A deadly outbreak of pneumonia in Ohio has sickened more than 4,000 people, and the state’s health officials are struggling to contain the spread.
The Ohio Department of Health said on Friday that it had reported a total of 4,021 new cases in the state and 6,056 deaths, with about 6,000 more people in the critical care unit.
The number of confirmed cases in Ohio is now at 1,973.
In addition to pneumonia, the state is also dealing with coronavirus infections of the eyes, nose, throat, and mouth.
Ohio has reported the deaths of more than 1,500 people since mid-March, with more than 800 of those deaths from COVID-19.
Ohio officials have struggled to contain cases of COVID in the past, but have been more confident since the coronaviruses began spreading.
Last week, Ohio Health Commissioner Michael B. Coleman issued a public health advisory saying that the state has a higher incidence of COV-2 than any other state, and that COVID patients should not be discharged from the hospital and that the outbreak could last several weeks.
Ohio Health also said that more than 90% of people who tested positive for COVID have died.
The state also reported that its coronaviral deaths dropped by 24% in the first week of March compared to the same period last year.
In response to the pandemic, Ohio’s governor has been taking steps to strengthen state response capabilities.
Coleman has called for the creation of a state-wide COVID response team, which would be able to coordinate health care for COV patients and coordinate other state and federal agencies.
Ohio is also launching a COVID prevention and control strategy to combat COVID.
State health officials said in a news release on Friday the team would include representatives from the Department of Public Health, the Ohio Health Department, the Division of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and other state agencies.
Coleman also said the state will soon have the ability to deploy more state health workers to respond to the coronovirus outbreak.
Coleland also said on Saturday that Ohio will have the option to contract with outside health care providers if the number of infections in the health care system becomes too high.
The health department said in an earlier news release that it would start distributing free vaccines to all Ohio residents by Monday, and will provide free COVID testing to anyone who needs it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.