COVID transmission rate among kids rise

COLUMBUS — After weeks of a downward trend across the state, health officials now say COVID-19 numbers are beginning to slowly go back up.

On Friday, there were nearly 5,400 Ohioans who have tested positive in the last 24 hours. There has also been a rise in the transmission rates among kids.

Recent developments of a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine and oral treatments are encouraging, but state health officials warn to hold off on being too optimistic.

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During a Zoom conference call Friday morning, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff with the Ohio Department of Health celebrated recent developments in the fight against COVID-19.

“These oral treatments added to IV Monoclonal antibodies offer the promise of more tools in our treatment toolbox,” Vanderhoff said. But he warns, “They’ll be for treating sick people unlike the vaccines which are designed to protect you from the beginning.”

As of Thursday, more than 30,000 children ages 5 to 11 have started the vaccine process, according to ODH. This week, Ohio surpassed more than 5,000 daily cases for the first time in a week.

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“The numbers on the ground continue to tell us that we are most certainly not out of the woods yet,” Vanderhoff said. “We have the opportunity now to protect this population and because they have not been eligible to receive the vaccine, we have seen their share of our COVID cases increasing.”

With the holidays around the corner, Vanderhoff is urging caution.

“It’s natural for family and friends to want to get together, but I ask that we do it in a smart way,” Vanderhoff said.

For the holidays, he warned that anyone showing mild symptoms should monitor themselves before spending time without people outside their usual groups.