Ohio's coronavirus picture is getting darker, as three more counties were raised to the highest level of public health threat, six more turned red, and the state reported the second highest daily count of new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
State health officials report 10,835 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours, the second highest one day count since the pandemic began. Monday was the highest; Tuesday was the third highest, as the November surge continues to climb. 156 deaths were recorded, nearly four times the three-week average. Under current projections the state is on pace to double the death toll of October.
The rate of hospitalizations continues to escalate as well; 417 Ohioans were admitted to hospitals in the past 24-hours. Over 45-hundred people are currently in the hospital with COVID-19, nearly a quarter of them in intensive care units.
The state continues to process a backlog of antigen tests. The tests, which are less accurate, must be double checked with local health departments before being added into the state's daily total. In late September, when an average one thousand antigen tests were being adminstered per day, keeping up with that process was possible. But by mid November the number of daily antigen tests had increased tenfold.
Cases of COVID-19 are rising across the country. On Wednesday, Ohio added two more states to the travel advisory map. 16 states have positivity rates over 15%, and Ohio health officials recomend travellers coming from those states self-quarantine for two weeks to help slow the spread of coronavirus. On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the Buckeye State was close to making the list as well.
"We are very close ourselves, in Ohio, to being at a point where we would warn people if they were travelling to us. We're at about 14% positivity now; 15% is where our line has been where we can say there is a travel advisory to that state."
The positivity rate is a measure of how much COVID-19 there is in a state.