Ohio hits 1 million COVID cases as state sees ‘plateau’ in new cases after months of decline

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio became the seventh U.S. state to reach 1 million coronavirus cases on Monday when the day’s 1,444 new cases brought the Buckeye State’s total to 1,001,194.

851,248 are cases confirmed by positive tests, and 149,946 are “probable” cases under the federal definition. At least 52,207 of those million have been hospitalized and 18,340 have died.

“This is one more milestone that we did not want to hit, but this is where we are,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday in a news conference at a Youngstown vaccination site.

“The good news about this is that there’s a lot of us who now have the immunity and don’t even know we have it,” he added.

Ohio is America’s seventh-most populous state, which lines up with its seventh-place rank in total cases. But Ohio is just 36th in cases per 100,000 residents, according to rankings from The New York Times.

RankStateCases
1.California3,642,633
2.Texas2,754,928
3.Florida2,008,341
4.New York1,783,026
5.Illinois1,225,236
6.Georgia1,020,384
7.Ohio1,001,194
Source: The New York Times

A sign that the pandemic is improving is that it took much longer for Ohio to notch its most recent 100,000 cases than during the spikes in cases in the autumn and early winter. The 48 days between case 900,000 and case 1 million is the longest period between 100,000-case milestones since case 200,000.

Cases milestoneDateDays between
100,000July 30211 days
200,000Oct. 2082 days
300,000Nov. 1627 days
400,000Nov. 2812 days
500,000Dec. 810 days
600,000Dec. 1810 days
700,000Dec. 3113 days
800,000Jan. 1414 days
900,000Feb. 219 days
1 millionMarch 2248 days
Source: Ohio Dept. of Health

DeWine: Steady case decline now ‘plateau’

More than 1 in 12 Ohioans have been infected with COVID-19, but nearly three times that number – 2.8 million people – have received at least one dose of a vaccine. 1.6 million of them are fully vaccinated.

“We are really in a race at this point,” DeWine said, as vaccinations rise across the nation but so do COVID-19 cases in neighboring states like Michigan and West Virginia.

“In Ohio in the last few days, we are seeing what appears to be a plateauing out,” he said, “These cases were going down. It would appear that we’re now starting to plateau. And of course, our concern is that we start back up.”

Ohio’s rate of onset cases per 100,000 people over two weeks – which needs to hit 50 for state health orders to lift – was 146 as of Sunday. That is higher than it was Wednesday (145), even with lower-than-usual weekend numbers bringing the rate down.

“We know that the more Ohioans we get vaccinated,” DeWine said, “it makes it much more difficult for this virus to move forward.”

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said in a separate news conference on Monday that the warm temperatures and the declining COVID-19 cases over the past two months “can tempt us to lower our guard.”

“There’s no doubt every day we are in fact getting closer to victory,” he said, “but we haven’t reached the finish line yet.”

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