CLEVELAND — Ohioans are still lining up to get their COVID-19 vaccines with more than 35% of the state’s population receiving at least one dose.
Despite the positive trend in vaccinations, though, the state is seeing a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases from just two weeks ago.
Local health experts told News 5 there are two primary factors resulting in the rise in positive cases.
“The UK variant is more widespread than it was before and we're certainly seeing that up in Michigan right now and we're seeing that as well in our own data,” said Dr. Robyn Strosaker. “People have been at this for a long time and I think they may be letting their guard down just a little bit when it comes to mask wearing, social distancing.”
Donna Skoda of Summit County Public Health said while Summit County hasn’t seen a drastic increase in cases, there is a new trend regarding hospitalizations.
“The greatest number of increases that we have seen with hospitalizations have been with the 20 to 39-year-olds,” Skoda said.
While Strosaker said people are growing tired of the pandemic and a year of isolation, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Ohioans if the population remains diligent.
“Obviously, our way out of this is the vaccine,” Strosaker said. “There was a time when we had over 100,000 people on waiting lists to get a vaccine. Today, if you pre-register with us, you're probably going to get called for an appointment within about 72 hours.”
Hundreds of people at the Wolstein Center received their second doses of the vaccine Sunday and shared what they are most looking forward to.
“I’ve got to wait the two weeks, but it's such a relief to think that you've actually done something to help and to help yourself,” Deborah Balis said.
The shot in the arm had been a long time doing for Judy Cuthbertson.
“I've just been so terrified of getting this. Actually my boss died of it in December, so this is a huge relief to me,” Cuthbertson said.
Michon Brooks said she is looking forward to a sense of normalcy.
“Resuming life, going to concerts, seeing friends and family,” Brooks said.
However, many people said they’re not certain just what normal will be moving forward.
“I don't think life will ever totally look like what it looked like pre-pandemic. You don't walk through something like this and walk out the other side the same person you were walking into it,” Betsy Rees said.