COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health unveiled a new tool Friday that highlights how variants of COVID-19 are spreading throughout the state.
The variant dashboard showcases the different variants of the infectious virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified as variants of concerns and interest.
The chart lists the alpha and delta variants as variants of concern.
The website says scientists are using genomic sequencing, which examines the genetic coding of COVID-19, to get an idea of which variants are present in Ohio.
New cases will now also include those who are re-infected with the virus, which may result in an increase in case numbers.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo from OhioHealth says we'll be seeing more and more reinfection cases. The first reason is because of the highly transmissible and contagious Delta variant. He also says, while vaccines are still effective, it's been months since many people got the shot.
“Antibody levels do come down over time and with lower antibody levels, in a setting of the delta variant, that's a recipe for post-vaccination infection,” said Dr. Gastaldo.
You can view the variant dashboard here.
This comes as Ohio continues to mitigate the spread of the delta variant.
In September, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff said the highly infectious variant has had an impact on hospitals.
“COVID has changed,” said Vanderhoff, “and is now making younger Ohioans, who aren’t vaccinated, very sick.”
Both Vanderhoff and DeWine have repeatedly urged vaccinations as the best method of protection.
The governor unveiled the “Vax-2-School” initiative to encourage Ohioans 12 years old and older to get a COVID-19.