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COVID spike not slowing in Ohio

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down in Ohio with 1,277 new cases reported Wednesday — the fourth-most ever.

During the last eight days, the number of reported cases has eclipsed 926 each day except for Monday when it was 805.

In that time, more than 1,000 cases were reported on four days.

Also, 3,998 cases have been recorded between Sunday and Wednesday. That total for just four days is more than any other week since the pandemic started except for the two previous weeks. And the 4,399 reported cases during the week of June 21 surely will be surpassed when today’s numbers become available.

The week with the most cases was last week with 6,728. That was an average of 961.1 cases per day.

So far this week, the average has been 999.5 cases.

The 1,277 cases reported Wednesday was the fourth-most since the start of the pandemic. There were 948 cases reported Tuesday, 805 Monday and 968 Sunday.

Wednesday’s number has been eclipsed only by April 19 with 1,380 and April 20 with 1,317 — when the state stepped up testing in prisons — and July 2 with 1,301 cases.

Since June 21, the state has had a 36 percent increase in cases while hospitalizations have increased by 17.9 percent. Deaths have increased by 10.9 percent during that time.

The near three-week spike, during which the state had nine of the 13 highest daily reported case totals, comes after the state allowed numerous businesses to reopen with restrictions.

Overall, 60,181 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state as of Wednesday, with 42,111 people presumed recovered, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Oftentimes, reported deaths and cases lag behind actual ones because of delays in reporting data by local health districts, 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.

Ohio hasn’t gone to a statewide face mask mandate, but requires them to be worn — with exceptions — in what it’s determined to be seven higher-risk Level 3 (red) counties, including Trumbull. The highest level is 4 (purple) with no county reaching that yet though Franklin (Columbus) is close.

Trumbull County reached Level 3 a week ago by having four of the seven indicators determined by the state.

Those four are an average of at least 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period, more than 50 percent of new cases originated from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks, a sustained increase in emergency room visits over a five-day period and an increase in outpatient hospitalization visits over a five-day period.

• The Ohio Department of Health’s website states there were around 150 cases in Trumbull County in the previous two weeks as daily new cases and emergency room visits with COVID-19 symptoms or diagnoses reached their highest levels during the pandemic.

• On June 22, new COVID-19 cases reached 21, a record for the county, the website states. It subsequently exceeded that number on July 1, 2 and 3.

• Also, the website states in early June, Trumbull was holding steady at an average of 20 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and that more than doubled to 45 in mid-June.

• Between June 3 and 9, the average number of people visiting the emergency room in the county for the virus was one. It increased to eight on June 29 and the department states “these numbers may grow.”

• The website adds: “In addition, people are also visiting their doctors more often and being diagnosed with COVID-19. Trumbull County currently has several health care and long-term care facility outbreaks.”

Gov. Mike DeWine will have a 2 p.m. news conference today to discuss the pandemic and give a weekly update on the levels of each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

He’s attributed much of the increased number of cases and hospitalizations to community spread and family gatherings.

Mahoning County recorded 1,861 cases Wednesday, an increase of 12 from Tuesday.

Trumbull County listed 1,016 cases Wednesday, an increase of 17 from Tuesday. Cases in Trumbull have increased by 45.4 percent since June 21.

The state added 21 deaths Wednesday, a little higher than the daily average of 18 deaths for the past 21 days. The number of deaths from the virus has been lower during the past two-plus weeks than at any other time since early April.

One of those deaths reported Wednesday was in Mahoning. It came a day after six additional deaths were reported in the county.

The other was in Trumbull. There’s been seven COVID-19 deaths in Trumbull County since Monday.

The 14 reported virus-related deaths in the Mahoning Valley as of Wednesday is as many as all of last week and more than either of the two weeks prior.

Overall, the Valley has posted 376 COVID-19 deaths: 239 in Mahoning, 77 in Trumbull and 60 in Columbiana.

Mahoning has the fourth-most deaths among Ohio’s 88 counties, while Trumbull has the eighth-most and Columbiana has the 10th-most.

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