DeWine says COVID-19 severely impacting younger population

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2021

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine provided an update on Wednesday about the increased impact that COVID-19 is having on Ohio’s younger populations and the stress that the surge of cases is having on hospitals statewide.

“The bottom line is that we’re seeing our highest levels ever of hospitalizations among those under 50 years old,” DeWine said. “Those who are getting very sick, being hospitalized, and dying of COVID are getting younger and younger. And it is because they are not vaccinated.”

On Wednesday, there were 459 newly-reported hospitalizations, the highest number of new hospitalizations since January. The number of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 of those under 50, was the highest during of the entire pandemic during the week of Sept. 5, when Ohio hospitals admitted 398 patients under the age of 50.

During the most recent completed reporting week (Sept. 5 – Sept. 11), 230 Ohioans, 39 and younger, were admitted to the hospital, which is the highest number of admissions for COVID in this age group during the entire pandemic, even higher than during the winter surge levels when no one was vaccinated, DeWine said.

Around 97 percent of patients of all ages in Ohio hospitals today are unvaccinated.

In July, 48 percent of COVID-19 deaths were among those 69 years old and younger. In August, preliminary data shows that an average of two people younger than 50 died of COVID-19 in Ohio every day.

Last month, preliminary numbers showed 18 Ohioans 39 and younger died from COVID-19. This is compared to five people in that age range who died in June and two people in that age range who died in July.

DeWine was joined by several in the medical field for the update.

“If you are young and unvaccinated it’s now probably only a question of when, not if, you get COVID-19,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said. “When you get COVID-19 without the protection of a vaccine, there is a very real risk you’ll end up in the hospital or the obituary pages. The numbers really tell it all, COVID has changed and is now making younger Ohioans who are not vaccinated very sick. Don’t become a statistic when there is a simple, safe, and effective alternative. Go out today and get vaccinated.”

Terri Alexander, a registered nurse with Summa Health in Akron, said the “sad, sad situation” is “tragic because it’s just so preventable. “

“Please, please, please, get vaccinated.” she said. “We live in a culture that has never experienced coming to the hospital and getting turned away, and I think people can’t fathom what that’s truly like until its them or their family members who are coming in and getting turned away.”