COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio’s rate of onset cases of coronavirus per 100,000 over two weeks hit a major benchmark this week, dropping below 100 for the first time since June 28, 2020.
Gov. Mike DeWine had set state COVID-19 orders to lift once Ohio hits 50 per 100,000, but last week he scheduled most orders to expire on June 2. His administration, though, continues to closely track the metric, as it is commonly used to observe the virus’s spread.
The rate stands at 99 per 100,000 as of Wednesday, May 19. It was 124 when NBC4 ran this preliminary calculation last week. Five weeks ago, it was nearly double: 201 per 100,000.
To get back to 50 per 100,000 – a rate the state has not hit since June 14, 2020 – Ohio cannot record more than 5,844 onset cases of COVID-19 over a two-week period. That’s 417 a day.
State health officials calculate cases per 100,000 people by adding up the onset cases of the previous 14 days, dividing it by Ohio’s 2019 population (11,689,100) and then multiplying that result by 100,000.
The rate’s current decreasing trend began April 13 when Ohio was at about 240 cases per 100,000. In the five weeks since, it has dropped four points per day.
If this exact trend continues, Ohio will hit 50 per 100,000 in 13 days, June 1. This calculation, though, is a best-case scenario, and it considers only basic math and not any epidemiology.
DeWine said Monday that the state’s math shows a similar prediction, hitting 50 “during the coming month if this continues.”
“We don't know if it'll continue, but we certainly like what we're seeing in the numbers and numbers coming down,” the governor said during a COVID-19 briefing. “And, of course that is caused by more and more Ohioans getting vaccinated.”
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, said Monday “it’s really rather remarkable” that Ohio is on track to be “in the neighborhood of 50 around the time that it just feels like the most appropriate thing to do (is transition) our reliance and our focus on these wonderful vaccines.”