Coronavirus: Cases average continues to drop, hospitalizations fall

Micah Karr, Springfield News-Sun, Ohio
·2 min read

Feb. 20—In the past 24 hours, coronavirus cases increased by 2,611, bringing the state to 952,306 cases since March, the Ohio Department of Health reported. The case average currently sits at 2,835, down from yesterday's average of 2,910.

Deaths increased by 56, bringing the state to 16,749 deaths from coronavirus since March. The Bureau of Infectious Diseases and the Bureau of Vital Statistics continue to reconcile death data, which may bring fluctuations in death count numbers day to day. However, any death data will be displayed the day it was reported, ODH said.

The Ohio Hospital Association reported a 14 percent drop in hospitalized COVID-19 patients within the past week. Currently, 1,454 people are hospitalized with coronavirus, with 407 hospitalizations in southwest Ohio. In the past 24 hours, hospitalizations increased by 104, bringing cumulative hospitalizations to 49,317. Nine people have been admitted to an intensive care unit in the past 24 hours.

More than 2 million Ohioans say they probably or definitely won't the get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent Census experimental survey, but local health officials say they believe many minds can be changed through education and by hearing from trusted community members.

Black Ohioans are far more likely than white ones to say they do not expect to get vaccinated, the survey data show, and Black residents across the Dayton region and state are getting immunized at much lower rates than their white counterparts.

Skepticism about the vaccine should recede as doses become more widely available and Ohioans see trusted family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors and community leaders get vaccinated with little to no side effects, local health officials said.

"More and more people everyday are learning about its safety and efficacy and learning the science behind how it was developed," said Dan Suffoletto, a spokesman with Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County. "We anticipate that many people who may have been hesitant will eventually receive the vaccine."