Ohio is changing the way it reports COVID-19 data as the state heads into an endemic
Daily reporting will give way to weekly reporting. And reporting by schools will be changed too.
The Ohio Department of Health is changing the way it reports data on its COVID website. Agency Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says the changes are in order since the state appears to be going into an endemic - meaning the virus is regularly found in the population.
Vanderhoff says daily reporting of case counts, vaccinations, and hospitalizations will cease this Sunday and then will be reported once a week beginning Thursday, March 17th. And he says there are changes for Ohio’s K-12 schools too.
“Schools will no longer be required to report positive cases of COVID-19 to their local health department unless the school has actually tested the student and determined a positive result,” Vanderhoff says.
Vanderhoff says relaxing the standards and data are called for because Ohio is shifting into an endemic. He says 7 million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccines. And he says COVID vaccines are widely available throughout the state to Ohioans who want them. He urges Ohioans who haven't received them to get them because they provide valuable protection against the virus.
Ohio's hospitals are not feeling the stress they did just two months ago. And the case numbers are down. Just 868 cases were reported today. Compare that to two months ago when case levels were close to 20,000 per day.
Vanderhoff says 61 of Ohio's 88 counties are considered low risk by the CDC. He adds 17 are medium risk and 10 are high risk right now. Vanderhoff says there is one county in the north that is considered high risk - Ottawa - and nine counties in southern Ohio.
Vanderhoff says the COVID situation in Ohio is becoming more manageable. And the recent strains of COVID are not as dangerous for vaccinated people. Plus, he says there is a supply of effective treatments available to Ohioans who catch COVID.