COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– COVID-19 cases are up in Ohio this week.
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported nearly 2,500 new cases of the virus. The seven-day average of daily cases was more than 1,800 this week, compared to 1,500 last week, according to Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.
Ohio’s top doctor said all parts of the state appear to be impacted by rises in cases, but many of the highest case counts are in Zone 1, which runs along the northern portion of the state from Toledo to the Mahoning Valley. There is more activity along the northern border with Michigan.
“After a long and dramatic decline, cases leveled off last week and are rising this week. Nationally, this picture has been more dramatic in two hotspots: Michigan and and the New York City/New Jersey area,” Vanderhoff said.
Michigan’s uptick in cases appears to be driven by coronavirus variants, particularly the B117, or UK variant.
“Here in Ohio, variant activity continues to rise,” he said.
Vanderhoff said the UK and two California variants are growing in Ohio. Those three make up more than 80 percent of the 620 genomic detections in the states. The state’s variant counts were 92 on March 12, 173 on March 19 and 620 on Thursday.
He also stressed continued and proper mask wearing and highlighted encouraging news that vaccines provide powerful protection against the COVID-19 variants.