The following article was originally published in the Ohio Capital Journal and published on News5Cleveland.com under a content-sharing agreement.
Ohio is second in the nation per capita in terms of the reported COVID-19 death rate over the last seven days, according to a database from The New York Times.
Only Wyoming experienced a higher rate of COVID-19 deaths over the past week, the data shows.
Nearly 30,000 Ohioans have died of COVID-19, including some 19,000 who died after federal officials first authorized use of COVID-19 vaccines for the public on Dec. 14, 2020. The data (by date of death) lags by several weeks, but about 86 Ohioans per day were dying of the disease in the first week of December 2021.
Measured by COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, Ohio trails only Delaware and New Jersey (and Washington D.C.).
The data reflects an unprecedented case spike in Ohio. Over the last nine weeks, infection rates have spiked mercilessly, according to an analysis of data from the Ohio Department of Health. On Oct. 24, an average of 3,400 residents would contract COVID-19 by day. That average is now above 19,000 per day and showing no signs of slowing down.
Tens of thousands of Ohioans are seeking PCR tests every day. Of those, more than 1 in 4 are coming back with positive results, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health. This is slightly down from its all-time high of 32% just before the new year.
More than 6,500 Ohioans are in the hospital with COVID-19, another all-time high, up from about 2,300 in early November. About one in three people in a hospital in Ohio right now is there with COVID-19, according to data from the Ohio Hospital Association.
The virus surge is pummeling one of the least vaccinated states in the country. About 60% of Ohioans of all ages (70% of Ohio adults) have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
This makes Ohio the 8th least vaccinated state in the country, per the NYT data.
More than 94% of those who were hospitalized or died from the disease were unvaccinated, according to ODH data.