Ohio – Ohio reached another grim milestone Friday, breaking the record for daily COVID-19 cases with 3,845 new cases between Thursday and Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
This is the second time this week the state has broken that record. On Thursday, the state reported 3,590 cases, now the second-highest count since the pandemic began.
Friday also marked 15 days straight of 2,000 or more daily cases.
A record number of hospitalizations were also reported. More than 1,600 are hospitalized, which is a 6.1% increase since Thursday. Of those, 427 are in ICUs and 226 are on ventilators.
Over the past week, Ohio’s positivity rate was 6.2%, tying with the state’s record set on July 25.
Sixteen deaths were documented Friday, which is above the state’s three-week average of 14 deaths.
The new numbers come after Gov. Mike DeWine’s warning Thursday, saying the virus “is raging through the state.”
Health experts across the country have been warning Americans about indoor gatherings as the holidays approach.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said the latest wave of infections is being driven by small gatherings of families and friends where safety precautions aren’t being taken, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
“We’re going into a precarious situation,” Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday.
Only two counties in Ohio remain at Yellow Alert Level 1 — the lowest indicator on the state’s COVID-19 spread system, showing a low level of risk. Most of the state is under a Red Alert Level 3, the second-highest level. None are under Purple Alert Level 4, the absolute worst indicator.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationally, not just in Ohio. On Friday, the U.S. surpassed 9 million cases. Health officials said cases are on the rise in 47 states. It only took two weeks for the U.S. to go to 8 to 9 million cases, which is the fastest jump of 1 million so far.