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Case numbers return to April levels

Ohio eclipses daily total of 1,000 for 1st time in 2-plus months

For the first time since April 20, the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases in Ohio exceeded 1,000.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,076 new cases Wednesday in the state. It’s the high point during a two-week surge that has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases reported.

For the first four days of this week, the state reported 3,410 new cases. That’s more than total cases for full weeks going back nearly two months — except for last week, when Ohio had its highest amount during the pandemic with 4,391 reported cases.

During that record week, an average of 627.3 new cases were reported per day. In just the first four days of this week, the state is averaging 852.5 cases per day.

As of Wednesday, 52,865 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state, according to the state health department.

Gov. Mike DeWine is scheduled to have a news conference today to discuss the virus, an updated plan for dealing with social distancing and possible county-specific policies in areas hit hard by COVID-19.

At his last news conference Monday, DeWine expressed concern about the recent significant increase, but also announced he was lifting restrictions on outdoor visits to nursing home if safety standards are met, beginning July 20.

The 1,076 cases is the most since the state stepped up testing at prisons 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 on April 20.

Last Friday, the state reported 987 cases, the fifth-most since the pandemic started in March.

It’s common for reported cases — and moreso for deaths — to lag behind actual ones because of delays in reporting the data by local health districts to the state, as well as the time it takes to file COVID-19 death certificates and determining if the virus was the reason for the fatality and / or illness.

Trumbull County is seeing a big increase in cases in recent days, while Mahoning County had a small uptick. Columbiana County reported no new cases Wednesday.

Mahoning County reported 1,752 cases Wednesday, up 11 from Tuesday.

Mahoning dropped to having the ninth-most cases among Ohio’s 88 counties after being eighth since June 3 and ranking even higher since early April.

Mahoning’s drop was largely because Montgomery County (Dayton) has seen a huge surge in the past couple of weeks. Dayton officials ordered people to wear masks in public places, with exceptions, because of the increase, effective Friday.

DeWine applauded the move and encouraged others to follow the lead but still doesn’t require it in Ohio.

Pennsylvania also required masks in public places, with exceptions, Wednesday, effective immediately.

Trumbull County listed 878 cases Wednesday, an increase of 25 from Tuesday. Trumbull has added 118 cases in the past seven days — a 15.5 percent increase.

It has the 14th-most cases among Ohio’s counties.

Columbiana County had 1,218 cases Wednesday, unchanged from the day prior. It has the 11th-most cases in Ohio.

COVID DEATHS

Though cases are up in Ohio, reported COVID-19 deaths are down.

The state confirmed 13 Wednesday compared to the daily average of 20 fatalities during the previous 21 days, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

However, those 13 didn’t include three COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday by the Trumbull County Combined Health District after the state numbers were released. Trumbull County has added eight deaths since Sunday from the virus — a 13.3 percent increase in four days. In comparison, the state’s increase in fatalities during those four days is 2.6 percent.

The number of COVID-19 deaths statewide has declined the three previous weeks to a low of 98 last week, the least amount since the week of March 22.

Sunday and Wednesday recorded 72 deaths — an average of 18 per day — not including the three in Trumbull. That’s higher than last week’s average of 14 per day.

Overall, the Mahoning Valley had 356 COVID-19 fatalities as of Wednesday; 228 in Mahoning; 68 in Trumbull; and 60 in Columbiana.

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