Ohio hits COVID-19 milestones as cases, rates continue to decline

Cleveland State COVID vaccination clinic

A man walks to the entrance for Ohio’s COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Two milestones in the COVID-19 pandemic for Ohio this week bring positive news for a state that has seen new cases of the virus decrease for nearly two months.

On Wednesday, Ohio’s 21-day average of cases dropped below 1,000 for the first time since last summer. The rate stands at 961 as of Thursday. Tracked by the Ohio Department of Health on its dashboard, the rate was last this low on July 10 (911).

Just three weeks ago the 21-day average was over 1,500, and it was as high as 1,996 in April during spring’s small bump in cases.

For a week now, Ohio has been under 100 onset cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks. This metric, which used to determine when state health orders would lift, is still tracked by ODH and published every Thursday.

Ohio is currently at 82.3 cases per 100,000 on this metric, the lowest since late June 2020. Gov. Mike DeWine’s original plan was to lift health orders when it hit 50 per 100,000, but most orders will lift regardless on June 2.

According to NBC4’s approximate calculations, Franklin County sits at 87.3 cases per 100,000. And Delaware County, the most vaccinated in the state, is at 49.2 per 100,000.

Another milestone Ohio hit this week was surpassing 1.1 million cases on Thursday. Technically, the state hit it on Wednesday (May 26), according to ODH’s backdating of a patients’ illnesses to their onset date.

Although hitting 1.1 million may seem like a disheartening waypoint, the good news is that the jump from 1 million to 1.1 million was the longest time between 100,000 cases since early last fall.

It took 70 days for Ohio to go from 1 million to 1.1 million cases. That’s the longest time between 100,000 milestones since the 82 days it took for Ohio to go from 100,000 to 200,000 cases (July 30 to Oct. 20, 2020).

Cases MilestoneDate HitDays BetweenRank
100,000July 30, 2020210 days1.
200,000Oct. 20, 202082 days2.
300,000Nov. 10, 202021 days5.
400,000Nov. 22, 202012 daysT-9.
500,000Dec. 2, 202010 days11.
600,000Dec. 14, 202012 daysT-9.
700,000Dec. 28, 202014 days7.
800,000Jan. 1013 days8.
900,000Jan. 2818 days6.
1 millionMarch 1748 days4.
1.1 millionMay 2670 days3.
Source: Ohio Dept. of Health

ODH on Thursday ended its COVID-19 advisory system, the county-level color code that goes from yellow to purple. Because cases are declining and nearly half of Ohioans have gotten one shot of a vaccine, officials said they do not feel the need to keep up an early warning system.

“Our data tells us something different than it did when we were all at risk,” ODH Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff told reporters on Thursday. “So we’re at a different point in the pandemic and a different point than we were when this advisory system was released.”

ODH Director Stephanie McCloud told reporters that the department would implement a new, more appropriate warning system if the need again arises.

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