More than 6,200 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Ohio on Tuesday, marking the sixth consecutive record as coronavirus hospitalizations have spiked daily since Christmas.
The state also reported 20,411 new COVID cases on Tuesday, which brings the 21-day average to 14,101, according to the latest Ohio Department of Health data. There have been 2,093,074 total cases reported in Ohio since the pandemic began.
The 6,257 hospitalizations are well above the peak triggered early by the delta variant as the more contagious omicron variant continues its spread and strain on hospitals.
COVID patients in Ohio account for 24.6% of all hospitalizations. They include 1,305 in intensive care and 842 on ventilators.
Experts fear cases will rise further as people return to work and school after the holidays, consistent with spikes that have followed previous holidays during the pandemic.
For example, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman announced Tuesday that he tested positive for a breakthrough COVID-19 case. The Cincinnati Republican said he was asymptomatic but took an at-home test Monday night in preparation for his return to Washington, D.C. Portman, 66, who is fully vaccinated and received a booster shot, said he will work from home this week but will not be able to vote.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced that people can now receive a Pfizer booster shot one month sooner after they complete their initial two-dose series. The CDC updated its recommendation to shorten the interval from six months to five months. However, the interval of two months for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and six months for the Moderna vaccine has not changed.
The CDC also recommended that moderately or severely immunocompromised children 5 to 11 receive a booster vaccine dose 28 days after their second shot.
“Today’s recommendations ensure people are able to get a boost of protection in the face of omicron and increasing cases across the country and ensure that the most vulnerable children can get an additional dose to optimize protection against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a statement released Tuesday.
Nearly 60% of all Ohioans have started the COVID vaccine, including 70.21% of adults and 63.76% of people 5 and older as of Tuesday, according to the ODH. Of those, 55.18% of Ohioans, including 65.13% of adults and 58.65% of those 5 and older, have completed the vaccine.
More than 2.76 million Ohioans have received a booster vaccine dose, including 24,236 reported in the last day.
The ODH dashboard added 227 new deaths on Tuesday. Deaths are updated two times a week.
Since the pandemic began, Ohio has recorded 29,674 deaths from COVID-19.