*The above video is previous coverage of a new COVID variant that was detected in NE Ohio*

CLEVELAND (WJW) — According to the Ohio Department of Health, COVID-19 cases increased statewide for five straight weeks. That information comes just as Thanksgiving get-togethers are less than a week away.

Reported COVID cases statewide increased this week by more than 1,000 compared to last week as cases rose from 7,511 to 8,557, according to state health officials. For more Ohio data on the number of COVID cases, you can click on this link.

In the second week of November, which is the most recent data, COVID cases increased in Cuyahoga County from the previous week by 9% to 482 cases, according to Kevin Brennan with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

While positive COVID cases ebb and flow, there’s some encouraging news, Brennan told Fox 8 News that local hospitalizations are “very low.”

“We’re watching the number of local COVID cases but we’re still under the state average in Cuyahoga County,” Brennan said.

“Get your vaccinations this weekend. You won’t be fully protected until about two weeks afterward, but the partial protection is better than not being vaccinated at all,” he added.

Here are some health tips as holiday get-togethers begin from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that advise wearing a mask as soon as you find out if you were exposed to COVID, getting tested, and self-quarantine if you test positive for COVID.

The CDC said to watch for these COVID-19 symptoms.

  • fever (100.4°F or greater)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

For a full list of symptoms, according to the CDC, click here. If you’d like to read more tips from the CDC on what to do if you’re exposed to COVID you can click right click here.