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Ohio will no longer release daily COVID case numbers starting next week

Two people walk past a sign for COVID-19 testing at the Cleveland Clinic, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak
Associated Press

The Ohio Department of Health is changing the way it reports data on its COVID website. After this week the state will move from daily reporting to weekly reporting.

Agency Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the changes are in order since the state appears to be going into an endemic - meaning the virus is regularly found in the population.

Daily reporting of case counts, vaccinations and hospitalizations will cease this Sunday and then will be reported once a week beginning Thursday, March 17th. There are changes for Ohio’s K-12 schools too, he said.

“Schools will no longer be required to report positive cases of COVID-19 to their local health department unless the school has actually tested the student and determined a positive result,” Vanderhoff said.

Relaxing the standards and data are called for because Ohio is shifting into an endemic, Vanderhoff said.

So far, seven million Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccines, he said. The COVID vaccines are widely available throughout the state to Ohioans who want them, Vanderhoff said. He urges Ohioans who haven't received them to get them because they provide valuable protection against the virus.

 Ohio Dept of Health dashboard for Thursday, March 10, 2022
Ohio Dept of Health
Ohio Dept of Health
Ohio Dept of Health dashboard for Thursday, March 10, 2022

Ohio's hospitals are not feeling the stress they did just two months ago. The case numbers are down. Just 868 cases were reported today. Compare that to two months ago when case levels were close to 20,000 per day.

Vanderhoff said 61 of Ohio's 88 counties are considered low risk by the CDC. He adds 17 are medium risk and 10 are high risk right now. There is one county in the north that is considered high risk - Ottawa - and nine counties in southern Ohio, he said.

The COVID situation in Ohio is becoming more manageable, Vanderhoff said. And the recent strains of COVID are not as dangerous for vaccinated people. Plus, he says there is a supply of effective treatments available to Ohioans who catch COVID.

Copyright 2022 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.