Data: March was Ohio’s best month for COVID-19 since autumn and winter wave

Coronavirus

Despite April bump in cases and hospitalizations, March numbers show improvement after peak

Cleveland Indians fans sign

Fans watch from the outfield bleacher seats during the sixth inning of the home opener between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on April 05, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Now that March is 14 days in the past, Ohio’s COVID-19 onset data for the month is no longer considered preliminary (although some small fluctuations may still occur).

Looking back on last month’s now-settled coronavirus numbers, they show March was Ohio’s best in the pandemic since numbers increased in September and October on their way to a record-setting autumn and winter.

March ranks sixth in cases among the 15 full months of the pandemic and 10th in hospitalizations. Cases are backdated to the date of first symptoms and hospitalizations to date of admission.

March saw the last decreases in cases and hospitalizations on the back end of the autumn/winter spike, as well as the subsequent flattening of those metrics and the slight increase Ohio is currently experiencing.

The highest one-day onset case count last month was 2,080 on March 29 and the lowest was 1,116 on March 13. The highest one-day new hospitalization count was 84 on March 31 and the lowest was 49 on March 14.

Ohio had not seen such lows since late September/early October.

Ohio’s March COVID-19 death toll stands at 430 as of Wednesday, according to Ohio Department of Health data. That ranks second-lowest among the 15 full months. However, March’s full death toll is likely not yet clear.

This is because Ohio’s COVID-19 deaths are recorded with a different system than cases and hospitalizations, and death numbers are only updated every few days. Deaths also tend to lag 2-8 weeks behind case and hospitalization trends.

State health officials have attributed Ohio’s recent increase in cases, which began around mid-March, to the more contagious coronavirus variants moving through the United States. Variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom in December, is now the dominant strain in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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