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COVID cases spike in Ohio: What health officials are saying

Watch live: Ohio health officials provide update as COVID cases spike

‘Delta spreads like wildfire — and it seeks out anyone who is not vaccinated,’ Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said last week.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio has seen a growing number of new daily COVID-19 infections as the delta variant continues spreading across the state.

Now, the Ohio Department of Health is hosting a press conference “to share an update about COVID-19 in Ohio.” We are streaming the press conference live at the top of this story.

The Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff highlighted how Ohio is experiencing an increase in hospitalizations, ICU admissions and ventilator use.

“While we have substantial hospital and ventilator capacity remaining here in Ohio, we nevertheless have heightened concern as reports emerge from other states that hospitals there are beginning to turn away elective procedures and face real pressure on their physical resources,” Dr. Vanderhoff said. “We don’t want to see our hospitals here in Ohio facing such a scenario and continue to remind Ohioans that the best way to protect yourself from serious illness with COVID-19 is choosing to receive a vaccine.”

You can watch the full press conference in the player below:

Thursday’s press conference comes as the state of Ohio reported 3,393 new cases on Wednesday, marking the largest daily increase since February.

“The increases in cases and hospitalizations, of course, can largely be attributed to the delta variant – which is now fully dominant in Ohio,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

RELATED: ‘Delta variant is everywhere in Ohio’: Gov. Mike DeWine urges more vaccinations as COVID cases rise

He also continued to urge getting vaccinated.

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“For those who are concerned about side effects, please remember that no medicine is without risks of side effects, but it’s important to know that many people have no side effects from the vaccine at all,” Dr. Vanderhoff said. “For the most part, side effects tend to be mild and short in duration and similar to those seen with other vaccines.”

Dr. Vanderhoff also previously shared “three key things” about the delta variant: 

  1. “It is absolutely more contagious. That simply means that it takes less of the virus to go from an infected person’s nose and mouth to go to another person’s nose and mouth.”
  2. “More contagious than the common cold or the flu. Delta is now more dangerous than prior versions of the virus. We now have data from Canada and from Scotland that show people infected with the delta variant have a much higher likelihood of needing to be hospitalized.”
  3. “There is mounting evidence that the viral loads associated with the delta variant are higher than what we saw with previous strains of the virus. What that means is that delta is reproducing itself, creating more copies of itself, much more quickly once it gets inside of our bodies.”

Dr. Vanderhoff, meanwhile, was named the new director for the Ohio Department of Health by Gov. DeWine on Wednesday. That change, which requires confirmation by the Ohio Senate, will take effect Monday, Aug. 16.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine names Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff as Ohio Department of Health Director

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