Aug 23, 2023 - COVID

Ohio COVID hospitalizations back on the rise

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 hospitalization rates across Ohio rose 4% from June to July amid signs of a late-summer wave sweeping the country.

By the numbers: The average COVID-19 hospitalization rate nationwide rose about 17% from June to July, per the latest available CDC data.

  • A new variant, EG.5, is now the dominant form in the U.S., according to CDC estimates — though it's unclear whether it's directly responsible for the rising numbers.

Why it matters: Simply put, our guard is down.

  • Many of us put COVID in our rearview mirrors, leaving us both mentally and practically ill-prepared for another wave.

Reality check: In both percentage change and raw terms, nationwide hospitalizations are down 82% year over year.

Zoom in: Hospitalization rates are also down 89% year over year in Ohio.

Be smart: With so little testing happening these days, compared with the height of the pandemic, hospitalization rates are now one of the best indicators for estimating broader viral spread.

Yes, but: Hospitalizations aren't a perfect metric, as quality of reporting can vary.

  • It also takes time for infected people to become sick and require hospitalization. That delay means hospitalizations reflect what's already happened, rather than serving as a useful early-warning tool.
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