Number of COVID patients hospitalized in Ohio continues to rise

Ohio hospitals are continuing to see more COVID-19 patients admitted to its facilities and ICUs.

As of Monday, 4,745 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized, with 1,197 patients in the ICU and 764 on ventilators, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

One in four patients hospitalized in the state and one in three admitted to the ICU have coronavirus, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

COVID patients have increased by 13% in the last week and 43% in the past three weeks in Ohio. During the same time period, coronavirus patients in the ICUs are up 8% and 31% respectively.

When compared to 60 days ago, COVID-19 patients have increased 50% in the state’s hospitals and 30% in its ICUs.

The last time Ohio saw similar COVID hospitalization rates was during its winter surge nearly a year ago, ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.

In the last day, the state recorded 252 hospitalizations and 24 ICU admissions. Both were slightly below Ohio’s 21-day average of 288 hospitalizations and 28 ICU admissions a day.

The 5,618 daily COVID cases reported on Monday were also fewer than the 6,657 case average over the last three weeks. Ohio is averaging 7,300 cases a day in the past week.

Ohio has detected its first two cases of the omicron variant in the state. The cases stemmed from two males in central Ohio who tested positive on a PCR test on Dec. 7, according to ODH. Both reiceved the initial COVID vaccine serious more than six months ago, but had not received a booster.

The state uses genomic sequencing on positive PCR tests to determine which variants are present in Ohio. There must be enough of a sample remaining and a high enough viral load to conduct genomic sequencing.

“We have known that it would only be a matter of time until a case of Omicron was detected in Ohio. The CDC believes that this variant has likely been circulating in the U.S. since November,” said Vanderhoff. “This variant’s arrival and the continued impact of the delta variant underscore the importance of our best prevention tool, which is choosing to be vaccinated.”

From Nov. 21 through Dec. 4, 0.49% of the PCR tests the state was able to sequence were attributed to the omicron variant, according to ODH. More than 99.5% were attributed to the delta variant.

While the world is learning more about omicron, initial reports and research indicate the COVID vaccines do protect against severe illness, according to Vanderhoff.

As of Monday, 6.86 million Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for 58.75% of the state’s population. More than 69% of adults and 62.44% of those 5 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state health department.

More than 6.32 million residents have completed the vaccine. Nearly 54.25% of Ohioans have finished the vaccine series, including 64.36% of adults and 57.51% of residents 5 and older.

In the last day 17,060 people in the state received an additional dose of the vaccine, according to ODH. More than 2.131 million people in Ohio have received an extra dose so far.

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