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Ohio COVID cases, hospitalizations rising again, health officials warn

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in Ohio as vaccination rates lag behind other states – a dangerous combination with cold weather and holidays approaching, experts say (Source: “’This virus is not going away': COVID-19 cases in Ohio increase ahead of Thanksgiving,” Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 17).

According to the Ohio Department of Health, 12% of tests came back positive in the most recent week documented compared to a 7-day average of 9.5% earlier this month. The state also reported 6,382 new cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day total since early October. 

Health officials say Ohio is in better shape than it was a few months ago when cases and hospitalizations surged because of the highly contagious delta variant. Still, hospital leaders have seen an increase in COVID-19 patients this month and worry the numbers will hold steady as people begin to gather inside for the winter and celebrate holidays.

Meanwhile, roughly 52% of Ohioans are fully immunized against COVID-19. That places Ohio ahead of neighboring Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia but behind 34 other states, according to the Mayo Clinic.