YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It seems Ohio is seeing an awful lot of “red” now due to the new cases of COVID-19.
“Essentially, all of the cases in the United States at this point are delta variant,” said Dr. James Kravec of Mercy Health.
The latest information from the CDC suggests almost the entire state is having what it calls a “high” level of spread for the virus, with more than 95% of the cases affecting unvaccinated patients.
“So given that, it doesn’t really surprise me. The spread is out there. This is something that will be contracted by more and more people because the spread is so easy,” Dr. Kravec said.
There are six counties in Ohio with less than the “high” level of spread of COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control, including all of the Mahoning Valley. That compares to Pennsylvania where just over a third of the commonwealth’s 67 counties are listed as “high” spread.
Although experts say the so-called delta form of the virus is much more contagious than other variants, figures from the Ohio Department of Health suggest hospitalizations due to COVID are down over the last 24 hours.
“We’re still trying to figure, as far as the severity for the unvaccinated, we do know the hospitals are getting busier and busier over the last few weeks compared to the weeks and months prior to that,” Dr. Kravec said.
In the meantime, even though the government has authorized a third round of booster shots for some of those who had received the Pfizer vaccine, Dr. Kravec says it may be a little while longer before they’re available.
“We’re working through logistics. Hopefully within the next several days, or later this week, we’ll know more specifics about the process of rolling out boosters,” he said.
At this point, he says it appears those patients with compromised immunity are likely to be the first to be offered those booster shots.