CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state has reported its highest single-day COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 190,430 cases and 5,161 deaths.
That’s an increase of 2,425 cases since the previous day - another new record. Of the 10 highest days of new cases reported, eight have occurred in the past nine days. Nine have occurred in the month of October.
“Sadly, our situation in Ohio continues to worsen. For my fellow Ohioans who have felt that until now this virus really did not impact their life or their family and that they would react when it was really serious -- I say to them that the time is now.,” DeWine said.
There are 38 counties in the red alert on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System. It’s the highest number of red counties to date.
Three counties, including Hamilton County, are on the “watch list” of moving to the highest alert level - purple.
Hamilton County exceeds the CDC’s threshold for high incidence and is seeing growth in new cases and hospital admissions.
“Local health department officials said that they had more new cases reported during the past weekend than any other weekend and are reporting highest numbers of cases and hospitalizations than they have had at any point during the entire pandemic,” DeWine said.
Health officials said social gatherings and family get-togethers continue to drive community spread in the county.
Hamilton County has reached six of the seven indicators on the Public Health Advisory Alert System.
The county ratings are based on these 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.
The counties are then assigned to one of four color-coded levels representing that risk level: Yellow, Orange, Red and Purple.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined the briefing and spoke about his personal experience with COVID-19.
“I thought I was safe, and I was wrong. I took my mask off, and I left it off for the time I was inside the White House gates. Soon after I began to feel the freight train of symptoms,” he said.
Christie said don’t let your guard down.
“It’s not worth it. I made a huge mistake by taking my mask off. It’s something I hope no other American has to go through. It’s like getting beaten up from the inside out,” he said.
"One of the things I think people don’t understand about this disease - because it’s so random and because so little is understood - is that when you’re there and going through it, the psychological effect it has on you is significant. You start to think about life and death. It’s like getting beaten up from the inside out, and that combination of physical and psychological stress - it’s unique in my life and pretty extraordinary.
“I know how tired everyone is of this, I felt it myself, but as tired as you are of strapping that mask on or going to the sink and washing those hands again - you will take those days in a heartbeat compared to getting this disease.”
On Tuesday, DeWine said the state reported the highest single-day total of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Dr. Andy Thomers with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said he believes hospitals can handle the current capacity, but the concern is they’re not seeing the number of cases and hospitalizations peak.
“If numbers continue to rise, we’ll run into difficult decisions to make,” he said.
What is causing the spread in the state?
DeWine said a recent report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force notes the increase is initiated by social friends and family gatherings.
“The Task Force recommends that Ohioans limit friend and family get-togethers to prevent situations where the virus can rapidly spread and reach those most at risk of complications,” he said. “It’s not big formal events or workplaces where they are seeing the most spread – it’s informal gatherings.”
As alarming as the metrics are, just as alarming is how quickly they accelerated. Three weeks ago the metrics showed Ohio beating the virus. Now?
“This thing has roared back,” DeWine said, adding every indicator is trending in the wrong direction.