DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff is encouraging Ohioans to remain vigilant and strong as we continue to see more people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.

“In the Ohio Hospital Association Data they’re reporting one in six hospitalized patients in Ohio is positive for COVID-19. One in four in the ICU are battling COVID-19,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

However, even though these numbers are a cause for concern, Dr. Vanderhoff says we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Thankfully we are seeing early indicators that cases appear to be peaking, and beginning to point toward a decline,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

Another concerning issue to ODH leaders is unvaccinated pregnant women.

“As of mid-September, the CDC said that only about 31% of those who are pregnant were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

With the majority of pregnant women unvaccinated, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Dr. Kamilah Dixon-Shambley said heightened health risks comes with not being vaccinated.

“Increase risk to being hospitalized for treatment. You have a two-fold risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit. Additionally, increased risk for the need for ventilation or ECMO machines. As you’ve already shared, you have a 70% increased risk of death when pregnant,” said Dr. Shambley.

Dr. Vanderhoff is continuing to encourage people who are unvaccinated to get the shot, and for all people to keep masking up.

“These are the keys to not only remaining health but also to elevating the intense pressure that’s on our health care systems and our children and adult hospitals really across the entire state,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.