Jump in variant COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio

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Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - The number of variant cases of COVID-19 in Ohio has jumped, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday during a press conference.

The cases count rose from 92 on March 12 to 797 Thursday, April 8.

“That’s a doubling time of about every 9-10 days. Ohio remains in a very important race against the virus and its variants. We can win the race if we continue to press on with consistent masking and getting the vaccine,” Gov. DeWine said.

The Ohio Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, said Thursday it is ‘clear that Ohio and the nation is enduring another wave of COVID-19.

“This time it is being driven by new variants of the original virus,” Said Dr. Vanderoff. “The variants are more contagious and more deadly.”

Gov. DeWine also reported that hospitalizations due to virus complications are also trending up.

This week is the second week where the cases over two weeks per 100,000 people have gone up by more than 10. Two weeks ago, Ohio’s cases per 100,000 people were 146.9. Thursday case per 100,000 people is at 183.7.

The increases in case rates are reflected in this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 53 counties over the past week.

The governor announced he was recommending to the General Assembly that Ohio uses a portion of the federal COVID relief and recovery dollars to pay off the Unemployment Insurance loan owed to the federal government.

“This loan was caused by the global pandemic,” said Gov. DeWine. “Paying this off now will free Ohio employers from this burden so they can instead focus on getting employees across our state back to work. This will help small businesses across our state and their employees.”

According to Gov. DeWine, Ohio’s tax revenues in April ‘exceeded the monthly estimate by $41 million and remain 4.3 percent above the estimate for the fiscal year-to-date.’

Gov. DeWine also reiterated that while the virus historically affects the older population more than children, children aren’t immune. In some rare cases, they can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. This can be a serious complication for children. Gov DeWine says there have been 166 cases in Ohio.

It is characterized by fever and inflammation throughout the body, specifically targeting the heart, but it can also target the GI system, liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

Parents should look for abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of hands/feet, redness of eyes.

“Although the risk for this syndrome is still low, it is still present. Children should still practice social distancing and mask-wearing,” said Gov. DeWine. “Adults should also get their vaccinations to help prevent exposing kids.”

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