DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Data from The Ohio Department of Health shows that in 2020, 143,000 Ohioans died, while only 129,000 were born.

“Coronavirus has very quickly hastened the death rate outpacing the birth rate,” said Kettering Health Family Physician Dr. Austin Williams. In 2021, ODH data has shown more than 107,000 deaths and 100,000 births.

While Governor Mike DeWine acknowledges the grim numbers are concerning, he says we are seeing a case decrease. “If we stay in this rate, in another four or five weeks we’re going to be in a fairly good place. The bad news is it’s still high today, and we’re losing people every day,” said Governor DeWine.

Governor DeWine also says his team has calculated that right now four Ohioans are dying daily from COVID-19 with 28 deaths a week. “That’s a lot of people. It still is very very dangerous. Particularly if you’re not vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine.

Though this data appears to be unsettling, Dr. Williams says this trend isn’t only due to the pandemic. “This is a trend that’s sorta going on worldwide. We know as civilization marches on, as places become more industrial, post-industrial birth rates tend to drop anyway…with education and unemployment,” said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams said our best bet at this point is vaccination. “The only way to turn the tide of this and curb the damage that it’s doing is to go out and get vaccinated.”