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COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County nearly double in one week, health officials say

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 7:11 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman says the county is averaging nearly 1,500 new COVID-19 cases each day compared to just over 70 cases at the peak of the surge last winter.

The number of cases has nearly doubled in one week.

“Without a top of the mountain in sight we continue to grow day after day,” Kesterman said.

Health officials say the omicron variant accounts for at least 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the county.

They say it is less severe so fewer people are ending up in the ICU.

However, omicron is highly transmissible and is overwhelming hospitals.

“How contagious it is is just stunning and frightening. It truly doubles the number of cases every two to three days. One of the things that’s starting to emerge is that it is not causing quite the intensity of the disease that delta did. Delta had a lot of severe disease in younger adults, and it is true that we’re starting to see evidence that it causes less severe disease,” UC Health CEO Richard Lofgren said.

Hospitalizations have surpassed last winter’s peak with 825 COVID patients.

“This pandemic is not over. It is more intense than it has been in two years,” Lofgren said.

Kesterman says two mass testing sites run by the National Guard will be coming to Southwest Ohio with one in Hamilton County.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the deployment but specific locations are not known.

Watch the briefing below:

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