Montgomery County, state sees large increase in COVID cases, hospitalizations

DAYTON — The number of COVID cases diagnosed is increasing in adults and children. The concern among health officials is that Thanksgiving will accelerate family get togethers and it could lead to an increase in new COVID cases.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Director of the Ohio Department of Health said, “Those numbers are quite simply going in the wrong direction.”

Vanderoff said the state’s COVID numbers are rising for both adults and children and the vaccination rate is not rising fast enough to stop the spread.

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“Don’t bring tragedy that can be easily avoided to you and your family this holiday season. Make the safe choice and get vaccinated,” Vanderhoff said.

The state’s total COVID cases are up 23 percent in the last 21 days. And more patients are headed to the hospital. One in every seven people at the hospital is a COVID patient.

There are 2,800 hospitalized COVID patients across the state with 800 of them in intensive care units.

Health leaders in Montgomery County said cases at Dayton Children’s are rising significantly despite just opening vaccine options for children 5-11 years old. Leaders said with Children, you have to watch their physical and mental health when it comes to the pandemic.

Dr. Mary Beth Dewitt, Chief Psychologist at Dayton Children’s, said, “Talk about how they’re feeling. How they’re thinking and how this has impacted them in their day-to-day lives.”

Health officials also emphasized sponsoring safe Thanksgiving by doing the traditional feast outside if weather permits or opening windows and keeping family meals smaller.

Dorothy Gragg, of Dayton, was out doing a precautionary COVID test. She said she’s protected the best way for her holiday meal.

“And I know for the group of people that I associate with they have all been vaccinated and even got their booster,” Gragg said.

Doctors emphasize, compared to death or terrible long-term symptoms of the virus, the vaccines create almost no health impact.

“They tend to be mild, and symptoms last a day or two,” Vanderhoff said.

Doctors said the key to peace of mind battling this virus is not just the vaccines, but also testing. If you think you have symptoms, get tested so you know your status and know what you need to do moving forward.