COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday reported 17,530 new COVID-19 cases for the past week, finally putting an end to eight weeks of consecutive increases.

Ohio nearly broke 20,000 new cases last week and the week before, with the state reporting 19,546 cases. Over the past seven days, the state averaged about 2,504 new coronavirus cases, the highest rate since Feb. 22. However, this is also the first week since March where the state saw fewer new cases compared to weeks prior. Cases are down 10% with 2,016 less than last week.

(Courtesy Graphic/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

While new cases are dropping, the CDC's COVID-19 Community Levels map has marked four Ohio counties orange for "high spread," and 18 yellow for "medium spread," including Delaware County. The 65 others including Franklin County are marked green for "low spread." The spread was enough that Cuyahoga County, marked "high," saw an executive order Wednesday that brought back a mask mandate in government buildings in the area.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff previously speculated on a cause for overall smaller case numbers while some areas see increased spread.

"Some of this is because fewer people are now getting tested, or they're not reporting their test results, that is certainly a factor," Vanderhoff said.

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. Alongside cases now going down, there is a lesser amount of people being hospitalized with the virus and fewer people are dying from it. The 487 hospitalizations reported by ODH in the past seven days (about 70 per day) are down from 506 last week, though not as low as 473 two weeks ago.

Compared to 38 Ohioans who died of COVID-19, 29 died in the past week. The number is a double-digit change from 40 deaths two weeks ago, 57 deaths three weeks ago and 65 deaths a month ago.

COVID-19 metricTotalChange (past 7 days)
*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.

4,624 Ohioans started the COVID-19 vaccination process in the past seven days, per ODH data. Another 5,361 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)7,338,145+4,624
– % of all Ohioans62.78%+0.04%
– % of eligible Ohioans (age 5+)66.72%+0.04%
Vaccinations completed (two doses)6,812,443+5,361
– % of all Ohioans58.28%+0.05%
– % of eligible Ohioans (age 5+)61.94%+0.05%
*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.