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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The Ohio Department of Health released the latest COVID-19 numbers for the state Thursday afternoon.

There were 8,500 COVID cases, 353 hospitalizations, 37 intensive care unit admissions and zero deaths reported in the last 24 hours. That’s nearly 2,000 more daily cases than the 21-day average, while hospitalizations and ICU admissions also continue to rise.

“Our hospitals are having to make very difficult decisions and implement contingencies to cope with the volume,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, during a news conference on Thursday.

“What’s the driving all of these delta hospitalizations in Ohio? Well, when we look at the data, our COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to be driven largely by unvaccinated Ohioans. Severe illness with COVID-19 is, as well know, largely preventable thanks to our vaccines.”

The health department said about 59 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 54 percent are completely vaccinated.

Cuyahoga County has experienced the highest number of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths in the state. It has experienced the second-most COVID cases, next to Franklin County.