Ohio’s health officials are expecting the winter wave of the “big three” illnesses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Though COVID cases are lower than they’ve been in months, Ohio health officials are preparing for what they call “a winter wave of illness” which become more common once the weather turns cold.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff delivers a speech at a podium
Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., MBA, addresses the media on October 17, 2023. [Daniel Konik | Statehouse News Bureau]
COVID cases have been dropping in Ohio. The latest data from the Ohio Department of Health shows the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio fell from 6,380 last week to 4,997 this week. Those were the numbers on Thursday, October 12. Updated numbers are released every Thursday. Last week marked the fourth consecutive week that case numbers dropped, after rising for the previous 10 straight weeks.

The last time case numbers were this low was Aug. 17, when there were 4,226 new cases daily.

The total COVID-19 case count since early 2020 in Ohio has reached 3,532,064 confirmed cases, as of Oct. 17. 143,406 Ohioans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and 42,660 Ohio residents have died from the virus during the past three years.

This year, Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said he thinks Ohio will have what’s become a typical winter respiratory virus season, “which means our big three — COVID-19, the RSV and influenza — are going to be in play. Now the good news for us is that we have not yet seen the winter wave.”

Vanderhoff said there are vaccines for those illnesses and he says Ohioans should take the window of opportunity now to get those shots now to avoid getting sick.