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Health
Coronavirus
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 Co. Reports More Than 900 COVID-19 Deaths Following State Data Error

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Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Feb. 17, 2021 COVID-19 Briefing)
According to the updated graph, the county saw a spike in COVID-19 deaths between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Hamilton County is now correcting its COVID death numbers after the state inaccurately reported 4,000 less than should have been reported.

More than 400 deaths from COVID-19 are now being included in the county’s death toll, which brings the number up to 913 people. County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said the new corrected number gives a stark reminder of how deadly the virus can be.

“Something to note though; hospitalizations in the county, 2,500,” Driehaus said. “Deaths, almost 1,000, so that gives you an idea of the dangerous situation once someone has to be admitted to the hospital and how tenuous that situation is.”

Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said the corrected death total seems more in line with national trends at the time and that people forget how deadly the virus is.

“The messaging that we’ve been saying throughout about wearing your mask, social distance, keep sick at home, and washing your hands, it’s really true,” Kesterman said. “And if we all come together as a community, we will reduce deaths in Hamilton County.”

According to an updated graph (see above), a spike of deaths occurred during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Ohio Health Director Stephanie McCloud said one employee may have become overwhelmed with reconciling data from different sources late last year, but that employee didn’t let supervisors know how far behind they were.

Vaccine Update and COVID Totals

At least 11.33% of the population have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A vaccine shipment was delayed due to the winter weather impacting the region, but it should arrive on Wednesday. Another 14,000 doses will arrive next week.

During Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, equity regarding vaccinating Black people in the county was discussed. Less than 5% of Black Hamilton County residents are vaccinated for COVID-19, compared to about 12.5% of white residents. Black people make up 25% of the county’s population.

So far, 4.23% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated.

During the pandemic, at least 71,245 people have contracted COVID-19. At least 2,509 have been hospitalized and 913 have died.

The county is currently averaging 203 new cases per day and is dealing with roughly 6,300 active cases.