Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

For 4 Weeks, Hamilton County Sees Nearly 4,000 New Cases, Hospital Capacity Stretched

Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 2, 2020 COVID-19 Briefing)
At least 3,943 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Hamilton County in just the past week.

For the fourth week in a row, Hamilton County is reporting nearly 4,000 new cases, with 3,943 announced during a Wednesday briefing.

As more COVID-19 cases emerge, more hospitalizations are due to follow, officials say. Earlier this week, UC Health hospitals announced they were pausing elective surgeries for the near future to make way for potential COVID cases.Dr. Richard Lofgren said the region has seen a 700% increase in hospitalizations in the past 60 days.

Credit Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 2, 2020 COVID-19 briefing)
Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 2, 2020 COVID-19 briefing)

“Sixty days ago in our hospital systems, about 1 in 30 individuals in the hospital had COVID,” Lofgren said. “We’re now at a point where about 1 in 4 in the hospital now has COVID.”

More than 1,600 people in Hamilton County have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic.

Worries about a COVID spike from the Thanksgiving holiday continue. Commission President Denise Driehaus said it’s too early to tell if there will be one.

“I want to thank those of you who changed your behavior, changed your tradition this year on Thanksgiving to try to lower your exposure to others,” Driehaus said.

Driehaus then said people may have to make changes to how they celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday.

People in the 18-29 age demographic have had the most cases in the past week. Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said this is due to more activity in that specific age group.

“They’re not hunkering down and staying put,” Kesterman said. “They’re still in some ways, shapes and forms getting together with friends and congregating, and so once again, it’s a message that we need to be very careful if we’re out and about. Wear those masks, social distance and heed all of the warnings that you’re hearing from public health.”

Hamilton County has confirmed at least 33,874 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Overall, at least 1,674 people have been hospitalized and 376 people have died. 

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.