As the COVID-19 surge continues across the Midwest, 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are considered high incidence areas, which the Centers for Disease C0ntrol defines as more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says the trends don’t look good heading into winter. Alison Holm reports.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,509 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, and 22 more deaths. There have been over 202-thousand cases and 5,239 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Also continuing the rise that began earlier this month, there were 198 new hospitalizations, 20 people admitted to intensive care units. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says this spike is different than increases seen in the spring and summer.
“The current increase in utilization is noticeably sharper, steeper than the increase we saw during the summer peak. Based on the trajectory of other early indicators, we’ve likely not yet reached the top. We’ve no indication that we’ve plateaued out at all. COVID-positive ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October, and that is very concerning as well.”
Dewine says he's meeting with leaders from Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Clark Counties – the three with the highest number of cases to talk about ways to slow or stop the spread of the virus. But he’s encouraging elected officials and others in all counties to take a new look at what they’re doing.
“Set the goal to knock it down a 100. Set a goal to knock it down 200. Whatever that goal is in that community is in that community, get that done. Because when you take the cases down, you’re going to take the hospitalizations down, and you’re ultimately going to take the deaths down.”
DeWine is advising people to avoid gatherings like Halloween parties and become more vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing. While he says the increase comes from community spread rather than the business community, DeWine warns that another shutdown may be unavoidable if Ohioans don't do more to stem the spread of COVID-19.