Coronavirus cases continue to surge, as Ohio hit a new record of single day cases today, and hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise.
3,590 cases have been reported in the past 24-hours; 25 percent higher than the previous record just five days ago. Alison Holm reports.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says 43 counties, with 78 percent of the state's population, are red. Only 2 counties are yellow, the lowest warning level. 19 deaths were recorded in the past 24-hours - there have been 5,275 deaths from COVID-19 in Ohio. And hospitalizations, considered a lagging indicator, are starting to catch up, with 194 cases in the past 24-hours, and 26 people placed in intensive care units.
Dr. Rick Lofgren, head of UC Health in Cincinnati, and lead doctor for the state's SW Ohio region, says there has been a rapid increase.
“And the number of cases and hospitalizations, that’s been nearly doubling every two weeks. The hospitalization [is] at a level we’ve never seen before.”
And Lofgren says the nature of the pandemic has changed since the spikes of spring and summer, becoming more diffuse.
“There’s no one particular area, no one particular group or facility that really accounts for the increase in the number of cases. I must also say that we used to see much in the highly dense urban core; that’s not the case anymore. We see it up in the suburbans and in the entire area.”
Hamilton, Clark and Cuyahoga counties, that were on the verge of becoming the first purple, or highest category of public health warning, slowed the growth of cases and remain in the red, but DeWine warned the threat of COVID-19 has become pervasive in Ohio. While he warns there is no place to hide from the virus, he says he will not issue any statewide orders. Instead, he is asking local officials to form "defense teams".
“Because we now know what works to fight the virus, the major part of their job will be to explain to people in the community exactly what is going on in the community, the state of the virus, what’s going on in the local hospitals, and what steps must be taken to slow the advance of the virus.”
Dewine says the tools to combat the spread of the coronavirus have remained since the start of the pandemic, but Ohioans need to start making new plans.
“Halloween parties are fun, but they make no sense this year. Let’s save it ‘til next year. That’s not what anyone wants to hear, but...look, Thanksgiving has got to be different, Christmas has got to be different… It’s everywhere. And it’s advancing at a very fast pace.”
State officials say Ohio has set yet another record for the number of people currently hospitalized, with 1,536 Ohioans, 416 in intensive care units and 226 on ventilators.