COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Think back to early autumn. Football season had just started, the leaves were changing color and Ohio had just a sixth of the coronavirus cases it has today.
Around late September and early October, Ohio had fewer than 170,000 cases (it has almost 1.1 million now), and the state was notching fewer than 1,500 cases a day before the infamous autumn spike pushed them over 10,000 a day by November.
But this past week, the first full week of May, was the first time since that relatively quiet early fall that Ohio has seen such low coronavirus numbers.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 8,605 new COVID-19 cases from May 3-9, which was the fewest in a week since 8,098 cases from Sept. 28-Oct. 4.
Last week was the first with multiple days of fewer than 1,000 cases since Sept. 28-Oct. 4, and May 3 was the first weekday with <1,000 cases since Sept. 28. No day last week saw more than 1,450 cases.
Furthermore, Ohio’s rate of onset cases per 100,000 people over two weeks (which lifts state health orders when it hits 50) was 132.8 as of Sunday, according to NBC4’s unofficial tracker. That’s the lowest since Oct. 3.
“We’re seeing cases go down in Ohio, so that tells me we’re winning the race,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday at a vaccination clinic in Cincinnati. “But the race is not over.”
The best tool in that race, health officials have long said, is vaccinating as many people as possible. Herd immunity has been pegged between 60% and 90%, but only 41% of Ohioans have gotten the first dose of a vaccine. Last week, daily vaccinations were mostly between 20,000 and 30,000.
“We’re not going to see the big numbers that we used to see, 80,000-90,000 a day,” DeWine said. “But we’re going to be in the 20s and 25,000-30,000 a day, and we’re just going to grind this thing out.”
While cases are decreasing, hospitalizations are starting to come off their April bump. Hospitalizations generally follow case trends but can lag behind by a week or two.
Looking at those backdated to admission date, hospitalizations saw their April peak at 110 on April 12. April onset cases peaked a week earlier on April 5. Hospitalizations have since come down to 76 on their most recent day considered final (April 25).
Looking at the daily total hospitalizations reported by ODH (which occurred on various dates), this past week’s 762 was a 12% drop from the 868 hospitalizations reported two weeks ago.