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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.

Hamilton County Sees Weekly COVID Cases Decrease, Hospitalizations Still Concerning

Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 23, 2020 COVID-19 Briefing)
Hospitalizations in the region's hospitals are still climbing.

While Hamilton County is reporting decreasing numbers in weekly COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations are still affecting the region's hospitals.

Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman says the county is averaging about 524 cases a day over the previous seven days. Two weeks ago, the county was seeing 716 cases per day. While hospitalizations countywide are decreasing, the region's hospitals are still dealing with an increasing amount of patients.

"For the region, we are seeing about 750 patients per day in the hospital," Kesterman said. "This is the same number that I reported last week, so we're not seeing any declines in those numbers."

Despite increasing hospitalizations, officials point to changes the community made to prevent the spread of the virus during Thanksgiving as the reason for lower case numbers.

County Commission President Denise Driehaus said she hopes people keep practicing similar measures during the holiday season.

"As you make plans within the coming weeks, please find ways to celebrate virtually or outside or at a distance and please wear the mask," Driehaus said.

Hamilton County is reporting less than 4,000 new COVID cases over the previous week for the first time in over a month.

At least 2,000 hospitalizations and nearly 48,000 infections have been confirmed in Hamilton County since the beginning of the pandemic.

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