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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The Ohio Department of Health released the latest COVID-19 numbers for the state Thursday afternoon and the case rate continues to improve.

The rate of cases per 100,000 declined for the third week in a row and now stands at 140.2 for a 14-day period, the state health department said. This number is slightly lower than in mid-March before cases started to briefly rise.

In early March, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he will lift all remaining health mandates, including the mask requirement, when the state gets down to 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks. Ohio was at 731 cases per 100,000 on Dec. 3; 445 per 100,000 on Feb. 3; and 179 on March 3.

In the last 24 hours, 1,387 cases, 127 hospitalizations and 15 intensive care unit admissions were reported to the Ohio Department of Health. There were no additional deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 1,080,000 total cases and 19,344 deaths from the virus in the state.

The state health department said COVID-19 vaccines were started in 34,070 people in the last 24 hours. More than 40 percent of Ohio’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

DeWine did not hold a news conference on coronavirus on Thursday.

Coronavirus banner 2021 update