5 things to know about the coronavirus today: Broken records and utility bills

It is Thursday, Oct. 22, and these are five things to know about the coronavirus today.

Area hospitals reporting highest numbers of coronavirus patients yet

Hospitals in southwest Ohio are reporting their highest numbers of coronavirus patients yet as we stand at the start of flu season. Health care officials said that there hasn’t been an equal rise in ventilator and ICU patients with COVID-19, but ventilator usage may rise soon since it can take a while for people to get sick enough to need one.

Coronavirus cases also rising at Wright-Patt Air Force Base

As Ohio is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base also reported a similar growth of COVID-19 cases. However, the base commander said that the base is prepared for the rise in cases, and was moving forward with plans to gradually return its workforce to full capacity.

Ohioans told to avoid travel to seven states, plus possibly three more

Ohio has updated its weekly travel advisory for states reporting positive coronavirus testing rates of 15% or higher to include Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah. There were also three states where there were several days without overall testing volume data, so an accurate positivity rate couldn’t be calculated: Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming. The Ohio Department of Health also encouraged Ohioans to avoid these states, based on recent trends.

Ohio continues to break records for coronavirus cases in a day

Ohio is continuing on its record-breaking streak of rising coronavirus cases. On Wednesday cases reached a new record-setting level of 2,366 cases reported, over 100 more cases than the last record set on Saturday. Ohio has broken prior records four times in less than two weeks.

Montgomery County offering help for residents to pay electric and gas bills

Montgomery County commissioners have approved a new utilities relief program on Tuesday to help county residents struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills due to the coronavirus pandemic. The program allows DP&L and Vectren customers to receive a bill credit for qualifying past due balances, covering any amount more than 30 days past due for services billed on or after March 1. Applications are only accepted until Nov. 30.

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