Note: A new version of this story tracking Ohio’s progress toward the 50 cases per 100,000 goal was published on March 18.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – For all state health orders to lift, Gov. Mike DeWine set a specific goal: Ohio needs to get down to 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a period of two weeks.

State health officials calculate this rate by adding up the onset cases of the previous 14 days, dividing it by Ohio’s population (11,689,100) and then multiplying that result by 100,000.

As of Wednesday, March 10, the rate stands at 156 per 100,000.

156 onset cases per 100,000 over two weeks is the lowest Ohio has been on this metric since Oct. 7, 2020. It was last at 50 per 100,000 on June 14.

To get back to 50 per 100,000, Ohio cannot record more than 5,844 COVID-19 cases over two weeks, which is 417 a day. The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,868 new cases on Wednesday.

A few notes:

  • Onset cases are backdated to when that COVID-positive person started feeling symptoms. A date’s onset case total is considered preliminary for 14 days as more positive tests come in.
  • State officials subtract the handful of cases that are prisoners. Onset cases among prisoners are not publicly released, so NBC4’s case rate for the state is very slightly higher.
  • NBC4’s rate is rounded up to the next whole number.

When could Ohio hit 50 cases per 100,000 people? Here is some math:

156 cases per 100,000 people divided by 50 is 3.12, which means the rate needs to decrease to less than a third of what it is now to reach 50. However, it was only five weeks ago that the case rate was more than 3.12 times higher than it is now: 506 per 100,000 on Feb. 3.

If that trend stays the same, Ohio could see a day of 50-per-100,000 by mid-April and reach 14 consecutive days of it by the end of April. That is a best-case scenario, however, and it only takes into account a single mathematical formula – not any epidemiology.

Gov. DeWine has estimated July 4 as a possible date when Ohio hits its goal.