COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday reported 17,891 new COVID-19 cases, further increasing the rate of infections on the rise through December.

The heightened case rate carrying through the middle of December is still a smaller case rate than the last two years' holiday seasons. ODH's latest coronavirus report was a bump of more than 1,000 compared to the past three, more consistent weeks. Ohio saw 16,719 new cases in the week prior, along with 16,061 and 16,091 cases in the two weeks before that.

ODH began reporting COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations weekly instead of daily in mid-March after new infections slowed to a low level after the omicron wave. Over the past seven days, the state averaged around 2,555 new coronavirus cases per day. Ohio also saw a slight increase in hospitalizations, compared to two weeks prior staying essentially flat. The 666 hospitalizations reported by ODH in the past seven days -- about 95 per day -- were up from 636 last week and 605 the week prior.

COVID-19 deaths decreased by just 10 for Ohio, as ODH said 93 died from the virus compared to 103 deaths the week prior and 86 before that.

COVID-19 metricTotalChange (past 7 days)
*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.Measles nearing 80 cases in central Ohio

A total of 4,601 Ohioans started the COVID-19 vaccination process in the last seven days. Another 4,065 finished vaccination by getting their second dose. Around six in 10 Ohioans are partially or fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 metricTotalChange (past 7 days)
Vaccinations started (one dose)7,548,022+4,601
– % of all Ohioans64.57%
– % of Ohioans 5+68.09%
Vaccinations completed (two doses)6,996,217+4,065
– % of all Ohioans59.85%
– % of Ohioans 5+63.32%
*Ohio Department of Health reports weekly on Thursdays.