DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — There has been a steady increase of COVID-19 cases across the state of Ohio with more than 46,000 cases being reported in the last three weeks.

Hospitalizations are also slowly rising, but ICU admissions and the number of deaths are staying around the same.

“This strain of COVID-19 is highly contagious, but on the flip side of it, it’s not impacting the hospitals as much. I think people are having milder disease in large part because of previous infection with other strains and some immunity from that, as well as some immunity from their vaccines and boosters that they’ve had,” Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, the Patient Safety Officer for Kettering Health, explained.

Those trends are being seen here in the Miami Valley, and just in time for summer vacation season. Charles Patterson, the Health Commissioner for the Clark County Combined Health District, said COVID-19 is still something people should consider when making their plans.

“I’m not saying that I want people to worry, but I want them to think about it. I want them to think, ‘is this appropriate for me? Am I going to be around grandma at this party? And is she immunocompromised? Do we need to make sure we protect her?’ There’s lots of things to think about,” Patterson said.

Experts say the vaccine is still the most effective way to prevent severe disease or death, and health leaders say now is the time to get it before you go on vacation. They also recommend holding your summer parties outside where people can still social distance.

Dr. Roberto Colon, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for Miami Valley Hospital, said if someone is high risk for severe disease, it is important to take those extra precautions.

“They’re immunosuppressed, they have not completed their vaccination series, it may be a great idea for them to skip those events that are going to be having a lot of mixed visitors coming in from other locations where we could be introducing a higher risk for infection than that person is willing to take,” Dr. Colon explained.