DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– A surge in new coronavirus cases has some health leaders concerned, saying the state is going in the wrong direction.
The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,963 new coronavirus cases. Ohio’s 21-day average is now above 3,000 cases while the state’s vaccination rate remains below 52-percent.
Currently the state is seeing similar COVID-19 numbers we saw back in January when restrictions were in place. Now, it’s been over two months since restrictions were removed and cases continue to rise due to the delta variant.
“The fact we are seeing trends is the first thing we need to be looking at, and right now the trend for covid cases is going up and that’s the wrong trajectory,” said Miami Valley Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon.
With nearly 4,000 new cases on Sunday, health leaders are attributing the recent surge to the delta variant. When Governor Mike DeWine removed restrictions in June, some say they expected a slow increase but the delta variant was an unknown variable at the time.
“We certainly want to think this was the last little hump but the cases continue to rise so we’re looking at a new wave of the pandemic curve and these numbers just keep going up,” said Clark County Combined Health District’s Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.
Barely over half of the state has started the vaccination process, so health leaders say if vaccinations don’t start to increase, especially among younger eligible Ohioans, the state could take a major step back in the next upcoming months.
“If that trend continues, we are soon going to be in the same numbers as we were in the winter and the only way out of that is to go back to restricting many of the activities we did earlier in this year,” said Dr. Colon.
Health leaders recommend wearing a mask while indoors and while around others regardless of vaccination status.