Cases near record high in the state
The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases Friday in Ohio reached its highest total since April 20 during a week that saw a huge surge, while deaths from the virus slowed.
The increase in COVID-19 cases is hitting states all across the country and Ohio saw its highest amount — 987 — Friday in more than two months. It came a day after 892 cases were reported.
Friday was the ninth-straight day with reported cases that exceeded 530. Each day was also higher than the state daily average for the previous 21 days.
During that time, fatalities largely have been below daily averages and there have been nine COVID-19 deaths in the Mahoning Valley for the week, not including today.
That would be the lowest since before March 29. The current lows are 13 fatalities reported during both last week and May 24.
But regarding reported cases, the state has experienced a 9.9 percent increase from Sunday to Friday, one of its highest jumps in more than two months.
It’s been even worse in Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Trumbull’s increase between Sunday and Friday is 13.9 percent, an increase of 97 cases during that time.
Trumbull posted 796 cases as of Friday.
In Columbiana County, the increase was 15.1 percent between Sunday and Friday. It had an increase of 144 cases during that time with 116 of them occurring on Thursday and Friday.
The county has 1,100 total cases with 680 of them being inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton and 84 in long-term care facilities, according to its health district.
The district pointed out that means 366 people in the community not incarcerated or in long-term care have been diagnosed with the virus.
Also, of the 1,100 cases in the county, 1,009 people have recovered from COVID-19, according to the district.
Despite the increases, Columbiana and Trumbull continue to have the 11th-most and 14th-most COVID-19 cases among Ohio’s 88 counties.
While Trumbull and Columbiana have even higher percentages of reported cases than the state during one of the worst periods for the pandemic, Mahoning County was well below the state average.
Mahoning reported 56 new cases between Sunday and Friday, an increase of 3.4 percent — well below the state’s 9.9 percent.
As of Friday, Mahoning had 1,695 cases. Even with the slowdown, it still has the fourth-most cases in the state.
Statewide, there were 48,638 cases as of Friday.
The 987 case increase is the most since April 20.
The state stepped up testing at prisons around that time and saw its highest daily reported cases between April 18 and 20. The numbers were 1,115 on April 18, 1,380 on April 19 and 1,317 a day later.
Friday was the closest to 1,000 cases for Ohio since then.
While reported cases are up statewide and in Trumbull and Columbiana counties, deaths are down.
There were 87 reported deaths statewide so far this week. That includes 16 Friday compared to the daily average of 21 deaths the previous 21 days in Ohio.
As of Friday, the state had 2,788 total COVID-19 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
There were two reported fatalities Friday in Trumbull County.
Overall, there are 346 COVID-19 fatalities in the Valley as of Friday: 227 in Mahoning, 60 in Trumbull and 59 in Columbiana.
For the week, not including today, there have been nine deaths in the three counties — five in Trumbull, three in Mahoning and one in Columbiana.
That would be the least number of reported deaths in the Valley since the pandemic began.
The current lowest weeks are last week and May 24, with 13 each.
There were 23 reported deaths the week of June 7, 26 the week of May 31, 33 the week of May 17 and 37 the week of May 10.
The worst week of reported deaths was May 3 with 53.
The weeks of April 26 and 19 posted 31 reported COVID-19 deaths each while the week of April 12 had 32. The weeks of April 5 and March 29 reported 20 fatalities each.
Five COVID-19 deaths were reported in the Valley before March 29.
However, it’s common for reported deaths and cases to lag behind actual ones because of delays in reporting the data by local health districts as well as the time it takes to file COVID-19 death certificate and determining if the virus was the reason for the fatality and / or illness.
For example, there were 41 actual deaths during the week of May 3 when 53 were reported.