DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– According to the Ohio Department of Health, the state’s two-week COVID-19 transmission rate increased by more than 100 since last week. Local health leaders say the state’s recent backlog in data did not affect these numbers.

State leaders say the average incidence rate climbed to over 718 cases per 100,000 people, nearly double the average than just a month ago. Health leaders advise residents to take precautions over the next several weeks to keep holiday gatherings safe.

“These numbers have not been affected by the case backlog, these are real numbers that have continued to rise for the last five plus weeks,” said Health Commissioner CCCHD Charles Patterson.

Case rates and hospitalizations have returned to an all-time high across the state. Health leaders believe the spread is coming from the community between unmasked holiday gatherings and elementary school classrooms. They remind residents that anyone, despite vaccination status, can spread COVID-19.

“The cases are still rising, the number of cases are still too high, the hospitals are still seeing an surge of cases,” said Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County Public Information Officer Dan Suffoletto. “There is a sense of urgency in it and people really need to pay attention to it to reduce the amount of cases.”

According to ODH, several Miami Valley counties’ incidence rates have steadily increased. Clark County is significantly higher than others averaging, 857.7 cases per 100,000 people.

  • Darke County: 708.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Miami County: 667.4 cases per 100,000 people
  • Montgomery County: 535.8 cases per 100,000 people
  • Greene County: 501.4 cases per 100,000 people:

Patterson believes COVID fatigue is playing the leading role in increasing case rates, residents are mentally exhausted and are establishing a new sense of normal. He says the medical community is seeing an increase in other seasonal illnesses presenting itself with COVID-19 symptoms.

“We didn’t see those last year because we were all so scared of COVID-19 we were socially distant and things were different last year,” said Patterson. “We couldn’t be vaccinated and people weren’t as free as they are right now.”

The coronavirus dashboard shows nearly 59 percent of Ohioans have started the vaccination process.