COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – By multiple metrics, COVID-19 cases in Ohio are nearing levels not seen since last year, as infections have reverted to January-like figures.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 45,427 coronavirus cases last Monday-Sunday, the 10th straight week of increasing infections since the Delta variant started fueling the state’s summer spike. Ohio last saw this many weekly COVID-19 infections Jan. 12-17 (49,689).
Ohio’s 21-day average of cases reached 5,602 on Sunday, three days after eclipsing 5,000 and nine days after reaching 4,000. A month ago, the 21-day average was 1,546 cases.
5,602 coronavirus cases is the state’s highest 21-day average since Jan. 31 (5,654). Just 40 days ago, the rate was under 1,000, and it was as low as 243 this summer on July 7.
“You can safely assume your infection at this time is the result of the Delta variant,” ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff told reporters Thursday.
Ohio recorded 9,019 coronavirus cases on Friday, the most during the Delta wave. It was the highest one-day total since Jan. 8 (9,535).
Just 17 days in the entire pandemic has Ohio seen 9,000 cases, and only 10 days have seen more than 10,000. The state’s highest one-day total was set on Nov. 23 with 11,885 cases.
“Sadly, the daily case reports upwards of 6- and 7,000 are very similar to what we were seeing during our winter surge back in November, December and January,” Vanderhoff said Thursday. “And while we’re not yet at an all-time high of cases reported, these numbers are certainly troubling.”
Ohio is not yet on a clear path toward reaching a peak of cases during the Delta wave, but last week’s 9.98% increase from 41,303 cases to 45,427 cases was by far the smallest week-to-week percentage increase of the Delta wave.
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It’s still unclear if the smaller jump last week was due to fewer tests around the Labor Day holiday, but a week under 50,000 cases this week would likely show progress.