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Case numbers stay above 21-day average

The Ohio Department of Health reported 495 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the state total to 1,122,104 since the pandemic began.

The additional case numbers again are higher than the 21-day average for the state.

The ODH reported an additional 18 deaths Friday, bringing the total to 20,467. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Mahoning County added seven COVID-19 cases Sunday for a total of 22,677 with 1,085 hospitalizations and 612 deaths.

In Trumbull County, 15 new cases were reported. Totals for the county are 16,770 cases, 1,242 hospitalizations and 491 deaths.

Columbiana County cases are up by five for a total of 9,195. There have been 510 hospitalizations and 236 deaths.

Health officials said the statewide vaccine rate now is up to 48.88 percent.

A total of 5,713,883 Ohioans have started the vaccination process. That’s an increase of 7,055 from the previous day.

Vaccine numbers are lower locally, with Mahoning County at 47.44 percent, Trumbull County at 45.13 percent and Columbiana County at 38.19 percent.

Gov. Mike DeWine recently said the state could be days away from announcing a new incentive program to encourage Ohioans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Data compiled from state health sources show cases in Ohio slowly are increasing, causing health experts to raise flags about possible new outbreaks.

As the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 sweeps through Ohio, data shows younger people are making up a larger share of cases because their age groups are the state’s least vaccinated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not changed its advice that fully vaccinated people safely can go without masks in most situations, but officials said local decisions on mask mandates could vary depending on vaccination levels and case numbers.

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