Ohio has once again broken another daily COVID case record — the second in two days.
On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine reported 3,590 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the first time the state had seen more than 3,000 cases in one day.
Today, 3,845 were confirmed over the past 24 hours.
➡ @OHdeptofhealth has announced another record-setting number of new #COVID19 cases. Between yesterday & today, another 3,845 cases were reported. Help us slow this spread down: wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands. #InThisTogetherOhio https://t.co/3lWx4IRScb pic.twitter.com/tEARwSPW1l— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) October 30, 2020
“The virus is raging throughout the state of Ohio. There’s no place to hide,” DeWine said during yesterday's press briefing.
As of Thursday's report, 83 of the state's 88 counties are high-incident counties (more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents) and only two are not marked as orange or red on the Public Health Advisory System map. Butler County and Warren County — both currently red — were also listed in the top 20 highest case rates, with more than 300 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents.
The good news? No counties went purple this week. Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Clark, which last week were all on the watchlist to turn purple, remain red.
“(For a county to go to purple) it has to continue to accelerate; it has to continue to go up," DeWine said. "What we’ve seen with Cuyahoga, Clark County and Hamilton is basically that they’ve plateaued or did not see a significant increase. (Or) not a significant enough increase to move to purple.”
Still, DeWine said there are “disturbing trends” in each of those three counties.
DeWine said every county in Ohio needs to be working on putting together a COVID defense team of county commissioners, mayors, local hospital leaders, health commissioner, business leaders, religious leaders, etc.
“We have to come together to fight this enemy. We have to come together to fight this invader,” he said.
Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of UCHealth, joined the press briefing yesterday and said there has been a rapid increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations across the state in the past three weeks. There has also been an uptick in the testing positivity rate for all age groups — all now fall somewhere between 5% and 6.5%.
"Unlike what we saw before, this spread is diffuse. There’s no one particular area, no one particular group or facility that really accounts for the increase number of cases,” Lofgren said.
"I think we’re simply letting our guard down. We all have COVID fatigue,” Lofgren said. “I think we’re starting to see people expanding their ‘bubble.’ You need to ensure there’s a small cadre of people who you live with. But we all are social animals — we want to increase our bubble.”
“We need to recognize that if we expand our bubble, you’re increasing your risk. At any given point in time, we don’t know who amongst us may be actually infected, without symptoms, and inadvertently spreading the virus,” he continued.
If you let anyone new into your "bubble," Lofgren says to make sure you still social distance and wear a mask, even if those people are friends or relatives. And this includes during the holidays. If people outside your immediate household are coming into yours for Thanksgiving, family or not, you all need to mask and social distance.
Lofgren also says testing before an event is not a reassurance — you could get tested one day, be negative but be percolating the virus and then spread it.
“The decisions each Ohioan makes each day will really determine what kind of winter that we have," DeWine said. "We must mask more, we must distance more, we must be more careful, we must wash our hands more, we must have more ventilation inside — particularly as we move more inside as winter approaches.”
“We can control our own destiny,” he said.