Ohio broke its single-day COVID-19 diagnosis record on Wednesday for the fourth time in a seven-day span, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Health.
Health departments across the state reported a total of 2,366 new diagnoses between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon — the highest ever reported in a single 24-hour period. The new total broke a record set Saturday, when ODH reported 2,234 new cases; that record, in turn, surpassed the Oct. 15 total of 2,178 cases, which outdid Oct. 14’s case-count of 2,039.
Local health officials and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine have sounded alarms about the growing number of cases, which DeWine said are not attributable solely to expanded testing.
Instead, per the governor’s office and Hamilton County health workers, the cases emerging now speak to an increasingly laissez-faire attitude toward antiviral health measures in daily life. More people are holding unsafe gatherings with friends and family; some rural counties are resistant to mask-wearing, one of the best methods to prevent transmission of the virus; and more cases are coming from community spread, the small, hard-to-trace interactions that make up each day, than from single locations or events.
“This is the worst situation that Ohio has been in, and more Ohioans are vulnerable today than ever before because of how far the spread has gone,” DeWine said on Oct. 15. “There are very few Ohioans who can say, ‘Wow. I live somewhere there’s no COVID and no spread.’”
The fact that the record-breaking days have arrived in mid-October also paints an ominous picture of the coming winter, when health experts predict even more cases due to the increasing impracticality of gathering outdoors.
ODH on Wednesday also reported 66 new deaths, 135 new hospitalizations and 35 patients who had been newly placed in intensive care.
According to the department’s numbers, 5,149 Ohioans have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic — roughly 735 each month.