Coronavirus in Ohio Sunday update: New cases and hospitalizations continue to drop


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

As of March 7, a total of 978,471 (+735) cases have been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 50,881 (+33) hospitalizations and 7,207 (+2) ICU admissions.

On Saturday, a total of 977,736 (+1,506) cases were reported leading to 50,848 (+66) hospitalizations and 7,205 (+21) ICU admissions.

A reported 17,502 deaths total from COVID-19 have been reported so far in the state of Ohio.

ODH Director Stephanie McCloud announced there were 752 deaths reported Friday, but of those, 428 were people out of state who listed Ohio as their primary residence. 

Deaths will now be counted only off of death certificates instead of reports from hospitals, urgent-care centers and local health departments. A backlog in reconciling those two sources of information led to deaths being underreported by 4,200 for weeks until the problem was discovered in February.

Gov. Mike DeWine delivered a statewide address Thursday in which he laid out the parameters for how the state’s health orders will end.

DeWine has said he will lift all state health orders related to the pandemic once the state achieves a rate of 50 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period. To do so, the number of new cases per day will need to average 417 for 14 days.

“My fellow Ohioans, victory is in sight,” he said in regards to the pandemic.

The first doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived Tuesday, giving the state an additional option on top of the two-shot vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Gov. Mike DeWine said the state will receive 448,390 doses of vaccine to be administered this week, by far the greatest number since vaccinations began in December.

With more vaccine available, DeWine said the state is expanding who is eligible for it. Starting Thursday, all residents 60 and older will be eligible, up from those 65 and older. Also becoming eligible are people with Type 1 diabetes, those who are pregnant, bone marrow transplant recipients and those with ALS. In addition, people in certain occupations — childcare services, funeral services, and law enforcement and corrections officers — will become eligible, too.

DeWine said the group includes an estimated 900,000 residents.

The state has concluded its efforts to vaccinate the school workforce after DeWine set a target date of March 1 for schools to be open to, at minimum, partial in-person learning. DeWine said over 90% of districts met that deadline, with only eight remaining on complete distance learning.

And of those eight, DeWine said seven are making progress on plans to reopen in the next several weeks. In January, half of the state’s schools were on complete distance learning, DeWine said. The vaccination program included some 200,000 teachers, support staff and others.

Last week, Ohio schools showed their fewest number of cases since October.

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