COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio marked a major milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday by reaching exactly one year since the state’s first confirmed death from the disease.
Ohio originally reported its first coronavirus death as Mark Wagoner Sr., a prominent Toledo attorney who died of the then-mysterious disease on March 19.
But since then, the Ohio Department of Health’s backdating of new death certificates to the date each person died puts the state’s first COVID-19 fatality on March 1, 2020, a Summit County woman in her fifties.
In the year since, 17,346 people in Ohio have died from COVID-19, about 1.8% of the 968,874 Ohioans who tested positive for the disease. Put another way, about 1 in every 56 coronavirus patients in Ohio has died, which is 1 in every 674 Ohioans.
More than 2.5 million people have died worldwide from the coronavirus, including more than 500,000 in the United States.
Ohio, America’s seventh-most populous state, has seen the country’s eighth-most deaths, according to data tracked by The New York Times. Once considered a poster child for its state-level COVID-19 response early in the pandemic, Ohio was ranked just 13th in deaths before ODH last month corrected the death count by more than 4,000.
December alone saw nearly one third of Ohio’s total deaths, when the state peaked at more than 200 deaths per day during the worst of the pandemic.
|Rank||Month||Deaths (% of total)|
|1.||Dec. 2020||5,586 (32.2%)|
|2.||Nov. 2020||2,879 (16.6%)|
|3.||Jan. 2021||2,385 (13.75%)|
|4.||May 2020||1,175 (6.77%)|
|5.||April 2020||1,089 (6.28%)|
|6.||Oct. 2020||934 (5.38%)|
|7.||Aug. 2020||794 (4.58%)|
|8.||July 2020||683 (3.94%)|
|9.||Sept. 2020||629 (3.63%)|
|10.||June 2020||561 (3.23%)|
|11.||Feb. 2021||462 (2.66%)*|
|12.||March 2020||99 (0.57%)|
Ohio’s most populous counties have predictably ranked highest in deaths, but the same cannot be said when ranking the state’s 88 counties by deaths per 1,000 residents.
|Rank||County (pop. rank)||Deaths|
|1.||Cuyahoga County (2)||1,750|
|2.||Franklin County (1)||1,212|
|3.||Hamilton County (3)||974|
|4.||Summit County (4)||957|
|5.||Montgomery County (5)||892|
|Rank||County (pop. rank)||Deaths per 1,000 residents|
|1.||Putnam County (70)||2.98|
|2.||Noble County (86)||2.91|
|3.||Defiance County (65)||2.68|
|4.||Monroe County (87)||2.64|
|5.||Tuscarawas County (30)||2.57|
Coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations have fallen sharply in Ohio and across the U.S. since the end of the year.
On Feb. 15, the last day ODH considers official since data is preliminary for 14 days, Ohio recorded 2,155 new coronavirus cases, 24 deaths and 89 new hospitalizations. Those are tallies that the state had not seen since mid-October, early in the autumn spike.
As coronavirus numbers decline in Ohio, vaccinations are on their way up. As of Monday, 1,687,834 people in Ohio have received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccines, more than 14% of the population.
The first vials of a new one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson will come to Ohio this week.
Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday announced more people will be eligible for the vaccine starting Thursday. They include people as young as 60; people with Type 1 diabetes or ALS; pregnant women; and bone marrow transplant recipients.
Also eligible will be people working in childcare services, funeral services, law enforcement or corrections.