Once again, the nation has seen a staggering amount of people file for unemployment benefits for the week ending April 4.
For the second week in a row, more than 6.6 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). That national number is down from an adjusted 6.87 million for the week ending March 28; 3.3 million filed the week ending March 21.
That means more than 16.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the course of three weeks.
Of those millions, 700,000 are Ohioans. For the week ending April 4, the state saw 224,182 people file initial claims according to the DOL — that's down from the 274,288 people in the state who filed for the week ending March 28 and the 196,309 the DOL says filed for the week ending March 21.
Kentucky has seen roughly 300,000 people file for unemployment in that same time period.
The wave comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and governors in other states last month ordered mass public gatherings canceled, restaurants and bars to close to dine-in customers and non-essential businesses to shutter to try and slow the spread of the pandemic coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The virus causes mild or no symptoms in up to 80 percent of those who contract it, but can cause severe respiratory distress and even death in others, especially the elderly or those with other health issues.
As of the afternoon of April 9, Ohio health officials have confirmed more than 5,500 cases of the virus here, causing 213 deaths, 1,612 hospitalizations and 497 intensive care admissions. Kentucky has seen at least 1,346 confirmed cases and 73 deaths from the virus. The novel coronavirus has infected at least 427,460 people across the U.S. and has caused at least 14,696 deaths.