DeWine: Virus cases, hospitalizations begin to rise again as economy continues to recover

Coronavirus

Map courtesy of the Ohio State Government

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic including: economic recovery and an increase in cases.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY:

Governor DeWine outlined the progression of Ohio’s economic recovery.

  • Ohio’s gross domestic product (GDP) outpaced the nation in the final quarter of calendar year 2020. The U.S. GDP is estimated to have grown 4.3% in the quarter, and Ohio’s GDP is estimated to have increased 5% during the same timeframe.
  • Ohio’s unemployment rate in February 2021 was 5 percent and the national rate was 6.2%.
  • This month, Ohio’s tax revenues exceeded the monthly estimate by $41 million, or 2.6%, and remain 4.3% above the estimate for the fiscal year-to-date. This is a dramatic improvement from one year ago.

These positive developments follow several steps taken by Governor DeWine at the onset of the pandemic to ensure that the state budget remained balanced and stable, including a freeze on state government spending, cuts in state staffing costs, and refinanced state bonds.

“I made these hard choices early on, tightening our belt because we did not know what the future held,” Governor DeWine said. “A strong post-pandemic economy directly depends on defeating the virus, and as we are working hard to vaccinate Ohioans, we are seeing good signs in our economy as well.”  

CASE INCREASES & OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM UPDATE:

This week is the second week where the cases over two weeks per 100,000 people have gone up by more than 10. Two weeks ago, Ohio’s cases per 100,000 people were 146.9. On Thursday, case per 100,000 people is at 183.7. 

“We are moving in the wrong direction from our statewide goal of 50 cases per 100,000 people,” Governor DeWine said. “We are not seeing the runaway case growth we saw during the fall yet, so we can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated and we continue to mask and social distance.”

The increases in case rates are reflected in this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 53 counties over the past week.

Level changes include:

  • Franklin County moved to the watch list following sustained increases in cases and in COVID-related healthcare use including emergency department and outpatient visits and hospitalizations for COVID.
  • Putnam County moved from orange to red.
  • Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from yellow to orange.
  • Brown and Noble counties dropped from orange to yellow.

According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio and the nation are enduring another wave of COVID-19 due to variants of the original virus that are more contagious and more deadly. Variant counts in Ohio jumped from 92 on March 12 to 797 on Thursday, a doubling time of about every 9-10 days.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION:

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

A video of Thursday’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.

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