COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) held a press conference Thursday on the impact of COVID-19 in the state.

Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, the director of ODH, talked with hospitals about what they’re seeing and if it indicates whether omicron has peaked in Ohio.

“It appears that the Cleveland area has reached its omicron peak,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

That is not, however, the case statewide.

Cases are still rising in southern Ohio.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, hospitalizations are down slightly from last week at this time.

Last week, there were well over 6000 patients in the state’s hospitals.

Thursday, OHA reports 5,887 people are in the hospital.

1,175 are in the ICU.

Last week, cases were up in every age group. This week, cases have increased the most in ages 0-29.

However, they’re down in nearly every other age group.

305 kids under 17 were admitted to Ohio hospitals over the last week.

514 people were admitted in ages 18 to 29.

Live updates:

  • Here is a list of who is scheduled to speak:
  • Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, Director, Ohio Department of Health
  • Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard 
  • Alice Kim, MD, Medical Director for Medical Operations, Cleveland Clinic
  • Roberto Colon, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Miami Valley Hospital
  • Hospitals reached a pandemic high earlier this month – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • Cases have been declining steadily over the past 10 days, esp. Cleveland area – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • Second highest hospitalizations in the state Wednesday
  • Dayton Children’s treating a record number of children with COVID-19
  • Testing demand on the decline in Northeast Ohio
  • Ohio National Guard relocating to other parts of the state
  • 20 US Air Force medical professionals arrived at Cleveland Clinic this week
  • FEMA has approved a medical response team for Summa Health in Akron
  • Ohio ordered 1.2 million COVID test kits this month, still waiting on shipment to have available tests for distribution
  • Dr. Vanderhoff says COVID tests are still available at some locations, even though the state has been unable to get them
  • Additional testing locations across the state will receive support from Ohio National Guard
  • Southern Ohio is seeing some of the highest increases in COVID cases at this time
  • “It appears that the Cleveland-area has reached its omicron peak.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • 25% decrease in hospitalizations – Dr. Kim
  • Northeast Ohio region peaked around 10 to 12 days ago
  • “Something like the sniffles could actually be COVID.” – Dr. Colon
  • “We are still hitting north of 20,000 positive COVID tests every day in the state.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “COVID-19 is not going away.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “We are all hopeful, but we want to take some caution.” – Dr. Kim
  • “This is our 6th surge.” – Dr. Kim
  • “We’re well premature of saying, “Breathe a sigh of relief. We’re out of the woods.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “When you’re at astronomical levels of spread, you’re at astronomical levels of spread.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • Omicron – Less than 1% in beginning of December…Now approaching national average of 98% of cases – Dr. Colon