State COVID-19 case rates drop, but deaths increase dramatically
The state saw a 40 percent reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents during the past four weeks but is at more than four times what is considered to be a high-transmission area.
At the same time, the Ohio Department of Health reported 339 additional deaths Friday during the past three days, including 18 in Mahoning County and five each in Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
The 628 total deaths this week is the most ever for a week in Ohio since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Before this, the most reported was 600 during the week of Dec. 27 to Jan. 2.
As for the case count, the 419.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for the period between Oct. 7 and Wednesday is down from 507.4 cases per 100,000 last week.
Two weeks ago the rate was 560.5 cases per 100,000, three weeks ago it was 616.7, four weeks ago it was 698.7 and five weeks ago it was 683.3 cases per 100,000 people.
The state’s number this week is almost 22 times higher than it was July 8 when the rate was recorded at 19.2 cases per 100,000.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers places with 100 cases per 100,000 people to be high-transmission areas for COVID-19 and recommends people wear face masks while indoors at public places.
Guernsey, at 1,039.2, is the only county in Ohio with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents. Delaware has the lowest rate among the state’s 88 counties at 248.1 cases per 100,000, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Four weeks ago, 30 counties were higher than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents..
Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties had higher rates of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents than the state.
Columbiana has the fifth-highest rate.
Mahoning is at 39th in the state this week with 538.7 cases per 100,000 residents. Last week, it was 40th with 652 cases per 100,000 residents. It was 55th two weeks ago with 670.4 cases per 100,000 residents and 53rd three weeks ago with 703.2 cases. Mahoning was 59th four weeks ago with 714.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 and 68th five weeks ago with 630.6 COVID-19 cases.
Trumbull remained at 59th this week with 425.3 cases per 100,000 residents. It also was 59th last week with 541 cases per 100,000 residents. Trumbull was 61st two week ago with 621.8 cases per 100,000, 65th three weeks ago with 611.7 cases per 100,000, 76th four weeks ago with 561.2 cases per 100,000 and 80th five weeks ago with 484.9 cases per 100,000.
Columbiana moved up to fifth this week with 750.9 cases. It was ninth last week with 839.2 cases per 100,000 residents.
Columbiana was 24th two weeks ago with 818.6 cases per 100,000 residents, 28th three weeks ago with 860.8 cases per 100,000, 34th four weeks ago with 922.6 cases per 100,000 residents, and 52nd five weeks ago with 776.4 cases per 100,000 residents.
The ODH measures cases per 100,000 residents among counties to get a fair comparison because total cases would result in more-populous counties ranking higher.