Despite continued panic from some of America’s COVID-19 officials, and even though the Omicron variant caused cases to skyrocket, Ohio’s seven day average for deaths is not much higher than it has been throughout the entire pandemic.
As of January 17, Ohio’s seven-day average for COVID-19 was 121 deaths, or 17.2 deaths per day. For context, Ohio’s population is nearly 12 million.
By comparison, about 560 Ohioans – or 80 per day – die each week of heart disease, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Looking back on the COVID-19 data, the 121 figure is not much higher than previous figures, when the United States was considered to be in between what scientists call “variants of concern.”
On November 14, well before the onset of the Omicron variant, Ohio reported a seven-day death average of 82. That amounts to 11.7 deaths per day. On October 24, Ohio reported a seven-day death average of 90, or 12.8 deaths per day.
During the Omicron wave, Ohio has not come close to its seven-day death average of the pandemic’s peak, which was at the end of 2020 and into the beginning of 2021. The high point for seven-day average deaths was 670 in February 2021, or 95.7 deaths per day. That’s about 5.5 times higher than this week’s seven-day death average.
Many experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) have said that the Omicron variant of the virus is far more mild than previous variants.
The data also shows a clear trend: like the flu, COVID-19 appears to be seasonal.
While Ohio has an increase in seven-day average deaths this winter, that number was minuscule during the summer. On July 16, the seven-day death average was eight, just more than one death per day.
At this time last year, the seven-day death average was 76, though there was a spike the following month.
By comparison, on July 16, 2020 the seven-day death average was 14, or two per day.
The COVID-19 dashboard for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) shows that 43 percent of Ohio’s COVID-19 deaths were among those 80 years and older, the highest of any age demographic by a long shot. The second-highest death demographic was those aged 70-79. A full 27 percent of COVID-19 deaths were among septuagenarians – meaning that 70 percent of Ohioans who have died from COVID-19 are aged 70 or older.
The average life expectancy in the United States was 77 years in 2020, the latest year for which that data is available.
The Ohio Star reached out to ODH to see if it could confirm that the pandemic was in its late stages, and if COVID-19 is indeed considered seasonal.
ODH did not return the comment request.
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