Gov. Mike DeWine announced Ohio’s statewide 10 p.m. curfew could be extended to 11 p.m. as early as Thursday due to improving COVID-19 case numbers. But while numbers of new cases are on the decline, the number of daily deaths due to the virus remains high.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 4,262 new cases Tuesday alongside 88 new deaths, 295 new hospitalizations and 40 new ICU admissions.
Scott Reynolds is mourning his mother, who died of Alzheimer's earlier this year after having COVID-19.
“My mother turned her head, looked right at me and said, ‘I love you, too,’” he said.
Those were the last words he heard her say. After spending months fighting to be by her side in a nursing home that didn’t allow visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions, he finally got to see her, but it was too late.
“I could see the deterioration and the side effects from COVID and Alzheimer’s,” he said. “It had taken a toll on my mother.”
He was called to the facility for end of life in late December. His mother died New Year’s Day around 6:15 a.m.
“I had tried to reach out to the facility the next day to get her belongings, and my mother’s facility would not let me back in to get her belongings because my mother was no longer a resident.”
The high number of COVID-19-related deaths reported Tuesday is a possible lasting effect of the holiday spike that remains while overall cases trend down.
“Compared to where we had been, it’s a better number and it would appear to be an improving number,” DeWine said.
Experts say the decrease in case numbers is promising – and as hospitalization and death numbers tend to lag behind, they’re cautiously optimistic the state is turning the corner.
“What we look at is how many patients are in the hospital, who are COVID patients, every single day and what we have seen is a pretty decent drop in the last week or so,” DeWine said.