Officials report ‘largest spike in cases’ in Hamilton County since COVID-19 pandemic began
So, um, I’m saddened to report that Hamilton County is seeing its biggest spike in new cases since the cove it 19 crisis began. Before I go there, let me thank Jay and Vicky for being here to interpret. Um, so I’m gonna read off the numbers for today. Today we have 4000 and 98 positive cases of covered 19 in Hamilton County, 665 hospitalizations and 188 deaths. I’m gonna put this in context for you in a couple of different ways. We always talk about the Delta. Between last week in this week, The Delta and positive cases is 7 82 So what does that mean? Remember that we’ve been doing these briefings once a week, and so I’m going to read off the last four weeks to help. You better understand the context here and how these cases are increasing right now. Very dramatically. So we started at 1 66 a few weeks ago. The next week we were 1 77 The next week we’re 3 98 and now we’re it 7 82 So these are the delta’s that I’m talking about, and so you can see that the new cases are dramatically increasing in Hamilton County, related to hospitalizations, the Delta this week is 37. But let’s go back in time in the same way that Delta for hospitalizations was 80 few weeks ago, was 84. Then it went down to 46 then down to 33 trending in the right direction. Now we’re ticking up and we’re at 37. We’re going to hear more about this number in a minute. But as you can see, we’re start. We were moving in the right direction, and now we’re starting to see an uptick. And these are lagging indicators. You’ve got positive cases, then you’ve got the hospitalizations, and then you’ve got the death numbers so related to the death numbers. The Delta here today is seven, so let’s go back in time again. A few weeks ago, the Delta was 21 then down to 17 then down to eight. We are now at seven. However, this is a lagging indicator. And so the concern here is that as we see and increased spike in positive cases, we’ve got an uptick in hospitalizations. This lagging indicator, which is the death rate is going to move up. That’s the frame for today. That’s the frame of where we are in Hamilton County. It’s very concerning. So and you may have heard Governor Divine referred to this last week at his press conference. Uh, so why is this happening? Part of the reason is that testing has become more available in Hamilton County and more people are getting tested and diagnosed with the positive diagnosis. However, the recent spike is too large to be explained by just this alone. So we’ve seen the trends hospitalizations, air ticking up. Um and so let me give you a couple of specifics related to what we know and great customers here. And he, uh, will elaborate on this. He is the expert in the room, but broadly, there are three ZIP codes that are concerning. Two are particularly hard hit, though Zipcar codes are 45231 and 45 to 40 So think about it. It’s kind of north Central Hamilton County, So it’s Force Park, Springfield Township, Mountain Healthy North College Hill. Those of the areas we’re talking about there was 1/3 zip code that was highlighted by the governor. Ah, 45238 I’m gonna let the health commissioner talk a little bit more about what we think is going on in 45238 So, um, I’ve reached out to folks in the zip codes in these communities to not only make sure that they are aware of the uptick and positive cases in these communities in the ZIP codes, but also to offer the assistance of the county. So let’s talk about that for a second. So, um, County public health in addition to city public health, um, are getting additional testing sites open in the ZIP codes, working with the Ohio National Guard to set up pop up sites. So some of that’s happening in the city next week. We’re going to see that happening in the county in these hot spot areas. So look for those pop up sites in the next couple of weeks, and again, I’m gonna let Greg talk about the details of where those were going to be. We’ve got some additional information there. Um, as we said many times, there are already sites that are doing testing in Hamilton County. Um, HCP. See The Hamilton County public health website has a map, and I can find it. It is not hard to find. Um, but there is a map, and the map indicates where all the testing sites are. I personally called some of them over the weekend and said, Hey, you know, Are you guys open? Are you? Do you? Are you at capacity? They are not at capacity. And so go get tested. They have capacity. Go get tested. Um, they have different requirements. Different hours up. Some of them are free. Some of them are not. So as you click on that website on that the testing site, it gives you that information in a phone number Call before you go to make sure that everything on that website is accurate. And you’re good to go once you get there. So you can easily find that on the county website. So those are already there. Um, we’re gonna have more sites. A zai just described um so we have also seen some trends related to demographics. And again, Greg’s gonna go into more detail, and he’s got some charts. But what we have been concerned about is that the African American community is testing higher proportionally with positive cases. Ah, than other communities in Hamilton County. So we’ve been doing the outreach we’ve talked about in the past, but I want to give a special shout out to rename Haiti Harris, who has really tried very hard to make sure that everybody in this community is getting this message, Um, whether it’s on Lincoln where show whether it’s on town hall meetings, whether it’s out to specific groups. Um, we’re working really hard to make sure that we are communicating effectively to all the communities that are impacted. The other demographic that you’re going to see is an uptick in the Hispanic community. And so we have also reached out to leaders in the Hispanic community. Santa Maria Su Casa Lou lacks some of the organizations that, on a daily basis, interact with folks from the Hispanic community in Hamilton County to make sure that they also have the information they need in a language that people can read. And so, ah, that is happening as well. Um, so as you can see, there are many partners trying to message out that we’ve got a real concern here in Hamilton County. The message, by the way, is the same mask up. We all walk in here with these mass on mascot. Stay away from each other if you can, and wash your hands. It’s the same messaging. Um, we suspect that people have gotten relaxed. We were doing such a great job with this, um, but unfortunately, ah, the suspicion is that people have kind of let their guard down. We need to ramp this behavior back up and make sure we’re doing our part to keep people safe. So behave as though you’ve got the virus and that everybody around you has the virus and do what we need to do. We know what we need to do to stay safe. So now more than ever, it’s key that we practice all the things that we know to halt the spread. Um, One last thing. So you’ve heard me talk about, um, the Cares Act dollars and how the county is spending those dollars. You may remember that the county has committed $19 million to increase testing in this community. So an r. P went out. The results are in. I believe the provider that was chosen is being contacted this morning. It’s going to take a minute to get the plan together. But $19 million worth of investment to testing is also going to be rolling out in Hamilton County. My understanding is Hamilton County is the only county in the state to commit those kind of resource is to testing Very proud of that, Um, but so you can see how these things will kind of dovetail. So the pop up sites, um, manned by the are staffed, I should say by the Ohio National Guard will be up and running next week for probably a couple of weeks. The county testing will then roll in, probably in about 30 days or so. So try to pick up where the pop up sites leave off to make sure that we’ve got a robust testing compliment here in the county, in addition to all the sites that have been up in operating for the last few weeks. All right, so that lays the framework. Um, it’s, you know, it’s a challenging time. So Greg Chesterman, the health commissioner for Hamilton County, is here to elaborate. He’s got some charge. I think that will illuminate what’s going on. And then Krista Hyson is also hear from the health collaborative to talk a little bit about the hospitalization rates. And remember, we’re always concerned about hospital capacity. Uh, we’ve been talking about Really? That’s been a couple months ago when we first were in this, um And so now we’re starting As we see, more positive cases were starting to also become more concerned about the capacity of our hospitals. So with that, I’m going to turn it over to great customer. Thank you, Commissioner. And good morning. So I always like to add on Teoh the numbers Commissioner DRI House shares and update with regards to those recovered. So within our jurisdiction, we’ve had 2167 cases outside of the city of Cincinnati, Norwood and Springdale. Of those cases, 851 have recovered as Commissioner DRI House just indicated. We’re continuing to see rises in the number of cases throughout Hamilton County Weekly. I have been sharing a reproductive number with you. You think about the reproductive number in that if it’s over one, an outbreak will continue to spread if a reproductive number falls below one. The outbreak will begin to slow down this morning. The reproductive number for Hamilton County is 1.62 for reference. Last week, when I was here, it was 1.45 Also for the region, it is 1.50 this morning, and last week when I was here, it was 1.10 While this isn’t the only indication of an increase, it is one measure that we’ve continued to use throughout, um, throughout this pandemic. Also, I’d like to share a little bit about the spike that commissioner during House just referenced on the slide that is portrayed these air cases by day for Hamilton County Public Health’s jurisdiction. We continue to see a significant increase in cases of Kobe 19. Our team of contact tracers use has been really busy over the last couple of days. In fact, one day on Monday morning we came into the office with 114 new cases to contact tree. So our team has been very busy and working very hard to make sure that they’re able to reach these individuals and appropriate appropriately isolate them. It’s important to note that some of this increase is absolutely attributed to testing. We’re now able to provide testing to younger and healthier people and even some people that are asymptomatic. We did not have this luxury early on in the pandemic. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that we were able to test this group, So that’s a good thing. We’re able to now get out. We’re able to now get young people who are not very symptomatic, isolated appropriately on the side in front of you can see them on the top half, their test completed between June 1st and June 21st. You can really see below 60 is where the majority of those tests are occurring on the ah demographics there. As Commissioner treehouse already indicated, we are continuing to see, um, an increase in cases among non Hispanic blacks as well as Hispanic individuals. This is concerning because we’re sharing this message, but we need to make sure we’re reaching the right individuals. Are Office is continuing to make sure the message is appropriate and reaching the communities where we need to so that we can have the greatest impact, as Commissioner Dream House just shared. It is critical that everyone realizes the things that we can do to prevent Cove in 19 are the same. We went hand washing. We want people covering their cough. We want people to keep sick at home. We want masking when you’re in public places these air the same things we’ve been talking about since February, when we first started talking about Cove in 19. I want to now ah, touch briefly on the hospitalizations, but I’ll save that for Kristen. A share in more detail, but we’re absolutely seeing more hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions. We know that if testing is showing more cases, the real numbers that were concerning to us are when hospitalizations increase. Testing has no impact whatsoever on hospitalizations, so it’s very concerning to see these numbers start to go up. I want to touch base now on some of the ZIP code information. There’s a slide that has the three ZIP codes identified by the governor highlighted there. The yellow dots are merely just a representation to help you see what zip codes they don’t. They don’t align with any kind of a hot spot specific in those communities. In zip code 45238 which is in the southern portion of the county. We’ve seen increases in the number of nursing home related cases at one nursing home outside of Hamilton County Public Health’s jurisdiction in this facility. They have done several rounds of testing to ensure the safety of the residents. This aggressive testing absolutely causes spikes and increases in the number of cases. But it’s a key tool for isolating individuals with Kobe 19 and slowing the spread of the pandemic within that nursing home. So I applaud facilities for their aggressive testing. This is how we help control and save lives and prevent hospitalizations in the northern part of the county and zip codes for 5 to 31 and 45 to 40 We’re seeing an increase in cases among the younger population. As I just referenced, these cases are not associated with nursing homes. These are community spread cases. These are the result of people interacting in their daily lives, going to the grocery, playing baseball games and sitting too close to people. These types of things spread Kuvin 19 and really need each of us to take serious and each of us to do our part to helping slow the spread a cove in 19 commissioner treehouse reference. The National Garden Coming. They will be coming to six locations within these three ZIP codes that I just identified. The National Guard will be setting up no cost test site locations, which means if you don’t have insurance and you don’t have resource is to pay for a test, you can still get tested at. These sites were very happy to partner with each of the jurisdictions as well as the National Guard, to make sure that there is access to testing right where the community’s needed. The goal is to make sure that these sites are accessible, and we’ll do our best once we get the times and dates today or tomorrow to push that out so that we can make sure that everybody knows where to get those tests and, um, what’s needed to get them. Commissioner Dream House shared our website. I continue to want people to go there for testing. Hc ph dot org’s. It’s a great resource, and I think our team has continually updated it. When we get calls about sites no longer doing testing, we remove them when we find out about new pop up sites, we add them. So it’s a very up to date resource for all of the county. And we’ve even started adding more sites. Exterior of Hamilton County, that are close by so that residents on the border of Hamilton and another county are able to utilize those sites as well. So even though I just shared three zip codes and talked a little bit about the increasing there, if you look at all of Hamilton County as a whole were seeing increases in Kuvin 19. This is not a time to say if I don’t live in the ZIP codes, it doesn’t impact me. It impacts each of us here in Hamilton County, the state of Ohio in the United States. Now is the time to really start doing these prevention methods that we’ve discussed. Now is not the time to stop fighting proven 19. We’re going to be living with this throughout the rest of this year. There’s no vaccine. There is no cure. The way that we fix it is by working as a team and doing prevention all in there. Thank you very much. Thanks, Greg. Next, we’ve got Krista Hyson from the Health Collaborative to talk about the hospitalization numbers. Thank you for having me back. Commissioner DRI House Again. My name is Krista Hyson. I serve is the public information officer for the Greater Cincinnati Disaster Preparedness Coalition at the Health Collaborative, and the Health Collaborative is a non profit organization based in Cincinnati. We bring together those that provide care, pay for care and receive care to solve challenging problems like Cove in 19 agents increased by 17.1% to give you a clear picture. Two weeks ago, we had 65 hospitalized Cove in patients. Now we have almost 120 and the number of patients on ventilators continues to rise. Community spread is rising, but let me be clear these air, not cases that can be attributed just nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. Cove in 19 is spreading amongst the public. The 20 to 30 age range demographic has had the largest increase of positive cases recently. This demographic is of a special concern because this group is highly mobile and may spread infection to those both older and younger. We want our businesses and communities to thrive, but this requires both employees and the public to stay healthy, do not take unnecessary risks. While we all want to be around family and friends again. You know, I know it was hard not to hug my own dad on Father’s Day, but there are ways that we can control The spread of this virus, like both said before me Wearing a mask is just one of those simple ways you can protect others. Whether you’re at the grocery, the Little League field or Grandma’s birthday, precautions must be taken in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community. Together, we can take actions both for ourselves and for others to stop the pandemic. Right now, Greater Cincinnati residence must continue to do the following things. Avoid large gatherings and confined spaces. Whenever possible. Clean your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when out in public or when you cannot wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes in your elbow or upper arm. We’re a mask in public or when social distancing is difficult. Stay at home if you are sick or do not feel well, maintains social distance in public. Do not delay medical care if you are sick. Our hospitals are doing well on capacity right now. If you are a high risk individual, please consult your primary care doctor or closest urgent care for additional precautions. But most importantly, if you have been tested for Cove in 19 and are waiting test results, it’s important toe isolate at home until you have the results. Even if you are asymptomatic for questions and additional information, please continue to get your information from reputable sources like your local and state health departments. Thank you. Thank you. Kristen. Kristen. Sorry. Um all right, we’re ready for questions. Prison. Our first question is from Scott Wortmann with the Enquirer for you, Greg. Morning, Scott. One second. Scott, we can’t hear you. Oh, did you hear me? There we go. Okay. Sorry about that. I don’t know what what was going on there. Um, had a couple questions. Ah, one. Do you have any idea why? Like you mentioned in Del High in the 45238 that it was nursing home. But, uh, why would there be higher instance in like Springfield Township? Well, what? Uh what? Why those areas in particular. Is there a reason why have you been able to isolate that? So both the ZIP code for 5 to 31 and 45 to 40 at the northern portion of the county have been high throughout the pandemic, with cases a cove in 19. If you regularly visit our map at hc ph dot org’s, those two zip codes have been the darker shade and community, and we opened things back up. There’s more opportunities for can certainly lead to the Spread a cove in 19. So that’s one theory that we have. If there been any super spreader events or any like particular ah, one event or instance that caused a lot of cases of spread, we have not seen any instances such as that. But we do see instances where somebody might have a gathering at their house and a few cases get linked back to that gathering or a similar type events like that. But I don’t have any information to say that one event caused ah large portion of our case increase. No, uh, there has been concerned that the protests might have caused some spread. Any indication of that we do not have any data to that regard. What I like to keep sharing is that each, you know, a mass gathering is really any time right now, defined as 10 or more people coming together. And just in the course of my daily life, I’m seeing this all over the police. I’m seeing this when I’m at soccer practice, and I walked past some baseball fields and there’s 100 adults sitting on bleachers having beer and having no space apart from each other. That’s a mass gathering and that spreads Cove in 19. The protest certainly is a type of mass gathering, and if people aren’t wearing masks and aren’t social distance distancing, it also can impact and cause the spread A cove in 19 but no differently than if we have Grandma’s 80th birthday party this evening. And I have 40 people come over to celebrate Grandma. That is a type of a mass gathering that can spread Cove in 19. One other question. I wanted to just clarify when, uh, the commissioner said that it was the highest spike we’ve seen since the pandemic started. Are we talking hospitalizations in the last week or the total number of cases. What, what what specifically of all the figures you said is the highest since the epidemic the highest?
Officials report ‘largest spike in cases’ in Hamilton County since COVID-19 pandemic began
Hamilton County health officials are encouraging residents to “mask up” and practice social distancing after reporting the largest spike in new COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic began.Officials reported the spike in cases Wednesday, during their first daily update since Gov. Mike DeWine identified what he called a worrisome trend in the county. The governor identified several counties across Ohio which he said saw worrisome spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. “The trend line we’re seeing in these counties is worrisome,” DeWine said Thursday, referencing recent coronavirus hotspots in southwest Ohio.Hamilton, Warren, Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties are among those counties, DeWine said, and added that measures will be put into place in these areas. Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus echoed his concerns during the Wednesday briefing. “I’m saddened to report that Hamilton County is seeing its biggest spike in new cases since the COVID-19 crisis began,” Driehaus said Wednesday.Driehaus said the county was moving in the right direction, but has since started to see an uptick in new cases, reporting that as of Wednesday, the county has 4,098 cases, 665 hospitalizations, 188 deaths.Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said the county is also seeing an increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Kesterman said while an increase in testing capabilities is definitely impacting the number of new cases, it doesn’t impact the number of hospitalizations. “The real numbers that were concerning to us were the hospitalizations. Testing has no impact on hospitalizations, so it’s very concerning to see these numbers to start to go up,” Kesterman said. DeWine and local officials identified three ZIP codes, 45231, 45240, 45238, that are seeing the newest cases in the county. The ZIP codes are in the Forest Park, Springfield Township, Mt. Healthy area. The commissioner said the county is with the National Guard to open up more test sites in those areas.Driehaus said increased hygiene and social distancing is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.”The message is the same, mask up, stay away from each other and wash your hands. We suspect that people have gotten relaxed,” Driehaus said. “We were doing such a great job with this, unfortunately the suspicion is that people have let their guard down. We need to ramp this behavior back up and do our part to keep people safe. Behave as though you have the virus and that other people have the virus.” Kesterman said now is the time to increase prevention efforts.”We are going to be living with this throughout the rest of this year. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The way we fix it is by working as a team and doing prevention,” Kesterman said.State testing is now available to everyone, symptomatic or not. Despite these five counties identified as problematic by the governor, DeWine said — overall — the state has seen positive progress across the state. He noted downward trends statewide, even as the state begins to reopen.“None of this should come as a real shock. We’re going to see hot spots, we’re gonna see an increase in cases,” the governor said.The governor also cited several reasons for a spike in cases in these counties, including an increase in car travel. DeWine said car travel has surpassed pre-coronavirus levels, but said this is expected in the summer months.
Hamilton County health officials are encouraging residents to “mask up” and practice social distancing after reporting the largest spike in new COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic began.
Officials reported the spike in cases Wednesday, during their first daily update since Gov. Mike DeWine identified what he called a worrisome trend in the county.
The governor identified several counties across Ohio which he said saw worrisome spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
“The trend line we’re seeing in these counties is worrisome,” DeWine said Thursday, referencing recent coronavirus hotspots in southwest Ohio.
Hamilton, Warren, Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties are among those counties, DeWine said, and added that measures will be put into place in these areas.
Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus echoed his concerns during the Wednesday briefing.
“I’m saddened to report that Hamilton County is seeing its biggest spike in new cases since the COVID-19 crisis began,” Driehaus said Wednesday.
Driehaus said the county was moving in the right direction, but has since started to see an uptick in new cases, reporting that as of Wednesday, the county has 4,098 cases, 665 hospitalizations, 188 deaths.
Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said the county is also seeing an increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Kesterman said while an increase in testing capabilities is definitely impacting the number of new cases, it doesn’t impact the number of hospitalizations.
“The real numbers that were concerning to us were the hospitalizations. Testing has no impact on hospitalizations, so it’s very concerning to see these numbers to start to go up,” Kesterman said.
DeWine and local officials identified three ZIP codes, 45231, 45240, 45238, that are seeing the newest cases in the county. The ZIP codes are in the Forest Park, Springfield Township, Mt. Healthy area. The commissioner said the county is with the National Guard to open up more test sites in those areas.
Driehaus said increased hygiene and social distancing is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“The message is the same, mask up, stay away from each other and wash your hands. We suspect that people have gotten relaxed,” Driehaus said. “We were doing such a great job with this, unfortunately the suspicion is that people have let their guard down. We need to ramp this behavior back up and do our part to keep people safe. Behave as though you have the virus and that other people have the virus.”
Kesterman said now is the time to increase prevention efforts.
“We are going to be living with this throughout the rest of this year. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The way we fix it is by working as a team and doing prevention,” Kesterman said.
State testing is now available to everyone, symptomatic or not.
Despite these five counties identified as problematic by the governor, DeWine said — overall — the state has seen positive progress across the state. He noted downward trends statewide, even as the state begins to reopen.
“None of this should come as a real shock. We’re going to see hot spots, we’re gonna see an increase in cases,” the governor said.
The governor also cited several reasons for a spike in cases in these counties, including an increase in car travel. DeWine said car travel has surpassed pre-coronavirus levels, but said this is expected in the summer months.