This story was updated after the Ohio Department of Health confirmed that a technical issue involving 242 cases caused the numbers to rise on Monday.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A technical glitch led the Ohio Department of Health to report 660 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the largest single-day increase in new infections in nearly two months.
A clarification on the ODH coronavirus website described the problem as affecting “a small number of cases,” but a spokeswoman later clarified that it affected 242 cases dating back to March.
The increase is the largest in Ohio in a 24-hour period since May 28, when the state reported an identical increase of 660 new infections, according to ODH data. It’s also nearly double the Ohio three-week average of 330 new infections per day.
The state also reported 35 new hospitalizations and four new intensive care admissions on Monday. No new deaths have been reported, as death totals are only updated twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Even taking the technical issue into account, however, Ohio has seen a recent increase in new coronavirus infections that is in line with a trend seen across the United States. All 50 states are now seeing an increase in the number of new cases, fueled by slowing vaccination rates and the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, health officials said.
Ohio has seen new infections increase sharply over the past week. As of July 12, the state had an average of 285 new cases per day over seven days. As of Sunday, the seven-day average had risen to 406 new cases per day, according to data from the ODH. The technical issue makes it difficult to determine how Monday’s data affects the seven-day average.
Health officials in the United States have said the Delta variant is leading to an increase in new infections. The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, has been classified by the World Health Organization as a ‘variant of concern’ after causing a wave of coronavirus infections in India. Ohio health officials have warned that the variant poses a significant risk to anyone who is unvaccinated.
The rise in new infections also comes as vaccinations have slowed in Ohio and other parts of the United States. Less than 48.5% of the people of Ohio have started their vaccinations and less than 45.5% have been fully vaccinated.
However, Ohio’s vaccination efforts have helped keep new infections lower than they were during the winter and spring of 2021. The state’s seven-day average of new infections peaked at over 12,000 per day in mid-December, as was still over 2,000 per day in mid-April, according to ODH data.
Health officials have repeatedly stressed that vaccinating more Americans is critical to reducing the risk of COVID-19. About 97% of all COVID-19-related hospitalizations nationwide are unvaccinated people, and almost all deaths occur among those who have not received a vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said last week. and Prevention in the United States.