No change in health advisory levels, but region still epicenter of Ohio’s coronavirus epidemic

By Mackenzi Klemann -

LIMA — Allen County has identified more than 870 new coronavirus cases since the start of November, a rapid escalation that puts the county on track to shatter its previous monthly record of 968 cases set in October.

On Thursday alone, Allen County saw 119 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours while Ohio surpassed 7,000 new daily coronavirus cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March.

There are now more than 3,000 Ohioans hospitalized with COVID-19, including 750 who have been admitted to intensive care units and 330 requiring ventilator support, which is already stressing hospitals’ staffing capacities ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lima hospitals are no exception, as the region remains the epicenter of Ohio’s coronavirus epidemic.

Allen, Auglaize, Putnam, Mercer and Van Wert counties continue to report some of the highest rates of new coronavirus cases per population in Ohio, even after weeks of warnings from public health officials and hospital leaders.

Putnam County’s outbreak has grown to 1,266 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days — 12 times the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition for a high-incidence county or hotspot.

Still, those counties have seen no change in their public health advisory ratings, which will remain at Level 3 Red alert for another week.

By Mackenzi Klemann

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