COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As we head into Memorial Day weekend, signs of hope and a return to normalcy seem closer than ever.
“Cases are down in Ohio, cases are down a third from where they were two weeks ago,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, with OhioHealth. Statistics from the Ohio Department of Health show that the state reached two new milestones in the fight against COVID-19 this week.
The first being that Ohio’s 21-day average of cases dropped below 1,000 for the first time since last summer.
The second showing that state reached 1.1 million cases on Thursday, which is a slight increase from 1 million, but one that took 70 days to reach, the longest time between 100,000 cases since early last fall.
And infectious disease specialist, Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, says there’s several reasons for this.
“Number one is vaccines, number two people who have previously had COVID do have a level of immunity, however, if you have had COVID it’s not the same as being vaccinated. And the third reason is the change of the weather, higher temperatures, higher humidity is less friendly to this virus and other respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Gastaldo.
It’s why he says for those who are vaccinated, it’s far safer to travel or gather this weekend. And he says for those who are not, staying outdoors in non-crowded environments is the best option.
“Outdoors is always safer than indoors, and if you’re not fully vaccinated, if you’re outdoors and you’re not in a crowded situation, you don’t necessarily need to wear a mask.
“However, if you’re not fully vaccinated, and you’re outdoors in a crowded environment like a crowd, or a concert, or literally you’re right next to each other, that’s a riskier scenario,” said Gastaldo.