference “is a good thing.”

Wednesday, there were 1,816 new cases reported bringing the total cases since the onset of the COVID-19 virus pandemic to 945,107.

Nearly 11.5 percent of Ohioans have begun the inoculation process with nearly 1.34 million starting the process, and 513,004 people have received both shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy on Tuesday announced a series of virtual town halls that will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube that will highlight the safety of the vaccine, debunking myths, and hear from medical experts and health professionals.

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School faculty lined up for Covid-19 vaccines administered by Kroger Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

School faculty lined up for Covid-19 vaccines administered by Kroger Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
School faculty lined up for Covid-19 vaccines administered by Kroger Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“We understand that there are many Ohioans across the state who may be ambivalent about taking the vaccine but we also know that providing accurate information and increasing access can help in that personal decision-making,” she said.

DeWine said there is “a lot of dangerous misinformation” circulating about the COVID-19 vaccines which is why the state is putting on these town halls.

The virtual meetings, which links will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 23 and March 1 and 2. They’ll reair on The Ohio Channel on the weekends of Feb. 26 and March 6.


FACTS & FIGURES

The weekly new COVID-19 virus cases have declined from week to week, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Here’s how they have declined:

Week through Jan. 22: 39,540 new cases (338 per 100,000 population)

Week through Jan. 29: 34,608 new cases (296 per 100,000 population)

Week through Feb. 5: 25,940 new cases (222 per 100,000 population)

Week through Feb. 12: 20,212 new cases (173 per 100,000 population)

The weekly tests were taken and positivity rates have been on the decline, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here’s how they have declined:

Week through Jan. 22: 306,904 PCR tests taken with a 9.9 percent positivity rate

Week through Jan. 29: 299,821 PCR tests taken with an 8.2 percent positivity rate

Week through Feb. 5: 280,863 PCR tests taken with a 7.2 percent positivity rate

Week through Feb. 12: 255,258 PCR tests taken with a 5.8 percent positivity rate

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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