DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio is currently seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, which could delay when health orders are lifted, and is causing concern among health leaders throughout the state.
Right now, Ohio is averaging 146 cases per 100,000 people. The state has to average 50 cases per 100,000 people in order for all health orders to be lifted, a goal that health leaders estimate Ohio is still months from reaching.
“I think certainly with the recent increase it is very unlikely we’re going to see us hit that number in the month of April,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital.
Health leaders say that orders being lifted anytime soon is unlikely due to the number of cases and hospitalizations, despite expanded vaccination efforts. While touring a Miami Valley vaccine site this week, Governor Mike DeWine said the state’s numbers have largely plateaued, but they must drop even further.
“I do think it’s not unrealistic that we, by the end of June, may actually start to get very close if we haven’t hit it already,” said Colon. “The variables are the rate of new vaccinations, new cases that are going to be coming in and then those activities that lead to more interaction and start seeing increases in the number of cases.”
Colon says people need to remain vigilant to prevent a fourth surge as the weather warms and more people feel comfortable traveling.
“There are people that travel through our state so there’s always the understanding that we have to pay attention to what’s happening here and outside as well,” said Dr. Colon. “When we talk about herd immunity, we want to talk about the population at large in the U.S. and not just in Ohio.”
As of Tuesday, Ohio’s coronavirus dashboard indicates that nearly 30 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of a vaccine.