DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — With cooler weather and Thanksgiving upon us, health officials are concerned about a rise in COVID cases. For the first time in nearly two months, Ohio recorded more than 400 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“In just the last 12 days we’ve seen a 28 percent increase for our West Central Ohio region,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

Ohio is ranked the 10th least vaccinated state in the country. Health leaders said on average 84-86 percent of people hospitalized in the region are unvaccinated and among younger age groups.

“Over the last several weeks we have seen an increase in hospitalizations for those ages 30-39 and 40-49. It is not just the frail and elderly senior population. This is very much something impacting people in those middle age categories,” Hackenbracht said.

Health officials said the rise in cases is a big concern as we head into flu season and the season for holiday gatherings, but they said there are ways to prevent spread.

“We should be increasing vaccinations, making sure we are wearing the masks, and avoiding going out when we are sick. Being very vigilant and diligent about following those recommendations are the best ways to prevent a winter surge from really getting out of control,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer for Miami Valley Hospital.

Doctors said if we change our behavior things can and will get better.

“For the last six weeks we’ve known it’s dangerous, but we’re not improving our behaviors and the admissions are still high,” Dr. Joe Morman, a family physician for Mercy Health said. “Please think of what you did last year. We got out of it last year we should get out of it again this year.”