Mahoning County has climbed to the top when it comes to having a high transmission for Covid cases. And while a year or two ago, that would have alarmed all of us, those numbers do have a silver lining. Hospitalizations continue on the decline and deaths are nearly non existent.

According to the CDC, Mahoning is one of six counties in the state with a "high" covid community level. These levels are determined by looking at three criteria: hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new covid cases.

In the recent reporting period, Mahoning County has 429 cases. New covid hospitalizations were 44, that's down almost 3% from the previous 7 days recorded.

Medical experts who spoke with 21 News Monday, say we are still seeing cases of covid but in almost every instance, those cases are not requiring hospitalization. Now, those doctors are saying, right now, we have achieved what we had all hoped would come...and that is a sense of normalcy.

"As the virus continues to replicate and mutate it seems as if it's becoming less serious each time," said Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical officer of Mercy Health Youngstown.

Less serious to the point where those with uncompromised immune systems and with vaccinations can say we can finally get out and live life, like it was 2019, more or less.

"This is back to normal, realizing we have now another illness out there. We have the flu and other common cold viruses, we have another virus. It can be serious. It can cause problems. People are getting sick and going to the hospital, some to the ICU and some are dying, but at much lower numbers than ever before," said Dr. Kravec.

"We are seeing the benefits of all the hard work from the last 2 years and it's gradually fading away. This might turn out to be normalcy. We might see a few cases here and there but not on a regular basis. There won't be a huge surge in hospitalizations," said Dr. Munir Shah. infectious disease specialist with Trumbull Regional Health Center.

Doctors still say if you are sick with upper respiratory symptoms you should still get tested and if positive for covid, isolate for 5-7 days.
What does the near future hold for Covid? Doctors anticipate a small spike in cases this fall but the majority of those cases are expected to be what we are seeing now, mild and not requiring hospitalization.

And it's likely we may need another booster this fall to coincide with our annual flu shot.