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Local experts: Ohio's record COVID-19 cases will likely continue to climb

Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 23:10:47-04

CLEVELAND — Leading doctors from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals stressed stepped-up mask wearing and social distancing as Ohio has seen three record-setting days for new daily COVID-19 cases in just one week.

The Ohio Department of Health reported the state set another record on Friday with 3,845 new coronavirus cases, which eclipsed the previous record of 3,590 cases set the day before.

Dr. Daniel Simon, Chief Clinical and Scientific Officer with the University Hospitals Health System, urged residents to be vigilant with mask wearing and social distancing as we head into the Halloween weekend, Election Day and the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We’re very concerned about the dramatic increase in cases over the last seven to 14 days," Simon said. “Only 21 days ago we were at 1,356, so it’s really almost a threefold increase in only 21 days. This is translating into an increase in hospitalizations. So across Ohio there were 169 new hospitalizations—21 days ago, only 54. We know that hospitalizations and deaths tend to trail new cases by 10 to 14 days. We are the third ranked state in the U.S. for the number of COVID cases on college campuses 10,000 cases at 56 Ohio campuses. Those students are going to start coming home for Thanksgiving break.”

Simon reported some 87,000 new cases across the country on Thursday, and 88,500 new cases on Friday

He would not speculate on when this current spike in cases would plateau locally, but said the good news is hospital systems are handling the increase and better treatments are a plus.

“Most of the experts say we are going to touch the 100,000 case-a-day threshold soon," Simon said. “We now have Remdesivir as an antiviral IV, five to 10 days, depending on severity. Dexamethasone, the powerful steroid, dampens down that inflammation."

Dr. Frank Esper, infectious disease doctor with the Cleveland Clinic, said the increase in cases is a real concern even though COVID-19 testing statewide is part of the growing number of reported cases.

“It's more worrisome that we’re seeing the number of hospitalizations going up as well and when the hospitalizations rise, that’s completely independent of whether you have the ability to test or not," Esper said. "And if the past is a prediction, we’re going to see the cases to go up. Our ability to treat though is a lot better, and that’s something that we have going for us now."

RELATED: Ohio reports record-breaking 3,845 new COVID-19 cases, 16 new deaths also reported