Ohio – Ohio reported 17,065 new cases over a two-day period Friday, bringing the state total to just under 400,000 cases.
The Ohio Department of Health didn’t release data Thursday because of Thanksgiving.
Seventy-two deaths were also reported, totaling 6,346 Ohioans who have died since the pandemic began. More than 470 people were hospitalized, and 44 were admitted to the ICU.
Ohio ranks fourth in the country for highest seven-day case average, behind California, Texas, and Illinois.
According to Ohio Hospital Association data, 4,535 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized with 1,113 patients being treated in intensive care units. The report shows 1 in 4 hospital patients in Ohio are COVID-19 positive, which is a 573% increase from two months ago when 1 in 28 patients were COVID-19 positive.
Former health director Dr. Amy Acton offered a bleak assessment of the situation in Ohio during an interview with the Columbus Dispatch this week.
“This is the Titanic at this point and you can’t turn the Titanic on a dime,” Acton said. “So, we’re going down.”
Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Dayton, Franklin County, and Columbus have issued stay-at-home advisories that ask residents to go out only for necessities, such as medical care, groceries, or work. Those advisories did not close indoor dining, but some local officials are now discouraging dining out.
Lake, Montgomery, and Lorain counties joined Franklin County on Wednesday in Ohio’s Purple Alert Level 4 indicator — the worst indicator on the state’s four-level scale showing high spread of COVID-19. Those counties are the only four that have ever been purple.
Eleven counties were added to the watch list, meaning they are at risk of entering the purple next week.
Montgomery, Lake, and Lorain counties have moved to the highest risk level (purple or level 4) of the state advisory system. Franklin County remains at the highest risk level for the second week, and 11 counties have moved to the watch list in the system.
In Ohio, 3,523 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 60% of all deaths, higher than the share nationally, which is about 40%. Nursing home deaths are trending upward as the pandemic worsens in Ohio.
The state did not report coronavirus numbers on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday, while most states reported cases normally.
The Ohio Court of Claims ordered the Ohio Department of Health to release detailed hospital bed data this week, months after a nonprofit, Eye on Ohio, sued for the information.
The data shows bed space has been declining as COVID-19 numbers have surged in Ohio since late September. In the spring, Ohio freed up thousands of medical-surgical and ICU beds when elective surgeries were halted, the data shows.
As the pandemic worsens and patient numbers rise, hospitals will have to postpone elective procedures once again to allow them to care for the volume of patients requiring hospital care.