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Hamilton County sees dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases for second straight week

912 new cases since June 24
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 16:35:26-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — The number of COVID-19 patients in Hamilton County hospitals has doubled since June 11, Commissioner Denise Driehaus said on Wednesday.

On June 11, 65 people were hospitalized. The number rose to 130 by Sunday. The region’s hospital and ICU beds are just under 80% occupancy as of Sunday, according to Health Collaborative data.

“So there’s room for more patients, but not the surplus of space that existed in early May as the pandemic started to ease,” Driehaus said. “We’re still OK, but we’re definitely trending in the wrong direction.”

Here are increases in positive cases in Hamilton County over the last few weeks:

  • June 3 - 166 new cases (from previous week)
  • June 10- 177 new cases
  • June 17 - 398 new cases
  • June 24 - 782 new cases
  • July 1 - 912 new cases

Positive cases in the county are “dramatically increasing,” Driehaus said.

“As I read the numbers, my heart just sinks,” she said. “The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers tell us that we are in dangerous territory.”

RELATED: This map shows every COVID-19 testing location in Hamilton County

In addition to an overall increase in hospitalizations, more young people are being hospitalized because of the virus.

People under the age of 40 accounted for 11% of the county’s hospitalizations in March and April, but that increased to 19% in May and rose to 37.4% in June.

Driehaus said she’s been talking to contact tracers about how the virus is spreading in the community.

In one case, there was a baby shower, and one person in the group had COVID-19. No one at the party was wearing a mask, and they were sitting near each other and passing gifts around. Now, many of the people who were at the shower have the virus. Driehaus said a similar situation unfolded at a surprise birthday party.

“It gives me the idea that people don’t view those settings as congregate settings, but they are congregate settings.”

Testing sites have been set up in various parts of the county this week. Tests are free, and no appointment is needed.

  • Forest Chapel United Methodist Church, 680 W. Sharon Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45240, July 1 from 1-7 p.m.
  • Walmart, 1143 Smiley Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45240, July 2 from 1-7 p.m.