The Ohio Department of Health reported 5,549 new COVID-19 diagnoses on Saturday, breaking the state record for the third day in a row.
The previous record of 5,008 had been set Friday; before that, Thursday, when the state reported 4,961 cases.
It’s a sharp spike compared to even the end of October, when daily new-case totals measured in between 2,000 and 3,000.
ODH also reported 149 new hospitalizations, 14 patients who had been newly admitted to intensive care and 12 new deaths.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has repeatedly described the mounting totals as frightening but delegated the development new pandemic containment strategies to local governments, rather than enacting new statewide orders as he did in the spring.
Speaking Thursday, the last time he addressed the public, DeWine said he believed Ohioans’ consciences and common sense would lead them to adopt sensible safety measures such as hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing if they had not already.
Almost 86% of the state’s population lives in a county considered “red,” or high-risk, by ODH.