COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio’s top doctor updated the public Thursday about the state’s effort to fight COVID-19.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, hosted a press conference with Aimee O’Reilly, Pharm.D., O’Reilly Family Pharmacy and Steven Gordon, MD, Chair, Cleveland Clinic Department of Infectious Disease.

The state announced 10,588 new cases, 486 hospitalizations, and 50 intensive care unit admissions Wednesday for the previous 24 hours.

840 of those cases were due to a delay in lab reporting, which they blamed on a computer error.

The Ohio Hospital Association says 4,735 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

That’s 1 in 5 patients.

1,177 of those people are in the ICU.

Dr. Vanderhoff says the ICU rates are nearing an all-time high.

ODH also reported the omicron variant had now been identified in Cleveland, Central Ohio and Tuscarawas.

“We’re preparing for an omicron tidal wave,” said Dr. Steven Gordon.

Dr. Gordon believes omicron will stress the hospital systems again.

“Omicron is here, and all signs point to it being more contagious,” said Vanderhoff.

Late Thursday, the governor’s office announced Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran were exposed to a person Monday evening who later tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor’s office said both DeWines tested negative for the virus Thursday morning. They are not experiencing symptoms and will continue to be tested daily. The DeWines will also postpone public events.

More info here.


  • More than 20% of patients in the ICU are under 50 – Vanderhoff
  • Statewide ICU rates nearing all-time high – Vanderhoff
  • Vanderhoff is urging people not to go to the ER to get tested for COVID
  • “We’re preparing for an omicron tidal wave.” – Dr. Steven Gordon
  • Omicron will stress the system again – Dr. Gordon
  • “Omicron is here and all signs point to it being more contagious.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “We have to make the assumption that omicron is on the scene.” – Vanderhoff
  • Dr. Vanderhoff says case backlog was a computer error
  • The vast majority of people who get sick and die are unvaccinated – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • “We can’t throw our arms up.” – Dr. Vanderhoff