The new coronavirus accelerated its spread over the last week in Ohio, an analysis of state data shows.
On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health published data showing 729 Ohioans contracted COVID-19, the most new cases reported in a 24-hour span since May 21.
The 10-day average of new cases has ticked upward for eight days in a row and counting.
Some of the new cases can be attributed to increases in testing. Since June 1, an average of about 12,200 people have been tested for COVID-19 per day, compared to 8,200 per day in May.
At least 843 Ohioans have been hospitalized since June 1. Currently, 549 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, down from 635 on June 9, the earliest data ODH’s website has available. Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator by several weeks, however.
The rate at which tests are returning with positive results has trended slightly upward but is staying below a key threshold for now.
On Monday, 4.46% of newly reported tests came back positive. That figure has bounced around for the last few weeks below 5%.
The World Health Organization advises governments that if more than 5% of tests are returning positive, they aren’t casting a wide enough net to track the virus’ spread.
Ohio’s increases seem to reflect similar patterns in more than 20 states, especially in Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, where the Associated Press reports cases are surging.
All told, more than 45,000 Ohioans have contracted COVID-19. About 2,700 of them have died of the disease.
Nationally, about 2.3 million Americans have been infected, more than 120,000 of whom have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.