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COVID-19 cases in Ohio top 2,000 for third straight day

In less than a week, Ohio set three one-day records for new COVID-19 cases, topping out at 2,178 Thursday (Source: “As daily COVID-19 cases top 2,000 for third day, experts say Ohio at crucial crossroads,” Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 16).

New cases remained high Friday, though not record-setting, with the state reporting that 2,148 more Ohioans tested positive.

Capacity in critical care units at central Ohio hospitals, meanwhile, is around 79%, which is typical for this time of year, said Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. Thomas oversees the region's COVID-19 hospital surge plans in partnership with other area hospitals and the Ohio Department of Health. Leaders from Ohio State, OhioHealth and Mount Carmel Health System all said that while they're seeing more COVID-19 patients than they have in the past few weeks, they have room to take more.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that a record 29 counties are now at a red Level 3 COVID-19 advisory. Franklin County was one of the counties elevated from an orange Level 2 advisory to Level 3.

The updated advisories mean more than 65% of Ohioans now live in a red county, DeWine said. In recent weeks, DeWine and other medical leaders have also warned that the virus is spreading more in rural Ohio counties.