COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest COVID-19 case numbers. Earlier Wednesday, ODH reported that some data would be delayed due to technical difficulties.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 8, a total of 1,266,894 (+6,823) cases has been reported since the start of the pandemic, leading to 67,439 (+457) hospitalizations and 8,995 (+28) ICU admissions.  A total of 6,139,441 Ohioans — 52.52% of the state’s population — has started the vaccination process. That’s an increase of 8,579 from the previous day.    

The Department of Health reported 73 deaths Tuesday, bringing the total to 21,020. The state is updating the number only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.

The 21-day case average for Ohio is now more than 4,600.

During a news conference last Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said it’s troubling that Ohio is in worse shape than before vaccines were available. He said COVID patients make up one in every eight of the people in Ohio hospitals and one of every five patients in intensive care units.

“Unvaccinated patients are far and away the largest group filling up our hospital beds. This is a hospital pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Vanderhoff said. “We all need to choose to be vaccinated.”

Vanderhoff said that every one of Ohio’s 88 counties is averaging 400-plus new COVID cases per week. The goal, according to the CDC, is no more than 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 residents.

“The counties with the highest new cases have the lowest vaccination rates,” Vanderhoff said. “Some as low as 30 to 40% of the county’s population.”