COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just hours after University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic officials publicly pleaded for Ohioans to get vaccinated and stop the spread of COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health shared data that reflects a grave update on the coronavirus pandemic in the Buckeye State.
On Tuesday, Ohio reported more than 12,000 new and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 24 hour period -- the highest single-day increase of the entire pandemic.
This comes as the new omicron variant sweeps the nation, with an estimated 73% of new cases being attributed to the mutation first discovered in South Africa just weeks ago.
Health officials now say that as the virus and variant spread 'like wildfire,' getting COVID-19 is less of an 'if' and more of a 'when.'
“Understand that even if you’ve done everything right throughout the pandemic, and as frustrating as this may seem, you likely will be infected at some point and that’s just something we all have to come to terms with,” said Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center.
In Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County currently has the highest case rate in the state and has the third-highest case rate in the entire country.
“We need your help now more than ever. There is nothing more important to us than the safe care of our community. What you do now with us will impact how we make it through this pandemic together," Dr. Daniel Simon, President, Academic & External Affairs and Chief Scientific Officer of University Hospitals.
Technically, Ohio has published higher case figures in a single day, but those past numbers have always come after holidays (when no numbers were reported) or when officials were relieving a backlog of previously unreported infections. The current seven-day average testing positivity rate is also at a pandemic-high of 18.8%, excluding a brief period in the spring of 2020 when the figure was inflated due to mass testing in prisons.
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