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State eclipses 2K daily cases for 1st time

More than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday in the state for the first time, breaking a record for the most new cases reported in a day.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,039 new cases of the virus Wednesday, breaking the record of 1,840 set earlier this month.

The numbers come a day after Gov. Mike DeWine warned Ohioans the number of new cases is trending in the wrong direction and asked people to take seriously the need to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid crowds.

The science on mask wearing is settled, DeWine said. When people increase their use of the mask in public, cases go down, he said. People also must be vigilant even when they are visiting loved ones they don’t live with because the virus doesn’t discriminate.

“We have avoided the large outbreaks that other countries and other states have seen, and so far, the combined efforts of Ohioans have kept the virus in check. We can’t let our guards down now. We need to continue taking basic safety measures of wearing masks, keeping distance and avoiding large gatherings,” DeWine said.

In the last seven days, the state’s COVID-19 cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day, compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. Ohio’s current positivity rate is 4.1 percent, up from 2.7 percent on Sept. 23 and 24. A total of 51 counties are considered high incidence and / or red level, the second-highest level on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

DeWine also emphasized the need for kids to receive childhood vaccines and said Ohioans should receive their flu vaccine before Halloween.

Ohio and the country has experienced a decrease in vaccinations administered to protect against diseases like measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and polio, DeWine said. He encouraged parents not to delay their children’s well-visit vaccinations.

“While we do not have a vaccine yet for COVID-19, we can prevent more than a dozen other diseases from harming our children and our communities,” DeWine said. “It is critical that Ohioans and providers remain vigilant about keeping children up to date on these vaccines.”

In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Medicaid will launch several initiatives to encourage childhood immunizations among its members. These efforts will be aimed at increasing safe, convenient access to vaccinations by providing mobile vaccination clinics and reducing administrative barriers for providers, according to the governor’s office.

The new data brings Ohio’s case count to 173,665, with 5,033 deaths, 16,716 hospitalizations and 145,969 presumed recovered.

In Mahoning County, 25 new cases brings the total to 3,425, with 283 deaths, 534 hospitalizations and 2,804 presumed recovered.

Fifteen new cases in Trumbull County bring the total to 2,114, with 133 deaths, 360 hospitalizations and 1,786 presumed recovered.

In Columbiana County, 15 new cases were reported, bringing the total to 2,042, with 86 deaths, 231 hospitalizations and 1,854 presumed recovered.

Trumbull and Mahoning counties are at the red level for risk of virus spread, while Columbiana County is at orange. Yellow is the lowest level. New data from the state’s public health advisory system is expected to be released today and will indicate whether the counties remain at those levels. While elevated levels exist, people are encouraged to limit their travel and follow the guidelines carefully.

news@tribtoday.com

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