DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Although the number of cases per 100,000 people has hit a record low, Miami Valley doctors say vaccine hesitancy may keep Ohio from reaching its finish line of 50 per 100 thousand people.
Thursday, The Ohio Department of Health reported that Ohio’s current case rate is 140.2, the lowest its’ been since mid-October 2020.
“We’re down to what we were before the winter spike of cases,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital.
Governor Mike DeWine has maintained that he won’t lift COVID restrictions until the case rate is at 50 per 100,000 people.
Experts were hoping that would be before summer, and while that’s unlikely, they say the lowering rates are still a good sign.
“We are seeing a significant drop. And we’re seeing that across the board in healthcare. We’re seeing less patients in the hospital,” shared Dr. Patrick Lytle, vice president of clinical outcomes for Kettering Health.
Lytle also says he recognizes the demand for COVID vaccines is slowing down, but his hope is that official FDA approval in the coming weeks will inspire more people to get vaccinated.
“[The vaccines] are not FDA approved so that does carry some angst with some people; although the profile of the vaccine has shown that its very effective,” he said.
Colon added that mask wearing should continue to lower the number of cases and people should socialize outdoors as much as possible. He also shared that vaccines are the key to reaching the case rate goal set by the governor.
“If we vaccinate enough of our population to get to herd immunity that’s the goal. Because [if] enough of the population is going to be at that vaccinated level that there isn’t going to be an opportunity for the virus to continue to live in the community,” said Colon