Ohio sees highest 24-hour COVID-19 case count of entire pandemic

Ohio saw the most cases ever reported in a 24-hour period during the entire pandemic Tuesday, when the Ohio Department of Health reported 12,502 new cases.

“The 12,502 cases reported in the past 24 hours is the highest true 24-hour case reporting throughout the entire pandemic, with only days that have reflected backlogs or multi-day reporting after holidays exceeding today’s figure,” said Alicia Shoults, spokeswoman for ODH.

>> Coronavirus: Biden lays out plan to curb omicron surge, focuses on vaccinations

While today’s daily case count breaks a record, it’s important to keep the severity of those cases in perspective. The severity of COVID-19 cases is typically measured using daily hospitalizations.

Ohio has not reached the peak for active hospitalizations due to COVID-19 during the entire pandemic, but hospitalizations have continued to rise. Hospitalizations have significantly hit northeast Ohio in the last couple weeks, prompting Gov. Mike DeWine to activate over 1,000 National Guard members to assist in hospitals across Ohio.

“We are seeing it certainly in the northeast Ohio area. It’s coming toward Columbus, and in Dayton now we’re seeing high levels of hospitalization,” Weinstein said.

Premier Health, Kettering Health and Dayton Children’s each said they have not had any National Guard members report to their facilities.

Ohio Department of Health data shows 5.6 percent of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since Jan. 1 have involved fully vaccinated Ohioans, the other approximately 94 percent have been people who are not fully vaccinated.

Weinstein said he suspects that many, if not most of the cases in our region are due to Omicron.

“We certainly are seeing hospitalizations from Omicron, but we see that it looks like a smaller percentage of the people who get infected,” Weinstein said. “It’s a smaller percentage, but if that totally number is much, much higher you’re going to end up with the result of more people in the hospital rather than fewer.”

COVID-19 testing also can signal the significance of spread of the virus in the community, health officials have said previously.

Today, the state reported a test positivity rate of 16.1 percent. That number includes both antigen and PCR tests that have been reported to the state health department. Fewer tests have been administered in recent weeks than were administered during the Delta peak in mid-September, when a test positivity rate of about 12 percent was reported, state data showed.