COVID numbers are likely higher

If you’ve already been thinking it, now Ohio State University doctors are saying it. The number of COVID-19 cases in the Buckeye State is probably much higher than the official figure reported by the Ohio Department of Health, because not everyone who has a positive at-home test reports his or her case.

“The number of actual cases reported is a huge undercount,” said Dr. Carlos Malvestutto, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Wexner Medical Center, according to a report by WCMH in Columbus.

Last week, official numbers had Ohio’s case count at approximately 20,000 cases per day. But Malvestutto believes the real number could be anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000.

“Part of the reason is the fact that a lot of cases some people are testing at home with home tests, but they’re not reporting their positive test results,” he told WCMH. “And at the same time, there are a lot of people who have COVID who are not even getting tested. So the real number is likely many times higher than that, very likely well over threefold higher or fivefold higher.”

On the other hand, we do know the number of patients overwhelming our hospitals.

“Our state is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 driven in-patient hospitalizations, ICU admissions, patients on ventilators that we have seen throughout the entire pandemic. And sadly, these beds continue to be filled with better than nine out of 10 times by the unvaccinated,” according to state health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

In other words, the spread is likely much worse than what is being reported, and the strain on our hospitals is as high as it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.

As Vanderhoff points out, vaccine and mask resisters are the vast majority of the problem, yet it is becoming increasingly clear that even more accurate reporting of the data would not convince them to change course. But we can’t give up.

Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear your masks, wash and sanitize your hands, social distance, stay home and get tested if you are not feeling well … There are so many ways to make a difference. All it takes is a decision to do the right thing.


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