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ODH Director warns that COVID cases in Ohio are ‘very serious situation’

State health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff again pleaded with Ohioans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations spike across the country (Source: “Ohio facing 'very serious situation' as COVID cases skyrocket, state's top doctor says,” Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 16).

According to the state COVID-19 dashboard, Ohio has reported more than 10,000 cases per day for the past three days. On Friday, Ohio also reported 395 new hospitalizations and 434 deaths.

The increase in cases has pushed hospitalizations near record-highs with 4,723 Ohioans with COVID hospitalized as of Thursday, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

The 1,177 COVID-positive patients in Ohio's intensive care units are also approaching a pandemic record high, Vanderhoff said. Around 22% of COVID patients in an ICU are under the age of 50 and 13% are under the age of 40, Vanderhoff said.

"Simply put we're in a very serious situation but we have a powerful tool in vaccination that can strengthen our protection against severe cases of COVID-19," he said.