(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
OHIO CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS
In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 9,273 new coronavirus cases, the sixth highest count reported in one day since the pandemic. 336 new hospitalizations were reported and 40 new patients are in intensive care. An additional 63 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio, surpassing 7,000 total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
ANTIGEN TESTING UPDATE
Governor DeWine discussed the Ohio Department of Health aligning with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current case definition. In August, the CDC changed the case definition of antigen testing to include case counts without additional verification. Ohio has continued to manually verify an epidemiological link, such as a known positive contact, with an antigen positive test result.
Tomorrow, December 8, the department will begin including antigen tests without an epidemiological link in the total case count. This will result in a one-day spike in reported cases from pending positive antigen cases.
“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”
Not all pending cases will be translated into new cases. Cases will be checked and duplicate records will be removed. Cases will also be assigned to their appropriate onset date.
K-12 EDUCATION UPDATE
The Ohio Department of Education continues to report limited spread of COVID-19 in a classroom setting, but an increase of community spread from informal gatherings outside of school.
The department also tracks how many districts are hosting in-person, hybrid, or remote learning.
“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote. Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning," said Governor DeWine.
Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which delivers datasets and interactive visualizations to Ohioans. This portal delivers unprecedented access through an innovative, data-sharing platform for state agencies and their partners.
“We’ve all learned over the past year how critical data is to tackling our biggest challenges,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The IOP team has built a one-stop-shop for the state’s data, providing a secure approach to data access and displaying datasets that, in some cases, are available now for the first time. This collaboration will help Ohio make better public policy decisions so we can better serve the people of our state."
During today’s briefing, Governor DeWine was joined by two nurses who discussed their experiences treating patients with coronavirus.
Lisa Burich, a registered nurse and emergency room team lead at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, discussed the conditions seen for admitted coronavirus patients and the concern of spreading COVID-19 from the hospital setting.
CJ Adams, nurse manager at TriHealth Bethesda North Hospital, discussed the challenges associated with bed and staffing capacities. Adams was a Captain in the Air Force Reserves and shared how her military experience has helped build her leadership and resiliency skills.
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 484,297 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,022 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 29,569 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,943 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.