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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio May Have Hit Peak Of COVID-19 Cases This Weekend

The latest model from the Ohio Department of Health, showing a peak of around 1,600 cases on April 19.
Ohio Department of Health
The latest model from the Ohio Department of Health, showing a peak of around 1,600 cases on April 19.

Ohio’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 spiked to 11,292 Sunday– fueled in part by mass testing at three prisons. But the head of the institute that’s has been working with the state on modeling says this weekend may have been an important one in the fight against coronavirus.

(The full interview with Michael Oglesbee is on "The State of Ohio" this weekend - you can find it here.)

The total of confirmed cases reported Sunday was 11,292, with the total of confirmed and suspected cases at 11,602. That's an increase of 1,353 confirmed cases over Saturday - but it also includes numbers coming in from mass testing at three Ohio prisons.

Michael Oglesbee is the Director of the Ohio State Infectious Diseases Institute. And he said Ohio may have hit the peak as forecast on April 19.

“Weknowtherearemanymoreinfectedindividuals,butwedon'tknowwhatthatnumberis," Oglesbee said.

Oglesbee said that numbercouldbe1,600,whichwasthemodelpredictionthat was released by the state on April 5, "oritcouldbesomeothernumberthatthemodelpredictionwasbasedoncaseswhereweactuallyhavebiologicaltestingandwehavesymptoms."

Oglesbee said the number matters to health care facilities that need to ensure they have capacity to treat people. But he cautioned people that using modeling to predict numbers is like trying to predict the stock market, when they should be looking for trends.

“Whether the number is 1,600 or 600, to some degree, it doesn't matter," Oglesbee said. "It matters to hospitals and health care facilities because they want to know that they have the capacity. Butkeepinmindthatmodelingisabitlike,youknow,lookingatdailytrendsinthestockmarketandtryingtofigureoutwhatthetrajectoryis.”

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has repeatedly said that with limited testing, there is no way to determine how many cases of COVID-19 are in Ohio. But she and other experts have estimated that 70% of the population may eventually contract coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.