COVID-19 has now killed more people in the Cincinnati region than the 1918-19 flu pandemic, which claimed 1,700 lives here.
The region's dismal record of nearly 2,200 COVID-19 deaths and counting was reached after Ohio officials on Thursday started adjusted fatalities upward after finding 4,000 previously missing deaths. The error in Ohio, which boosted the Buckeye State's fatalities by a third, was found a week after Indiana officials found 1,500 previously missing deaths.
The region passed 1,000 COVID-19 deaths on Dec. 21, less than two months ago.
Ohio's revisions nearly doubled the death toll in Hamilton County, an Enquirer analysis shows. Deaths rose by more than 50% in Butler, Clermont and Warren counties.
Using a multiplier developed by researchers at three North American universities, another 19,540 people (the children, grandchildren, parents and siblings of the dead) have been touched by the pandemic through local deaths. Put another way, the total of the dead and the bereaved surpasses the population of Norwood, the second-largest city in Hamilton County.
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Keep in mind that the flu pandemic of 1918-19 lasted 23 weeks in Cincinnati, according to the Influenza Encyclopedia produced by the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and the U of M Library.
If you calculate a daily death rate, about 10.5 people died per day in the flu pandemic. The new coronavirus pandemic has lasted 49 weeks and counting, which equates to a daily death rate of about 6.4 fatalities.
As of Saturday, the region had 193,000 COVID-19 cases, up 2.5% from the week earlier. The increase was the sixth week of a single-digit rise in cases after 11 weeks of double-digit jumps.
Put another way, 193,000 positive tests mean that one in 10 residents of the 2.2 million metro area population has been found with the virus (some may have been tested more than once).
The region's per capita seven-day average rate of new cases dropped 27.2% last week after falling 15.1% the week before, yet another Enquirer analysis shows. The region's rate on Friday was the lowest since Nov. 3, according to this Enquirer analysis.
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All four Southwest Ohio counties again last week saw an improvement in a different measure of the strength of the virus tracked by the state in its COVID-19 heat map: the per capita rates of new cases over the last 14 days.
Coronavirus in Cincinnati: Where you can get a COVID-19 test today
The rate now is four times above the level of community spread in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties. Just a month ago, the Clermont reading was the highest in the region since the pandemic began.
For the 11th week, the three largest counties in Northern Kentucky remained at the red level.
Coronavirus in Ohio: How do Ohio's COVID cases compare with rest of the U.S.?
The United States surpassed 27.6 million cases of the novel coronavirus, up 2.4% in a week, and Saturday passed 483,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
Here are 10 statistical milestones close to home
- Vaccine distribution locally reached its eighth week. By Saturday, 10.1% of the residents of Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties had started receiving the vaccine, up from 8.3% a week earlier, according to an Enquirer analysis of state data. No vaccination data is available by county in Kentucky. See chart below for county details.
- Zero: that's the number of additional cases of the United Kingdom B.1.1.7 variant that were reported as being detected locally. Kentucky health officials revealed in late January that two Kenton County residents have contracted the variant. The variant also was found in late January in Northeast Ohio, in addition to two "homegrown" Ohio variants discovered earlier by Ohio State University scientists.
- Hamilton County passed 70,800 cases of COVID-19, up 6.6% from the previous week. Deaths now are at 909, up 435 from a week earlier.
- Butler County's case total now is around 34,100, up 10.1% from a week ago. The county's death toll now is 442, up 173 from a week earlier.
- Ohio passed 937,000 cases on Saturday. The state's case total now is slightly more than the combined populations of Butler, Clermont and Warren counties, plus the cities of Hamilton and Middletown.
- Warren County neared 21,600 positive cases, up 2.2% from a week ago. Deaths now are at 256, up 101 in the last week.
- Clermont County has passed 17,200 cases, up 2.9% in the last week. Deaths now are at 198 up 73 from a week ago.
- Northern Kentucky had 38,776 cases (includes seven counties: Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton), up 3.9% in a week. The region now has had 265 deaths, up eight in a week.
- Dearborn County remained at the "orange" level of virus spread for the third week, according to Indiana state health officials. The county had 5,279 cases Saturday, up 2.1% for the week. Deaths rose by 13 to 62.
- Combined, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana now have had 21.3 million tests administered, more than 1,972,000 positive cases and 32,000 deaths.