CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is seeing another record-breaking day in reported coronavirus cases.
Ohio had 2,039 newly reported cases Wednesday - a record. On Thursday, Ohio reported 2,178 cases - another record.
The positivity rate is 5.4% with the 7-day average being 4.2%. Ohio was closer to 2.7% in early September.
Positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus out of the overall number of those tested.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 175,843 COVID-19 cases and 5,038 deaths in the state.
“We’ve gone up dramatically in a relatively short time,” DeWine said.
Ohio now has 29 counties with a very high risk of exposure and spread which make up for 65% of Ohio’s population living in them.
“We also now have 52 counties that are high incidence as of today. This means the county has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents during the past two weeks,” DeWine said.
Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Highland and Adams counties are in the red. Brown, Clermont and Clinton are designated as orange.
A county-by-county breakdown can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.
The county ratings are based on seven indicators:
- New cases - 50 new cases per cases 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
- Increase in new cases - Increase in cases for five straight days.
- Non-congregate living cases - At least 50% of the new cases in one of the last three weeks have occurred in outside congregate living spaces such as nursing homes and prisons.
- Emergency rooms - Increase in visits for COVID-like symptoms or a diagnosis for five straight days.
- Doctor visits - Increase in out-patient visits resulting in confirmed cases or suspected diagnosis for COVID-19 for five straight days.
- Hospitalizations - Increase in new COVID-19 patients for five straight days.
- Intensive Care Unit occupancy - Alert triggered when ICU occupancy in a region exceeds 80% of total ICU beds and at least 20% of the beds are being used for coronavirus patients for at least three days.
DeWine says health commissioners said they are seeing less mask-wearing and less mask compliance when people are out.
“These are not times to be complacent or comfortable. It is the time to be vigilant to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors,” he said.
Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at MetroHealth said it’s human nature to want to spend time with people.
“It is okay to spend time with people, but try to be outside, stay apart and wear a mask," he said.
On Tuesday, DeWine said in all likelihood things will get worse before they get better.
“This virus is sneaky and cunning and won’t give up. It has a mind of its own,” he said.
DeWine said Ohioans have achieved a lot in comparison to other states by avoiding a huge spike in cases causing hospitals to overflow.
“But, it would appear that we could have a tough winter ahead of us. We are already moving more back inside. Cases are up. Positivity is up. Hospital admissions are up,” he said.
On Tuesday, the state launched a new dashboard to help private entities that are administering coronavirus tests.
“Our new Lab Capacity Database provides self-reported information about labs that can run tests, including hours of operation, types of tests they accept, estimated turn-around time, and locations,” he said.
That dashboard can be seen here.