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Troubling new COVID-19 numbers

Troubling new COVID-19 numbers

Lori Schmidt

Note: Story updated with a statement from Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday morning that he is “troubled” by the state’s COVID-19 numbers over the past 10 days. 

“I’m concerned this will lead to a very rough winter,” he wrote

The concern was shared locally by Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.

“For several weeks now, Franklin County Public Health, as well as our state and federal public health partners, have been concerned about how the fall season might present some significant challenges,” he said in a statement. “After several weeks of declining cases, it appears that progress has stalled for our health jurisdiction.”

According to the state’s alert system, there are now 18 counties considered to be at a red (very high) level of coronavirus spread. That’s the highest number of counties to reach that designation since the week of July 23, and it means that 96% of Ohioans are living in a county rated as orange (increased level of spread) or red. 

“Right now Ohio’s positivity rate has jumped to 3.9% and the 7-day rolling average is 3.3%,” said DeWine. “This reflects the ongoing increasing trend of virus spread that we are seeing throughout the state. These numbers are not good.”

Thursday’s daily numbers for positive COVID-19 tests (1,539) and hospitalizations (109) were both above the 21-day averages (1,080 and 75, respectively). 

Another trend of note: the average age of hospitalized patients is going up. Whereas in July, those aged 60 and older accounted for 50% of hospitalizations, they now make up 70% of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. 

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In light of these statistics, the governor recommended that Ohioans consider adjusting their routines. 

“That may mean reconsidering attending a crowded event or going to a party,” he said. “And if you happen to get sick—please answer the phone when you get a call from a contact tracer.”

He also recommended Ohioans get a flu vaccine to reduce strain on hospitals this winter. 

“This may be the most important flu vaccination season in our history, as we fight both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time,” he said.  

Columbus Public Health today announced a series of drive-thru flu vaccine clinics: 

  • Oct. 10
    • Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave. (Loop Drive-thru)
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 12-16
    • Columbus Scioto High School, 2951 S. High St.
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Thursday: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 17
    • Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave. (Loop Drive-thru)
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 19-23
    • Briggs High School, 2555 Briggs Rd.
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Thursday: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 24
    • Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave. (Loop Drive-thru)
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Beginning Oct. 26
    • Ohio Expo Center & State Fair Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.
    • Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 27-October 28
    • Worthington Community Center, 345 E. Wilson Bridge Rd.
    • Tuesday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Wednesday: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 31
    • Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave. (Loop Drive-thru)
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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