Even with hospitalizations on the decline, experts say COVID-19 cases could still peak

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio Department of Health data shows roughly 3,700 Ohioans are hospitalized because of COVID-19.

The United States Surgeon General took to Twitter Sunday to talk about hospitalizations.

The data on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased by approximately 800 cases over the last two weeks.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, along with a nationwide hospitalization graph, tweeted hopeful news for the country, showing that hospitalizations have finally peaked and started trending downward. Adams added that there are at least two to three more rough weeks.

Adams said the graph shows mitigation and vaccinations are working, but that there are still a few rough weeks ahead.

OhioHealth Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Joseph Gastaldo said it is a positive thing that hospitalizations in Ohio and across the nation are going down. However, Gastaldo notes hospitalizations in some areas of the country are increasing, saying it’s too early to tell if hospitalizations have, in fact, peaked, especially due to new variants of the virus being discovered in the U.S.

“It is positive but, again, it’s one lagging indicator,” Gastaldo said. “What does that mean moving forward with the more easily transmissible variants? What does that mean moving forward with hopefully people getting more vaccines? Is that necessarily the peak for our country for hospitalizations? I don’t know yet.”

The latest trend in hospitalizations in Ohio comes as Columbus City Schools prepares to welcome some students back in person next month and as Ohio State University welcomes students back this week.

“All of those things collectively do paint a better picture,” Gastaldo said. “We want people back in school, we want colleges open, we want business open, but we have to recognize that we have a more transmissible strain that is here in North America.”

Adams, responding to a later Tweet, said the country is at a high plateau and that while there will be several more rough weeks ahead, people need to be reassured that while bad, things can get and are slowly and slightly getting better. Truth plus hope, he said, is key to motivating the public.

“Too early to tell,” Gastaldo said. “Yes, it is a slim glimmer of sunshine. As time goes on, if those numbers hold out, that glimmer of sunshine will turn into a huge ray of sunshine.” 

Both Gastaldo and Adams are also reminding everyone that mask wearing, good hygiene, and social distancing is as important as ever.

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