The COVID situation in Ohio is not great. It’s expected to worsen in the coming weeks

Posted on:

< < Back to

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The positive case and hospitalization numbers right now are rivaling what was seen in Ohio last winter.

Ohio Dept of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said 9,738 probable and confirmed positive cases of COVID Wednesday. Thursday, that number was even higher. There are 10,456 positive and confirmed cases, after adjusting for 1,347 that were added after a data error.

The last time Ohio had positive cases numbers that high was on January 4, 2021, before vaccines were widely available.

Statewide coronavirus data for Dec. 16, 2021
Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine announced Thursday they have been exposed to COVID. It’s the second time the fully vaccinated couple has been exposed in recent months.

And more than a dozen Cleveland Browns players, along with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, have tested positive for COVID. They are unlikely to be able to participate in Saturday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

But it’s not just positive cases that concern health leaders. Vanderhoff said Ohio’s hospitals are overwhelmed with mostly unvaccinated COVID patients.

“We’re in a very serious situation. Our number of patients in the ICU is almost as bad as it has ever been throughout the entire pandemic,” Vanderhoff said.

He said it’s not just older and sicker people who are in hospitals now.

“Approximately 22% of all patients hospitalized with COVID are under 50 and 13% are under 40,” Vanderhoff said.

Hospitals, especially those in northern Ohio, have postponed elective surgeries and are sometimes even unable to accept emergency patients because they don’t have enough staff.

Dr. Steve Gordon, Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Steve Gordon, Cleveland Clinic [Jo Ingles | Statehouse News Bureau]
Dr. Steve Gordon, chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic, said his facility has the highest census of COVID patients ever. He said 33-40% of the regular beds are filled with COVID patients.

And it’s worse in the ICU where about 50 of patients are suffering with COVID. And most are unvaccinated.

As in the past, medical professionals are strongly urging Ohioans who are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID to get their shots.

Right now in Ohio, under 58% of Ohioans who are in age ranges where they are eligible for shots have been fully vaccinated.

Statewide vaccination numbers for Dec. 16, 2021
Health officials say they expect the situation to worsen in the coming weeks as more people gather indoors without masks for the holidays.

And the medical professionals are bracing for the impact of the highly contagious omicron variant that is now ravaging parts of Europe.

Vanderhoff said that variant is highly contagious, more so than the delta variant that is hammering the Buckeye State right now.