Ohio records 130 new coronavirus deaths, 546 hospitalizations

Free walk-up coronavirus testing was available the old Greene County career technology Center near Xenia Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in partnership with Public Health Greene County. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY

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Free walk-up coronavirus testing was available the old Greene County career technology Center near Xenia Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in partnership with Public Health Greene County. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY

Coronavirus daily hospitalizations topped more than 500 in Ohio for the first time in nearly a week Tuesday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The state reported 546 hospitalizations, bringing the total to 35,594. Over the last 21 days, Ohio is averaging 388 hospitalizations a day.

And Ohio’s death toll from COVID-19 also jumped with 130 deaths reported in the last day, the third-highest number ever recorded. The 21-day average for deaths is 81.

Coronavirus deaths in Ohio total at 8,252 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Tuesday there were 4,829 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals, marking the fifth straight day the state’s patient count was below 5,000.

In southwest Ohio, the patient count dropped to 1,151 Tuesday. It’s the first time in two weeks the region’s coronavirus hospitalizations fell below 1,200, according to ODH.

The region has 2,329 (32.32%) hospital beds available.

In southwest Ohio ICUs, there are 243 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday, with 268 (23.45%) of ICU beds available.

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Ohio reported 51 ICU admissions on Tuesday, for a total of 5,588.

Daily cases increased for the first time in five days, with 7,678 reported compared to Monday’s 6,548. Numbers tend to be lower at the beginning of each week, reflecting fewer weekend tests. As of Sunday, Ohio’s’ seven-day positivity rate is 13.8%.

As of Tuesday, 8,453 people in Ohio have received the first of two coronavirus vaccine shots, accounting for 0.07% of the state’s population.

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The Moderna coronavirus arrived in the Miami Valley Monday, with Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy receiving about 600 doses.

Vince Yahl, pharmacy site manager at the hospital, said the vaccine’s delivery is “an early Christmas gift for all of us.”

Vaccinations are continuing at long-term care facilities across the state this week after a federal program providing the shots through partnerships with pharmacies kicked off in Columbus on Friday.

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Both the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines require two shots. Gov. Mike DeWine said in the past that Ohio is expected to start administering second doses in mid January.

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