State health officials report the number of Ohioans hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped again Wednesday, marking seven straight days of declines and triggering the benchmark Governor Mike DeWine set Tuesday to begin rolling back the statewide curfew.
That adjustment from 10pm to 11pm should be anounced Thursday. If the daily number of patients remains below 3,000 for seven days in a row, the curfew could move to midnight. If it continues to decline the curfew, which has been in place since mid-November, could be lifted altogether.
Hospital occupancy was chosen as a benchmark because it is a real-time measure of the strain on hospital resources. That number has dropped by 33 percent since the beginning of the month. But state medical director Doctor Bruce Vanderhoff warns if the trend revereses the state could reimpose curfews to halt the spread of COVID-19 as the state struggles to provide enough vaccines for vaccination programs for seniors citizens and school staff. Less than 6 percentof the state's adult population has been vaccinated.
According to the Ohio coronavirus dash board 5,366 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the past 24 hours, and 75 deaths were recorded. There were 254 new hospital admissions in that time period, 21 to intensive care units. Both of those numbers are below the recent three week average. 2,944 Ohioans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. In the beginning of January 4,500 Ohioans were hospitalized.