COLUMBUS (WCMH/WJW) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
As of Thursday, April 22, a total of 1,060,119 (+1,724) cases had been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 55,446 (+123) hospitalizations and 7,697(+15) ICU admissions. A total of 4,487,779— or 38.39% of the population — had started the vaccination process, up 41,0099 from the previous day.
“The good news is we’re seeing what appears to be a plateau in cases,” Governor Mike DeWine said during his briefing on Wednesday. “We’ll feel better when it really goes in a defined, downward direction. I don’t think we can say we’re there yet.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, this week’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 185.8.
Ohio’s goal in order for health orders to be lifted is 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 over two weeks.
Lucas County remains the top county in the state as far as the occurrence of spread of COVID-19 among the population with 357 cases per 100,000 residents.
DeWine said that while Ohioans 65 and over are above at least 70 percent fully vaccinated, that percentage drops off significantly for residents 50 and under.
“One of the keys going forward is, obviously, is to get people 50 and under taking it at a higher rate than what we’re seeing so far,” he said.
Almost one-fifth — 18.6 percent — of 16 and 17 year olds in the state have received their first vaccine dose, DeWine said.
In its most recent update, the Department of Health reported an additional 42 deaths, bringing the state total to 19,033. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.
Ohio’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said that while vaccination numbers are going up and case numbers appear to be plateauing, the virus itself has become more contagious, leading to a better possibility of unvaccinated people ending up in the hospital. He added the new variants of the virus take less exposure to make someone sick.
DeWine reported last week that Franklin County was returning to purple, or level 4, the highest level of disease spread in the community as determined by seven indicators by the Department of Health. It had been at level 3, or red, since December.
And the state’s rate of cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period climbed to 200.0. Weeks ago, DeWine set a benchmark of 50 for lifting the pandemic health orders in the state. After case numbers initially declined, they have gone up the last three weeks.
Vaccination in Ohio, and across the country, is now open to those 16 and older.