CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic said on Friday that nearly one-third of the 3,000 COVID-19 tests it conducts are positive for the virus with half of those being from the highly contagious omicron variant. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Cleveland Clinic estimates that half of the positive COVID-19 cases it tests for is from the omicron variant

  • The variant is considered more contagious than previous strains of the virus

  • The hospital system currently has 800 patients with COVID-19, the vast majority not vaccinated

  • NE Ohio has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in recent days

The Cleveland Clinic’s announcement comes as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is calling on 1,050 members of the National Guard to assist hospitals throughout the state. 

“We are learning this variant is more transmissible, and we are seeing evidence of this by the increased spread in our community,” the Cleveland Clinic said. “Today, we expect to surpass the highest number positive samples detected in a single day since the start of the pandemic.”

The Cleveland Clinic said it currently has 800 patients with COVID-19 in its hospitals throughout northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic says that 80% of its patients have not been vaccinated against the virus. 

The Ohio Department of Health estimates that 62% of Ohioans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. Of those over the age of 65 — who comprise the highest risk group — the vaccination rate improves to more than 80%.

“The vaccine continues to still be our best protection from severe illness w/omicron. And continues to be so important to stress vaccination,” the Cleveland Clinic said. 

More than 2,100 COVID-19 cases were reported in Cuyahoga County on Tuesday — the most in a single day — according to the state Department of Health.