DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Even with ages 5 through 11 eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine now, Ohioans are still seeing virus case spikes. The Ohio Department of Health says new cases have topped 5,000 more than once this past week, along with an increase in hospitalizations.

“Over the last 21 days we are averaging about 3,700 cases daily…so think about that,” said ODH Medical Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, medical experts say they’re encouraging people to monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid spreading it to friends and family.

“If you’re having mild cold symptoms you need to pay attention to that a little more this year than previous years. That heightened vigilance in common sense, I think that’s a great strategy for this Thanksgiving,” said Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s School-Based Health and Mobile Clinics Medical Director Dr. Sara Bode.

Although Dr. Vanderhoff says it’s only expected for people to want to celebrate the holidays with their family and friends, precautions like wearing masks can be used to people’s advantage this year. “You know, can we at least crack the windows to make sure we’re getting good ventilation in the house? Can we at least limit crowds this year?”

Dr. Vanderhoff, also asking people to listen to science as well. “If you’ve not been vaccinated, get out and get vaccinated today. Every day matters. Secondly I’ve shared, if you’re due for a booster, get out and get your booster.”