COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A recent update on Ohio’s new COVID-19 cases also came with a noticeable drop in a related statistic: the number of Ohioans dying weekly from the virus.
For around a month, Ohio’s coronavirus rate has wobbled above and under 10,000 new cases per week, according to reports from the Ohio Department of Health. Before the week of Sept. 30, the state had not dropped under that five-digit milestone in nearly six months.
More recently on Thursday, however, ODH reported just eight deaths for the week of Nov. 4, a noteworthy drop of 63 from the week prior. Excluding a two-week period where ODH could not report data on deaths in 2022, this marked another milestone the state has not seen since 2021, before a holiday-season COVID swell. The closest the state came to single-digit deaths before November was in July, with just 22 during the week of the 15th.
The chart below documents the week-over-week deaths from coronavirus in Ohio, and also illustrates the lack of correlation between case rates and deaths in the same time periods.
ODH Public Information Officer Ken Gordon further elaborated on the lack of correlation between cases and deaths in the same weeks.
"Typically, death numbers lag behind the trends in cases and hospitalizations, which both have been trending downward since August," Gordon said. "In addition to natural progression of disease, coroners and physicians have six months to complete or make changes to death certificates."
Gordon confirmed what the data shows: COVID-19 cases have consistently been on the decline in the state. While Ohio broke 3 million cases earlier in the year, it has also defied the two-year trend of a COVID-19 spike heading into the holiday season. The state's highest-ever upward spike in daily cases began in November 2021 -- per New York Times reporting -- and that time period also loosely correlated with Ohio's highest death rate. However, the same level of cases and deaths are nowhere to be found mid-month in November.
While signs are pointing positively toward lower case and death numbers, Gordon warned that more time is needed to make predictions on what's to come.
"Because this is just one week worth of data, we also would caution against reading too much into it until we can study the data over several weeks to understand the trends," Gordon said.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 40,257 Ohioans have died from COVID-19, according to the latest ODH data available Nov. 15. Men died more than women by a small margin, and the median age of the virus' fatal victims was 77.