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Ohio's top doc is cautiously optimistic the worst of COVID might be over

Nurse prepares vial at Columbus clinic, March 2021
Dan Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
A nurse prepares a vial of COVID vaccine at a clinic in Columbus in March 2021.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been decreasing in recent days.

The Ohio Hospital Association reports one in six Ohioans hospitalized right now is suffering from COVID-19. One in 4 Ohioans in Intensive Care Units is COVID positive.

The numbers have been trending lower in recent days. There was an average of 4,849 confirmed cases per day in September. Back in August, the average was 2,294 confirmed cases per day. And in July, that average number was 372 confirmed cases.

Ohio Dept of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, says the data is looking a little better so he says he is cautiously optimistic.

“We are seeing early indicators that cases appear to be peaking and beginning to point to a decline. I’d expect that hospitalizations and deaths should soon follow," Vanderhoff says.

Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff
Jo Ingles
Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff

More than half of Ohioans are now fully vaccinated. Vanderhoff warns those who are not, especially pregnant women, to get vaccinated soon. Vanderhoff says statistics from the CDC showed more than 125,000 pregnant women have battled COVID-19.

Vanderhoff says 22,000 were hospitalized while 161 died. He says most were unvaccinated. But while doctors widely recommend women who are expecting to get COVID-19 shots, Vanderhoff says the majority of pregnant women remain unvaccinated.

Hospitals statewide 97% of those hospitalized in Ohio with COVID since January 1 were unvaccinated, and more than 98% of those who have died since then weren’t vaccinated.

The state's latest effort to get younger Ohioans vaccinated starts today. Ohioans 12 through 25 years old who have been vaccinated can now register for scholarships at: ohiovax2school.com. Five $100,000 scholarships and 50 $10,000 scholarships will be awarded. Earlier this year, Ohio gave away scholarships
and million-dollar cash prizes as part of the Vaxamillion sweepstakes. Gov. Mike DeWine declared that effort a success though some outside sources that looked into the data disagreed. DeWine is hoping these new sweepstakes, which will allow money for college education, job training programs, or trade school, will attract younger Ohioans who have the lowest vaccination rates.

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