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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Doctors urge people to get flu shot to protect against COVID-19

If people don't continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines, labs could become overwhelmed once again with COVID-19 testing, doctors say.

OHIO, USA — Health experts never know how bad the flu season is going to be but coupled with the coronavirus this year, it could spell trouble for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.

Eric Zgodinski, who is the Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner, said he expects COVID-19 testing will rise again as we move into the cold and flu season. He said if the testing supply chain were to become limited, the county would probably go back to utilizing those tests to a limited priority group, including first responders. 

Zgodinski recommended that people should get a flu vaccine as soon as possible so their immune system is better prepared to fight COVID-19, lessening the risk of developing severe issues. 

"It takes a while for you to get protection so just because you get it day one doesn't mean you're fully protected. It does take some time to get protected from the flu. As soon as you can get it, go ahead and get it," Zgodinski said. 

A doctor at Mercy Health's Integrated Lab says if people don't follow COVID-19 guidelines, they could be overwhelmed once again with COVID-19 testing like during the beginning of the pandemic. 

"If people in the community follow the appropriate hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing then the number of patients with COVID-19 would be pretty low and it won't compete with our ability to take care of or test for patients who might have influenza," said Dr. Richard Drake, Director of Microbiology, Mercy Integrated Lab.

So how is Ohio doing? Here is the latest data...

  • CONFIRMED AND PROBABLE CASES IN OHIO: 106,557 total to date
  • CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITH FEWER NEW CASES REPORTED: 2
    • Aug. 10: 883 new cases, an increase of 4 from Aug. 9
    • Aug. 11: 1,095 new cases, an increase of 212
    • Aug. 12: 1,422 new cases, an increase of 327
    • Aug. 13: 1,178 new cases, a decrease of 244
    • Aug. 14: 1,131 new cases, a decrease of 47
  • LATEST DAILY TESTING POSITIVITY RATE: 4.6%
    • Down from 4.6% the previous day & below the WHO's recommended threshold of 5%; the 7-day rolling average stands at 5.0%
  • CONFIRMED AND PROBABLE NUMBER OF DEATHS: 3,784
    • This marks 29 newly reported deaths from the day prior
  • NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZATIONS: 12,128
    • This marks 105 new hospitalizations from the day prior
  • NUMBER OF PATIENTS CURRENTLY IN HOSPITAL: 925
    • This marks a decrease of 27 known active hospitalizations from the day prior
  • NUMBER OF ICU ADMISSIONS: 2,755
    • This marks 12 new ICU admissions from the day prior
  • NUMBER OF PATIENTS CURRENTLY IN ICU: 319
    • This marks a decrease of 10 known active ICU cases from the day prior
  • CURRENT TOTAL STATEWIDE HOSPITAL BED OCCUPANCY: 76%
    • Same as the day prior