On March 10, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, announced that the state of Ohio will transition from daily to weekly COVID-19 data reporting at coronavirus.ohio.gov beginning the week of March 14, 2022.
Daily reporting of key indicators including case counts, hospitalizations, and vaccinations will continue through Sunday, March 13. Then, the reporting cadence will change to weekly beginning Thursday, March 17.
“As cases and hospitalizations dramatically decline, we are refining our public reporting processes to be more relevant for this new phase of the pandemic,” Dr. Vanderhoff said. “Ohio is one of only a handful of states that is still reporting COVID-19 data daily. Even with this change, the state team will continue to monitor the trajectory of COVID-19 closely. The ODH team has many systems including data analysis and surveillance that will help us monitor COVID-19 activity and identify pockets of higher spread so we can work with local communities to slow the spread of the virus.”
- COVID-19 new and cumulative cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and vaccinations that are currently updated daily at ohio.gov will be updated weekly on Thursdays starting Thursday, March 17. Cases will continue to be assigned to the appropriate illness onset date, and vaccinations to their appropriate administration date.
- Newly reported COVID-19 deaths (currently reported twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays) will be reported on Thursdays and will continue to be assigned to the appropriate date of death.
- Data about long-term care facilities, as well as the reports from partner agencies (Developmental Disabilities, Veteran’s Homes, Youth Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Rehabilitation and Corrections), will be published weekly on Thursdays.
- K-12 schools will no longer be required to report positive COVID-19 cases to their local health departments, unless the school tests a student for COVID-19 and the result is positive. In addition, the COVID-19 School Reporting dashboard will be archived.
For the first time since August 2021, the statewide average case number per 100,000 residents has dropped below 100, with an average of 78.2 cases per 100,000 people as of March 9. Nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s 88 counties are currently below 100 cases per 100,000 people.
This change also brings Ohio’s reporting system more in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recently introduced new benchmarks for assessing community risk, shifting away from using cases as the sole measure of risk. The new COVID-19 Community Levels assess data related to the proportion of hospital capacity devoted to caring for COVID-19 patients, the number of new patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital in the past week, and the number of new COVID-19 cases in a given county in the past week. These data tell us how much the virus is spreading in an area in the context of how many people in the area are getting sick enough to require hospitalization and the strain that’s placing on a community’s acute care safety net. This combination of factors determines the COVID-19 Community Level in a given county expressed in ranges of low, medium, or high. Layered prevention strategies are recommended for communities deemed high risk.
Staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including getting a booster dose when eligible, is the best form of protection against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available throughout the state at no cost to Ohioans. Many providers offer walk-in appointments, or appointments can be scheduled online. Ohioans who want to learn more about the safety, efficacy, and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.