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WEEKLY ROUNDUP | Weekly COVID-19 death rate reaches its highest point in months; new vaccinations declining

Following a record-setting surge of new coronavirus cases in Ohio, the state's weekly death rate is the worst it's been in several months. The number of new vaccinations each week has tumbled.
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Though the rate of new coronavirus cases in Ohio has slowed following record-setting numbers reported in September, the state is reporting far more COVID-19 deaths.

Last week's rate of new COVID-19 deaths was about three times what it was a month prior.

Ohio last week reported 473 COVID-19 deaths, an average of 68 deaths per day. The death rate has been rising steadily for months, at least since the novel coronavirus' highly contagious and deadlier delta variant became most common strain of the virus:

  • 334 new deaths the week ending Sept. 25, an average of about 48 deaths per day
  • 336 new deaths the week ending Sept. 18, an average of 48 deaths per day
  • 202 new deaths the week ending Sept. 11, an average of about 29 deaths per day
  • 149 new deaths the week ending Sept. 4, an average of about 21 deaths per day
  • 110 new deaths the week ending Aug. 28, an average of about 16 deaths per day
  • 80 new deaths the week ending Aug. 21, an average of about 11 deaths per day
  • 56 new deaths the week ending Aug. 14, an average of eight deaths per day
  • 66 new deaths the week ending Aug. 7, an average of about nine deaths per day

The number of COVID-19 deaths is an indicator that lags behind reported cases and hospitalizations, sometimes for up to three weeks. About 2,100 COVID-19 deaths were reported statewide in December — the month with the most recorded pandemic deaths — an average of about 68 deaths per day.

Despite a new vaccine incentive program announced by Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month, promising $2 million in scholarships to Ohioans aged 12 to 25 — an age group with low vaccination rates — the weekly rate of new vaccinations in the state has reached a two-month low.

  • 39,273 new vaccinations the week ending Oct. 2
  • 49,887 new vaccinations the week ending Sept. 25
  • 59,438 new vaccinations the week ending Sept. 18
  • 48,248 new vaccinations the week ending Sept. 11
  • 66,962 new vaccinations the week ending Sept. 4
  • 67,830 new vaccinations the week ending Aug. 28
  • 67,985 new vaccinations the week ending Aug. 21
  • 62,327 new vaccinations the week ending Aug. 14
  • 91,676 new vaccinations the week ending Aug. 7

A new poll shows the number of Americans opposed to getting a COVID-19 vaccine reached a new low last month, McClatchy News reported.

The Gallup poll, conducted Sept. 13 to Sept. 19 among about 4,000 respondents, found fewer respondents than ever said they don’t plan to get a coronavirus vaccine while more than ever said they are already vaccinated or plan to be.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they are fully or partially vaccinated while 5% said they plan to be. That combined 80 percent is a jump from 77 percent in August and “the highest yet this year,” according to Gallup.

Other COVID-19 trends in Ohio

Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, the state reported:

  • 40,551 new COVID-19 cases, down from 42,972 the week before, including:
    • 912 new cases in Mahoning County, down from 1,001
    • 822 new cases in Trumbull County, up from 757
    • 597 new cases in Columbiana County, down from 636
  • 1,836 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, down from 1,880.
  • 473 COVID-19 deaths, up from 334.
  • 39,273 Ohioans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, down from 49,887.

As of Oct. 2:

  • 6,319,322 Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 
    • 119,182 in Mahoning County, an increase of 671 (down from 849 new first doses the week before);
    • 98,813 in Trumbull, an increase of 646 (down from 754);
    • 43,286 in Columbiana, an increase of 821 (up from 387).
  • 54.06 percent of the state population has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Mahoning Valley counties continue to lag behind the state rate. 
    • Mahoning County: 52.12 percent;
    • Trumbull County: 49.91 percent;
    • Columbiana County: 42.49 percent.

Last week's coronavirus news

  • Following Gov. Mike DeWine's announcement of a new COVID-19 vaccine lottery aimed at young Ohioans, the state sweetened the pot last week, doubling the "Vax-2-School" prize pool to $2 million. The program offers five $100,000 scholarships and 150 $10,000 scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities. Eligible entrants must have received the coronavirus vaccine. Though about 73 percent of Ohioans older than 40 and 84 percent of Ohioans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the vaccination rate for Ohioans 12 to 25 is about 46 percent, and much lower than that in some parts of the state.
     
  • Akron Children’s Hospital is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing at its campus at 6505 Market St. Testing will be available from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays in front of Building C. The clinic is available to children whether they are patients or not, with or without symptoms, as well as young adults up to age 26 who are still in the care of Akron Children’s. Appointments are required and can be scheduled here. Insurance information will be required at the time of scheduling and again at the appointment. Results will be available about 48 to 72 hours after testing.
     
  • Trumbull County Combined Health District will administer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Eastwood Mall. The clinic will be at the former Lane Bryant space near Center Court, next to Pandora and across from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. The clinic is for individuals age 65 and older who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. Recipients must make an appointment and bring their vaccine card to the clinic. To register for an appointment, click here. Recipients must bring the confirmation email or text with them to the clinic.
     
  • The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County is partnering with the Youngstown City Health District to provide free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as annual flu shots, at select library branches on select dates. Those receiving their first COVID-19 shot will receive a $100 gift card provided by the Youngstown City Health District and Medicaid. Eligible Valley residents can walk in or make appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and/or annual flu shot between 11:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Get more information here.
     
  • A House Republican bill limiting Ohio employers' ability to require that workers receive the coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment will face a slower legislative route than predicted just a day earlier, the Associated Press reported. Under the bill, public and private sector employees could seek exemptions from employer-mandated coronavirus vaccines in three general areas, including an ability to demonstrate the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. Its sponsors predicted passage by the full House on Wednesday, but House Speaker Bob Cupp announced that it needed more time.
     
  • Pfizer-BioNTech have submitted data on their COVID-19 vaccine in children age 5 to 11 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for initial review, McClatchy News reported. Next, the companies plan on sending the FDA a “formal submission to request emergency use authorization” for that age group in the coming weeks. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will then meet to review the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in kids age 5 to 11 before officially recommending and authorizing the shot for use.
     
  • Drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use, the Associated Press reported. If cleared, the drug would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, a potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic. All COVID-19 therapies now authorized in the U.S. require an IV or injection.
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