COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff held a news conference, Thursday, to provide an update on COVID-19 in the state.  

Vanderhoff was joined by other state health leaders, including Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases with OhioHealth and multiple others.

“Hospitals are being severely strained,” said Vanderhoff. He added that the Delta variant continues to surge across the state, particularly in Northern Ohio.

Vanderhoff added that the omicron variant has yet to be detected in Ohio. Dr. Gastaldo explained that omicron is likely in Ohio but hasn’t been identified yet.

As of Thursday, Dec. 9, the Ohio Department of Health reports a total of 1,761,008 (+8,500) cases, leading to 89,313 (+353) hospitalizations and 11,065 (+37) admissions into the ICU.

ODH reported 160 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 27,011. The state is updating the number only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.

A total of 6,841,844 people — 58.53% of the state’s population — have at least started the vaccination process, according to ODH data, an increase of 9,965 from the previous day.

For Monday-Sunday last week, ODH reported 52,243 cases, the most in a week during the Delta wave and the fourth week of the last five to see an increase in cases over the previous week. Cases were down last week during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The 21-day case average now more than 6,300. The rate hadn’t been over 6,000 since Oct. 6.