×

COVID-19 cases drop sharply in Ohio

But pandemic keeps firm grip on state, health official says

Ohio State employee Steven Loborec fills a syringe with a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Columbus....AP photo

After 11 straight weeks of increases in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, the state finally had a decline — and it was significant.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel for us in Ohio,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said Thursday. “We are continuing to see many signs of improvement in some of Ohio’s first and hardest hit areas during the dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases.”

The 1,582 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for the period between Jan. 6 and Wednesday is down 26.6 percent from last week’s record high of 2,154.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Even with the decline, this week had the-fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ohioans on record.

The rates in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties were again among the lowest in the state.

The state had 1,883.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents two weeks ago, 1,818.8 cases per 100,000 residents three weeks ago, 1,364.7 cases per 100,000 residents four weeks ago and 1,009.6 cases per 100,000 five weeks ago.

The decline also stopped a streak of six straight weeks with record high COVID-19 cases in the state.

But Vanderhoff said this week’s number is still extraordinarily high.

The state’s cases are almost 16 times what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider to be high transmission areas for COVID-19.

The CDC number for high transmission is 100 cases per 100,000. It hasn’t been below that since July 29 when 77.4 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents were reported by the ODH.

“There’s no question that omicron hit us hard this winter, coming on the heels of a large surge that was driven by the delta variant,” Vanderhoff said. “But we’re cautiously optimistic that we may be reaching the other side and beginning to head down from this peak as we head into the month of February.”

He added: “Even when omicron does finally peak in all parts of Ohio we are still going to be a long way from the much lower levels that we were seeing last spring and summer. Make no mistake: Case numbers remain in all parts of Ohio incredibly high.”

VALLEY RATES

The rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents also declined in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.

Mahoning is 76th in the state this week with 1,102.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 72nd last week with 1,789.4 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Mahoning was 18th two weeks ago with 1,943.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 10th three weeks ago with 2,010.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 11th four weeks ago with 1,281.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 19th five weeks ago with 865 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

Trumbull is 79th in Ohio this week with 958.2 cases per 100,000 residents.

Trumbull was 78th last week with 1,546.7 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 47th two weeks ago with 1,649.2 cases per 100,000 residents, 18th three weeks ago with 1,733.6 cases per 100,000 residents, 17th four weeks ago with 1,152.7 cases per 100,000 residents and 28th five weeks ago with 794 cases per 100,000.

Columbiana is 70th this week with 1,384.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

It was 70th last week with 1,797.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Columbiana was 68th two weeks ago with 1,385.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 46th three weeks ago with 1,300.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, 40th four weeks ago with 876.5 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 45th five weeks ago with 727.3 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

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.

dskolnick@vindy.com

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today