COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As a recent bump in coronavirus cases pushes Ohio further away from Gov. Mike DeWine’s goal of 50 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, the state has eclipsed 200 per 100,000.
This rate, at which DeWine said the state needs to reach 50 for pandemic health orders to lift, is 201 per 100,000 as of Wednesday, April 14. The rate was 185 when NBC4 ran the calculation last week, and it was preliminarily in the 140s at one point in March.
To get back to 50 per 100,000 – a rate the state has not hit since June 14, 2020 – Ohio cannot record more than 5,844 onset cases of COVID-19 over a two-week period. That’s 417 a day.
State health officials calculate cases per 100,000 people by adding up the onset cases of the previous 14 days, dividing it by Ohio’s 2019 population (11,689,100) and then multiplying that result by 100,000.
“While we're going in the wrong direction – and we're certainly going away from our goal of 50 – we're not seeing the runaway case growth that we saw during the fall, certainly not yet,” DeWine said during his coronavirus briefing last Thursday. “So we can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated.”
As of Wednesday, 36% of Ohioans have gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and 24% are fully vaccinated.
Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said last Thursday that three deadlier and more contagious variants of the virus – B117 from California and B1427 and B1429 from the UK – account for more than 95% of the state’s detections.
“But we can win the race as long as we don't falter,” Vanderhoff said, “as long as we continue to press on with consistent masking and getting the vaccine.”
As for where that race stands, DeWine used Michigan as a cautionary tale while speaking at a vaccine clinic in Jefferson County on Monday. Coronavirus cases in Ohio's northern neighbor have spiked to levels not seen since November, in part because of the UK and California variants.
“We’re a few weeks behind them,” DeWine said of Michigan, “and so we have a few more weeks than they did to get more people vaccinated.”
DeWine estimated in early March when cases were still declining that Ohio could hit its 50-per-100,000 goal by July 4.