COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
As of Friday, Oct. 23, a total of 192,948 (+2,518) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 5,184(+23) deaths and 17,866 (+184) hospitalizations. There are a presumed 156,421 recovered cases in the state.
The amount of daily cases reported Friday were the highest since Ohio began tracking the data.
On the latest public health advisory map from the state Department of Health, Franklin, Madison, Union and Licking counties are at level 3, or red, in Central Ohio. Delaware, Pickaway and Fairfield counties are at level 2, or orange. There are 38 counties at level 3, the most since the pandemic began.
There are now 74% of Ohioans living in counties at level 3. And 71 counties are showing a high incidence of disease spread, per CDC guidelines.
Three counties are on the watch list to move up to level 4: Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Clark. No counties have reached level 4, or purple — which is the highest level — during the pandemic.
DeWine remained concerned over increased hospitalization rates in the state. On Oct. 9, he said there were 853 COVID-19 patients in hospitals. As of today, the number is 1,293 patients.
“We must prevent overwhelming our hospital system to ensure that Ohioans can receive inpatient treatment for COVID-19 and other care,” DeWine said.
Even as cases rise, DeWine seemed to indicate that he did not want to direct schools on how they should handle in-person learning or hospitals on how they handle elective surgeries. He said the state would study COVID-19 spread in schools and that any potential restrictions at hospitals, which suspended elective procedures in the spring, would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
When asked about the Buckeyes game Saturday, DeWine expressed concern about people hosting watch parties.
“You can watch the Buckeyes, but you don’t have to watch them with a large number of people and if you feel the necessity of watching them with a group of people wear a mask. You can wear mask inside,” said DeWine.
Ohio State University and the Big Ten have said they’re taking every precaution for the game against Nebraska.