The state of Ohio reported a record-breaking 8,808 new COVID-19 cases on Friday afternoon, underlining the crisis that compelled Gov. Mike DeWine to issue a statewide 10 p.m. curfew earlier in the week.
The actual number of new cases could be even higher, per DeWine’s remarks on Thursday afternoon. The state has a backlog of a few thousand antigen tests — a type of test known to return faster but less accurate results than other methods — that it continues to double-check before recording the results officially.
The Ohio Department of Health also recorded 398 new hospitalizations, 42 patients who were newly admitted to intensive care and 65 new deaths.
The “third wave” of COVID-19 rolled across the United States starting in mid-October, when cases began to multiply again after a late-summer lull.
Almost every individual state’s case graph looks the same as Ohio’s; the worst-case scenarios of April and June have come true multiple times over.
Friday broke a national record, too: 187,833 new cases for the first time since the pandemic began. The number of deaths recorded in the country is approaching — but still has not broken — the April 15 single-day record of 2,752.
On Thursday, DeWine gave most of his scheduled news conference over to the frontline health care workers treating COVID-19 every day in their hospitals. Beds are scarce; workers are exhausted, scared and often ill themselves.
All Ohioans remain under a curfew running from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night. Businesses, with the exceptions of pharmacies and grocery stores, have been ordered to close at 10. Ohioans should take the hint and stay home, DeWine said Thursday.