Ohio surpasses 1.2 million COVID-19 cases as state reverts to winter-like numbers

Coronavirus

Hospital beds filling up as cases turn into admissions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The milestone seemed far in the distance earlier this summer when COVID-19 was on a steep decline in Ohio, but the state notched its latest 100,000 cases of the virus on Friday, putting the pandemic total over 1.2 million: 1,202,728 cases.

It took Ohio 96 days to go from 1.1 million to 1.2 million cases, per an NBC4 analysis of backdated data from the Ohio Department of Health. That’s the second-longest interval between 100,000-case milestones, but cases continue to surge into late summer.

Cases milestoneDate hitDays betweenRank (of 12)
100,000Aug. 1, 2020212 days1st
200,000Oct. 20, 202080 days3rd
300,000Nov. 10, 202021 days6th
400,000Nov. 21, 202011 daysT-10th
500,000Dec. 2, 202011 daysT-10th
600,000Dec. 13, 202011 daysT-10th
700,000Dec. 27, 202014 days8th
800,000Jan. 812 days9th
900,000Jan. 2719 days7th
1 millionMarch 1648 days5th
1.1 millionMay 2166 days4th
1.2 millionAug. 2596 days2nd
Source: Ohio Dept. of Health. Cases backdated to onset of illness.

With the addition of Friday’s 4,855 new cases reported by ODH, this week’s Monday-Friday total reached 21,742. That’s the most Ohio has seen since Jan. 25-29. The recent daily high of 5,395 new cases on Thursday was the most reported in one day since Jan. 28.

The state’s rate of onset cases per 100,000 over two weeks is 356, the highest since Feb. 11. The rate this year was as low as 23 per 100,000 on July 1. When the DeWine administration’s mask order lifted in early June, the rate was around 50 per 100,000.

Some good news is that vaccinations have been slightly up in Ohio during this wave driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19. The state this week passed 60% of eligible people (ages 12 and up) vaccinated. That includes more than 63% of adults. More than 6 million people have started vaccination in Ohio.

The graph below shows how cases and vaccinations in Ohio have ebbed and flowed in 2021, including the recent upticks in both since the Delta variant became the dominant strain in July:

Areas throughout Ohio are feeling the crunch of the Delta wave, as every county except Ashtabula has “high” transmission of the virus, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And hospitals, especially in central Ohio, are seeing their beds fill up with COVID-19 in recent weeks.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Friday, 1 in 10 people currently hospitalized in the state has COVID-19, and 1 in 6 ICU patients is currently battling the virus.

“Of real concern is that our hospitals are busier than ever,” Vanderhoff told reporters in a press conference alongside doctors, including Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The Central Ohio Hospital Council told NBC4 on Thursday that 96% of beds at its four member hospital systems — including OSU Wexner — are filled. In a normal August, they should be at 80-85% capacity.

With bed availability tightening, some emergency rooms full and hospitals forced to postpone elective surgeries in favor of treating COVID-19 patients, “It feels like where we were in mid-December,” Thomas said.

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