COVID-19 in Ohio: Antigen testing, K-12 education, DataOhio portal

Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced changes in the way Ohio will track positive COVID-19 tests.

Governor Mike DeWine delivers a COVID-19 update on Monday, December 7th.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted Monday provided the following update on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 9,273 new coronavirus cases, the sixth highest count reported in one day since the pandemic. 336 new hospitalizations were reported and 40 new patients are in intensive care. An additional 63 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio, surpassing 7,000 total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Governor DeWine discussed the Ohio Department of Health aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current case definition. In August, the CDC changed the case definition of antigen testing to include case counts without additional verification. Ohio has continued to manually verify an epidemiological link, such as a known positive contact, with an antigen positive test result.

Tuesday, December 8, the department will begin including antigen tests without an epidemiological link in the total case count. This will result in a one-day spike in reported cases from pending positive antigen cases.

“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”

Not all pending cases will be translated into new cases. Cases will be checked and duplicate records will be removed. Cases will also be assigned to their appropriate onset date.

The Ohio Department of Education continues to report limited spread of COVID-19 in a classroom setting, but an increase of community spread from informal gatherings outside of school.

The department also tracks how many districts are hosting in-person, hybrid, or remote learning.

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote. Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning,” said Governor DeWine.

Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which delivers datasets and interactive visualizations to Ohioans. This portal delivers unprecedented access through an innovative, data-sharing platform for state agencies and their partners.

“We’ve all learned over the past year how critical data is to tackling our biggest challenges,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The IOP team has built a one-stop-shop for the state’s data, providing a secure approach to data access and displaying datasets that, in some cases, are available now for the first time. This collaboration will help Ohio make better public policy decisions so we can better serve the people of our state.”

In total, there are 484,297 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,022 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 29,569 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,943 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed below.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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