OHA Board Member Joins DeWine to Review Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Richard Lofgren, MD, president and CEO of UC Health and chair-elect of the OHA Board of Trustees, today joined Gov. Mike DeWine's COVID-19 press briefing to review spikes in the state's cases of the virus, especially in Southwest Ohio.

The 892 cases reported in the last 24 hours marked an 80% increase over the 21-day average of 494. This brings the state's total confirmed and probable cases to 47,651.

Lofgren said Hamilton and surrounding counties are reporting R0 numbers above 1, representing the number of people a person carrying the virus could infect. He also noted increasing numbers of young adults testing positive.

“This is really indicative that the increased number of cases we’re seeing is not just because we’re doing more tests,” Lofgren said. “It really does, in fact, indicate that there is more disease, more disease that’s spreading in our community.”

The Ohio Department of Health yesterday added a new testing dashboard to its data site showing how many people are tested each day, as well as the percentage that test positive. That data show more than 17,091 tests were conducted Tuesday, the most recent day for which data was available. About 5% of those were positive tests.

Young people are driving the increase, but it's not clear why. At the end of May, Ohio's coronavirus cases were evenly distributed among age groups. In the past week, nearly 25% of reported cases were people age 20-29. The median age of Ohioans with a confirmed diagnosis dropped to 47. See the full briefing here.