COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday reported 19,546 new COVID-19 cases for the past week, extending a streak of week-over-week increases to eight.

This week followed last week’s theme, again reporting nearly 20,000 cases. Over the past seven days, the state averaged about 2,792 new coronavirus cases, the highest rate since Feb. 22. However, the rise in cases compared to last week is dramatically smaller than in previous weeks. Cases are up less than 1% since last week, so while the state still saw thousands of new cases over the past seven days, it amounted to only 10 more than the 19,536 cases health officials reported last week.

Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said some of the increase comes from people gathering in groups again, largely due to warmer weather, holidays and maskless traveling. But, she said the spike over the previous weeks mostly has to do with the virus itself.

“The weather is getting nicer, so that is causing more people to gather together,” Roberts said. “But really what is driving a lot of this is the virus itself and the new variant omicron is highly contagious.”

ODH began reporting COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations weekly instead of daily in mid-March after new infections slowed to a low level after the omicron wave. Although cases are ticking up and more people are being hospitalized with the virus, fewer people are dying from it. The 506 hospitalizations reported by ODH in the past seven days (about 72 per day) are up from 473 last week and 353 two weeks ago.

Thirty-eight more Ohioans died of COVID-19 in the past week, a decrease from 40 deaths last week, 57 deaths two weeks ago, 65 deaths three weeks ago and 68 deaths a month ago.

COVID-19 metricTotalChange (past 7 days)

*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.

5,940 Ohioans started the COVID-19 vaccination process in the past seven days, per ODH data. Another 7,094 finished vaccination by getting their second dose. Around six in 10 Ohioans are partially or fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 metricTotalChange (past 7 days)
Vaccinations started (one dose)7,327,581+5,940
– % of all Ohioans62.74%+0.05%
– % of eligible Ohioans (age 5+)66.68%+0.06%
Vaccinations completed (two doses)6,807,082+7,094
– % of all Ohioans58.23%+0.06%
– % of eligible Ohioans (age 5+)61.89%+0.06%

*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.