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COVID cases in Hamilton County near record set last year, with 3-4 deaths per day

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Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 29, 2021 COVID-19 Briefing)
COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County are nearing the peak set in December 2020.

Hamilton County is averaging 678 cases per day as 2021 comes to a close.

In the past seven days, the county has averaged more than 513 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. In the same timeframe, 27 people have died from the virus, slightly more than three per day. Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman says there are roughly 11,700 active cases in the county.

"So if you are out and about, once again you should always use caution," Kesterman said. "We're really strongly encouraging people to follow the CDC guidance, which includes wearing masks in public places to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as well as to help keep your family safe."

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Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 29, 2021 COVID-19 Briefing)

Hospitalizations are also up from the previous week at 668. Of those, 167 are in the ICU with 127 on ventilators. Kesterman says most of the patients are unvaccinated.

"Many of us know people right now in our community, our friends, our family, coworkers who have COVID," Kesterman said. "For those who have been vaccinated, the likelihood of serious COVID-19 is significantly diminished."

Kesterman also noted that the region's hospitals are fearful of what's to come with the pandemic, saying more urgency is needed from the public.

"COVID-19 is here, it's serious," Kesterman said. "No one is requiring you to wear masks, no one is shutting down businesses this time around. That is all not happening, so it's really on each of us as individuals to make an impact within our community."

More than 127,000 cases have been confirmed in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those cases, 4,828 have been hospitalized and 1,637 have died.

Last Tuesday at City Hall, Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore confirmed the city's first case of the omicron variant. Mayor John Cranley tested positive for coronavirus just days after the press conference.

Omicron is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the U.S. However, the CDC says reports that the variant accounted for most new infections over the past couple of weeks were significantly overestimated. The CDC reported 73% of new cases were linked to omicron as of Dec. 18. On Tuesday, the agency revised the figure to 23%.

Below is a look at COVID-19 vaccination rates by age group in Hamilton County:

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Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 29, 2021 COVID-19 Briefing)