© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science & Environment

Ohio's Top Doctor Is Cautiously Optimistic The Peak Of The COVID-19 Wave Is Behind Us

Dan Konik/ Statehouse News Bureau
Statehouse News Bureau

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has been trending lower in recent days.

There was an average of 4,849 confirmed cases per day in September. Back in August, the average was 2,294 confirmed cases per day. And in July, that average number was 372 confirmed cases.

The Ohio Hospital Association reports one in six Ohioans hospitalized right now is suffering from COVID-19. One in four Ohioans in Intensive Care Units is COVID-19 positive.

Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, says the data is looking a little better, so he is cautiously optimistic.

“We are seeing early indicators that cases appear to be peaking and beginning to point to a decline. I’d expect that hospitalizations and deaths should soon follow," Vanderhoff says.

More than half of Ohioans are now fully vaccinated. Vanderhoff warns those who are not, especially pregnant women, to get vaccinated soon.

Vanderhoff says statistics from the CDC showed more than 125,000 pregnant women have battled COVID-19. He says 22,000 were hospitalized while 161 died. He says most were unvaccinated.

While doctors widely recommend women who are expecting to get COVID-19 shots, Vanderhoff says the majority of pregnant women remain unvaccinated.

Hospitals statewide say 97% of those hospitalized in Ohio with COVID-19 since January 1 were unvaccinated, and more than 98% of those who have died since then were unvaccinated.

The state's latest effort to get younger Ohioans vaccinated starts today. Five $100,000 scholarships and fifty $10,000 scholarships will be awarded.

Governor Mike DeWine is hoping these new sweepstakes, which will allow money for college education, job training programs, or trade school, will attract younger Ohioans who have the lowest vaccination rates.

Earlier this year, Ohio gave away scholarships and million-dollar cash prizes as part of the Vax-a-million sweepstakes. Gov. Mike DeWine declared that effort a success though some outside sources that looked into the data disagreed.

Ohioans ages 12 through 25 years old who have been vaccinated can now register for the Vax-To-School sweepstakes: ohiovax2school.com.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.