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Photo: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health; public domain.

COVID-19 Update — December 23, 2021

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• The rising COVID-19 case numbers and related hospitalizations are continuing to stress the state’s medical care facilities, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, or ODH, reported in a news conference that was livestreamed online Thursday, Dec. 16.

“We’re in a very serious situation,” Vanderhoff said. “The number of patients in the ICU is almost as bad as it’s ever been throughout the entire pandemic,” he said, adding that 1,177 COVID patients were in an intensive care unit on Dec. 15, compared to 1,318 at the peak last January.
Total hospitalizations in Ohio for Dec. 15 was 4,735, he said, with 741 patients on a ventilator.
Vanderhoff also said that about 95% of all hospitalizations are among Ohioans who are not vaccinated.

• The daily number of new cases in Ohio fluctuated during the week of Sunday, Dec. 12, through Saturday, Dec. 18, with the high for the week hitting 11,803 new cases on Thursday, Dec. 16, according to the ODH. The week started with 4,972 new cases reported on the 12th, and 10,134 reported on the 18th. The seven-day running average of new cases reflected that increase, moving from 7,201, as of the 12th, to 9,009, by the end of the week.

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• Deaths in Ohio since the start of the pandemic surpassed 28,000 on Friday, Dec. 16, according to the ODH. Deaths in the U.S. have exceeded 800,000, according to Vanderhoff.

• Ohio’s new case numbers per 100,000 residents, which represent a two-week average, showed a continuing rise as well, moving from 718.5, reported Dec. 9, to 783.2 as of Dec. 16.

• Greene County also saw another rise in its per 100,000 figures, with a two-week average of 520.3 as of Dec. 16, compared to 501.4 per 100,000 residents as of Dec. 9. Greene County’s latest figures put it at 83rd among Ohio’s 88 counties for the second week in a row. Cuyahoga County, in the northeast part of the state was at the top, with 1,267.7. It was among six counties in Ohio with a case average of over 1,000 per 100,000 residents. Holmes County, in north central Ohio, had the lowest average, with 309.4. All counties in the state continue to carry a “high” incidence rate designation, which is set at an average of 100 or more cases per 100,000 over two weeks.

• Greene County’s total of new cases reported for the week of Sunday, Dec. 12, through Saturday, Dec. 18, rose to 557, from 480 the week before and 531 the week before that. The daily seven-day average also rose, from an average of 68 new cases as of the 12th, to 80 on the 18th.

• After several weeks going against the state trend of rising hospitalization numbers related to the virus, Greene County also saw an increase in new admissions over the week of Dec. 12–18, with 27, compared to six the week before. The reported number of deaths in the county for the same period, however, remained at eight for the second week in a row.

• The 45387 ZIP code reported 15 new cases for the week of Dec. 12–18, compared to 11 the week before. The seven-day average went from nine, as of Dec. 12, to 13, as of Dec. 18.

• In Yellow Springs, the public schools reported one student with a positive case of COVID-19 for the school week ending Friday, Dec. 17. Eight students and three staff members also were quarantining. None of the positive or quarantine cases were tied to school-related exposures, according to the district. The schools are currently on winter break until Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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