Ohio surpasses 700,000 total coronavirus cases, nears 9,000 deaths

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

Ohio broke 700,000 total cases of coronavirus on the last day of 2020, with 9,632 daily cases reported, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

It’s the highest number of daily cases the state has recorded since reporting 9,684 cases on Dec. 18. The 11,018 cases reported on Saturday also included cases from Christmas Day.

Deaths also increased by 107 in the New Year’s Eve report, making the total 8.962 since the pandemic began.

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Hospitalizations increased by 332 on New Year’s Eve for a total of 38,334.

Ohio had 4,367 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state Thursday, according to ODH. Of those hospitalized, 1,230 were in southwest Ohio. New Year’s Eve was the first time since Dec. 21 that the region had more than 1,200 coronavirus patients in the hospital.

COVID-19 patients account for 17.16% of southwest Ohio’s hospital beds with 29.9% (2,143 beds) open.

The region had 276 (23.98%) coronavirus patients in ICUs. There were 248 ICU beds (21.55%) available.

Ohio added 33 ICU admissions to its total, bringing it to 5,870.

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ODH will not update the COVID-19 dashboard data on New Year’s Day due to the holiday. Data from Jan. 1 will be included in the update on Jan. 2.

On Wednesday Gov. Mike DeWine said he isn’t satisfied with how fast the coronavirus vaccine is being distributed in Ohio.

“We’re not moving fast enough but we’re going to get there and we’re going to we’re going to speed this thing up,” he said.

As of Thursday, 119,401 have received the first of the two-dose vaccine, accounting for 1.02% of Ohio’s population, according to ODH.

The governor did not say what exactly was behind the slow distribution, but stressed the need to get the vaccine out as soon as possible.

DeWine asked that hospitals administer vaccinations within 24 hours and then report that information back to the state within another 24 hours.

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He also expressed alarm at reports of nursing home passing on the vaccine. Only about 40% of nursing home staff are choosing to get the vaccine, he said.

DeWine acknowledged that it is an individual’s choice to be vaccinated, urging anyone with questions or concerns to speak to their doctor.

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