COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the second consecutive week, COVID-19 cases are down in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Health reported 26,016 new cases this week. That's 1,769 fewer cases than this time last week.
COVID hospitalizations and ICU admissions also remained relatively low.
"It appears that the modest surge in cases recently caused by the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 may have hit its peak or at least leveled off," said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director for the Ohio Department of Health.
If you're younger than 60, in good health, and vaccinated, Dr. Vanderhoff said your likelihood of developing a severe illness is low.
"We have many people in Ohio who have underlying medical conditions who may be of advanced age who, in fact, are vaccinated, and yet still, this virus poses some risks. And for those individuals, we really do strongly recommend watching the CDC community level map and wearing a substantial preferably in 95, or KN95-type mask when they're going to be indoors and around people," he said.
As many students head back to the classroom, ODH is no longer recommending the "mask to stay, test to play guidelines, "Our guidance for this school year will focus on the recommendation that students stay home from school for five days when they’re ill and test positive for COVID-19," said Dr. Vanderhoff.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines on Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person. According to the new guidelines, people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others.