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COVID-19 Update: Economic Recovery, Unemployment Insurance, Case Increases, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Governor DeWine today outlined the progression of Ohio's economic recovery.

  • Ohio’s gross domestic product (GDP) outpaced the nation in the final quarter of calendar year 2020. The U.S. GDP is estimated to have grown 4.3 percent in the quarter, and Ohio’s GDP is estimated to have increased 5 percent during the same timeframe.
  • Ohio’s unemployment rate in February 2021 was 5 percent and the national rate was 6.2 percent.
  • This month, Ohio’s tax revenues exceeded the monthly estimate by $41 million, or 2.6 percent, and remain 4.3 percent above the estimate for the fiscal year-to-date. This is a dramatic improvement from one year ago.

These positive developments follow several steps taken by Governor DeWine at the onset of the pandemic to ensure that the state budget remained balanced and stable, including a freeze on state government spending, cuts in state staffing costs, and refinanced state bonds.

"I made these hard choices early on, tightening our belt because we did not know what the future held," said Governor DeWine. "A strong post-pandemic economy directly depends on defeating the virus, and as we are working hard to vaccinate Ohioans, we are seeing good signs in our economy as well."  

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Using federal dollars strategically to shore up Ohio's unemployment system will also contribute to Ohio's year of recovery. Today, Governor DeWine recommended to the General Assembly that Ohio use a portion of its federal COVID relief and recovery dollars to pay off the Unemployment Insurance loan owed to the federal government.  

"This loan was caused by the global pandemic, and paying it off now will free Ohio employers from this burden so they can instead focus on getting employees across our state back to work.," said Governor DeWine "This will help small businesses owners and employees, and I look forward to working with our partners in the General Assembly on legislation to pay off the loan."

“The Ohio Chamber of Commerce applauds Gov. DeWine’s announcement today recommending a portion of the state’s federal pandemic relief funds be used to pay off the state’s unemployment compensation loan. Eliminating Ohio’s outstanding federal unemployment loan balance and shoring up the state’s trust fund will prevent employers from facing an estimated tax increase in 2022 of over $100 million and could save employers as much as $658 million in tax increases over a three-year period," said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel. "The DeWine administration’s investment will also prevent a repeat of the tax hikes employers were saddled with stemming from the 2008 recession when it took the state 8 years to pay back Ohio’s federal unemployment loan of more than $3.3 billion.”

“During the last unemployment crisis, Ohio borrowed about $3.4 billion to pay unemployment benefits to workers. During that time, Ohio employers were hit with federal interest and penalties that cost them over $3 billion. Due to the COVID pandemic, Ohio is already over $1.4 billion in unemployment compensation debt. To pay that back would be a huge cost to Ohio businesses who are trying desperately to recover and hire people,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

CASE INCREASES & OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM UPDATE

This week is the second week where the cases over two weeks per 100,000 people have gone up by more than 10. Two weeks ago, Ohio's cases per 100,000 people were 146.9. Today, case per 100,000 people is at 183.7. 

"We are moving in the wrong direction from our statewide goal of 50 cases per 100,000 people," said Governor DeWine. "We are not seeing the runaway case growth we saw during the fall yet, so we can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated and we continue to mask and social distance."

The increases in case rates are reflected in this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 53 counties over the past week.

Level changes include:

  • Franklin County moved to the watch list following sustained increases in cases and in COVID-related healthcare use including emergency department and outpatient visits and hospitalizations for COVID.
  • Putnam County moved from orange to red.
  • Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from yellow to orange.
  • Brown and Noble counties dropped from orange to yellow.

According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio and the nation are enduring another wave of COVID-19 due to variants of the original virus that are more contagious and more deadly. Variant counts in Ohio jumped from 92 on March 12 to 797 today, a doubling time of about every 9-10 days.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System April 8


MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME IN CHILDREN

Although COVID-19 has historically affected older Ohioans, children are not immune to getting sick with coronavirus, and in some rare cases, kids can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Since the start of the pandemic, 166 children have been treated for this syndrome since the start of the pandemic. 

According to Dr. Dustin Fleck, chief of rheumatology at Dayton Children’s Hospital, this syndrome is unique because it is not associated with an active COVID infection. Rather, symptoms usually develop 2-4 weeks after a child has a symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID infection.

The syndrome is characterized by fever and inflammation throughout the body, specifically targeting the heart. The syndrome can also target the gastrointestinal system, liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Parents should look for symptoms of abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of hands and feet, and redness of eyes.

Dr. Fleck's full explanation of multisystem inflammatory syndrome is available on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page.

CHOOSE OHIO FIRST SCHOLARSHIP

Lt. Governor Jon Husted highlighted a scholarship that boosts Ohio’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The scholarship, part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) program, will support an estimated 3,400 Ohio students who are new to the program, along with an additional 3,000 existing COF scholars. The scholarship awards a total of $69,826,882 over the next five years.

“The Choose Ohio First scholarship is helping Ohio students get a head start on their future careers, preparing them for in-demand jobs including coding and cybersecurity,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who led efforts to create the program as then-Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. “This new investment shows how valuable a STEM education – and keeping those students in Ohio – is to the state. I encourage high school students to consider the Choose Ohio First program as they are looking at their future college education.”

This new COF scholarship will support students completing programs in the STEM disciplines at 57 colleges and universities across the state, including several schools that are new to the program.

BMV UPDATES

Lt. Governor Husted also announced enhancements to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle's (BMV) “Get In Line, Online” system.

The update allows customers to check in at the deputy registrar agency by using a QR code, located on the BMV deputy registrar storefront.

Instead of checking in at the self-service kiosk and waiting inside the agency, customers may now wait in their vehicle and will receive a text message with instructions when it is their turn to return to the agency to complete their transaction.

On March 16, QR codes were rolled out to approximately 10-20 agencies per week.  By May, most agencies will have this “Get in Line, Online” enhancement available to customers.

The BMV is also reminding customers that the COVID-19 automatic extension that was applied to Ohio driver licenses, identification cards, and vehicle registrations is ending soon.

Visit bmv.ohio.gov for more information.   

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

sub covid local papers matter

Ohio Department of Aging announces additional funding for home-delivered meals

Columbus, Ohio, April 7th – The Ohio Department of Aging announced today additional funding to support Older Americans Act home-delivered meals services during the pandemic. On Monday, April 5, 2021, the Ohio Controlling Board approved the department’s request to invest $6.137 million received by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. These funds will be distributed to Ohio’s area agencies on aging to provide home-delivered meals to eligible older Ohioans.
“We appreciate federal enhancements to our Older Americans Act programs to support older Ohioans during the pandemic,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the department. “This funding comes at a critical time and will help sustain our efforts to provide nutritional food to those that need it.”
The number of individuals served by home delivered meal programs has increased nearly 50%, from 40,044 to 60,433, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Older Americans Act nutrition services, funded through Title III-C2 of the act, are designed to reduce hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.  These funds promote the health and well-being of older individuals by helping them gain access to nutrition and other disease prevention and health promotion services.
About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities.  Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan.

COVID-19 Update: Condensed Health Order, High School Vaccinations, OhioRISE

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CONDENSED HEALTH ORDER

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a simplified health order that streamlines previous orders into a single order that underscores the most important tenants of infection prevention. 

"Our understanding of this virus and how it spreads is much more advanced than it was when we first learned about coronavirus in early 2020," said Governor DeWine. "As we move to begin a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, where more and more Ohioans are being vaccinated, this new order will focus on our best defense measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, being outside, and practicing good hand hygiene." 

HIGH SCHOOL VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced that he has asked Ohio's local health departments and vaccine providers that are offering the Pfizer vaccine to coordinate with local high schools to offer vaccinations to high school students who are 16 or older. Pfizer is the only vaccine that is currently approved for children as young as 16. 

Today's announcement follows last week's announcement that vaccination clinics will be offered at all higher education campuses in the coming weeks. 

"As with our colleges, by taking vaccines to schools, we’ll increase the percentage of people in this age group who choose to get vaccinated," said Governor DeWine.

OhioRISE

As part of the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s managed care overhaul, Governor DeWine announced the “Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence (OhioRISE) program. The program will feature new, intensive, community-based services that will serve youth in their homes and communities, rather than in congregate settings that can be far away from a child’s home and support system. 

Over the next ten months, Aetna Better Health of Ohio will work with the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Family and Children First Cabinet Council to launch OhioRISE to serve all of Ohio’s eligible children. To enroll in OhioRISE, children must be Medicaid eligible, have significant behavioral health needs, and require enhanced services.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Higher Education and Workplace Vaccinations, Increase in Variant Spread

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

HIGHER EDUCATION VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced today that the state will begin working with local colleges and universities to offer vaccination clinics on campuses across the state. These higher-education vaccination clinics will start on various campuses next week and will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

"Although young people are less likely to get sick from the coronavirus, they are significant carriers of the virus," said Governor DeWine. "By offering one-dose clinics on campus, students who wish to be vaccinated will have a nearby, convenient location to get the vaccine with their peers."

The goal is to offer on-campus clinics to all of Ohio's college students before the school year ends in May. 

WORKPLACE VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will begin working with employers and other organizations to offer workplace vaccination clinics throughout Ohio. Beginning the week of April 12, vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations. 

INCREASE IN CASES, VARIANT SPREAD

For the past two Thursdays, Ohio's statewide average was just under 150 cases per 100,000 population. The two-week case rate has now risen to 167.1 cases per 100,000. New cases had been relatively flat through the month of March, but cases are beginning to increase once again, which demonstrates the necessity that Ohioans choose to be vaccinated. To date, nearly 30 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of vaccine. 

According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, variant activity continues to rise, closely mirroring what is occurring in the rest of the nation. Michigan is currently experiencing an increase in cases that is more than 3.5 times what Ohio is seeing, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this increase appears to be driven substantially by variants. Most of Ohio's rising cases numbers and variant cases are happening in the area of the state bordering Michigan. 

"Ohio remains in a race against a virus that is now more contagious and right back on our heels," said Dr. Vanderhoff. "We can win this race as long as we don’t falter; as long as we press on with consistent masking and vaccination, especially in light of this week’s important and encouraging research out of the CDC confirming that the vaccines are powerful protection against COVID-19 and its variants."

Governor DeWine announced today that as Ohio continues to receive increases in its vaccine allotment, the state will allot more doses to areas that are seeing case spikes or increases in vaccine demand. 

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 56 counties over the past week, however, because there are not yet significant increases in healthcare utilization at the county level, most counties stayed at the same level this week.

Level changes include:

  • Van Wert County moved from yellow to orange.
  • Auglaize, Paulding and Scioto moved from red to orange. 
  • Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from orange to yellow.
  • Clinton County dropped from red to yellow.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System 4.1.21


IN-DEMAND JOBS WEEK (MAY 3 – 7)

Lt. Governor Husted, in his capacity as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also announced that In-Demand Jobs Week will officially take place May 3 through 7.

In-Demand Jobs Week is designed to promote Ohio’s most in-demand and fastest growing industries through statewide hiring, education, and training events. This year, In-Demand Jobs Week will feature all of Ohio’s top jobs, including critical jobs, which focus on the health and well-being of Ohioans such as child care workers, home health aides, and firefighters.

Throughout the week, businesses, education providers, community organizations, and more are encouraged to plan unique, virtual opportunities that will inspire students and job seekers to pursue a job in Ohio. From virtual tours and roundtables to virtual career-tech signing days and online job fairs, In-Demand Jobs Week is an opportunity to highlight what Ohio has to offer.

Organizations can visit TopJobs.Ohio.gov to add their event to the official In-Demand Jobs Week map. Individuals interested in attending an event can use this map to find events near them.

LAUNCH OF APRIL ROUND OF TECHCRED

The next round of TechCred launches today and closes on April 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Ohio businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.gov to apply and help their employees earn a new tech-focused credential, at no cost.

More than 1,100 Ohio businesses have used TechCred, creating the opportunity for 19,841 technology-focused credentials to be earned by Ohio employees.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Home and Assisted Living Visitation, Vaccination Appointment Booking

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATION APPOINTMENT BOOKING

While most of Ohio's current vaccine providers are quickly filling all vaccination appointments, some locations are seeing less demand for the vaccine. In response, Governor DeWine announced that local health departments and hospitals that are having a hard time filling appointments with individuals who are currently eligible for the vaccine may book appointments with anyone 16 years old and older.

Currently, anyone age 40 or older is eligible to receive the vaccine. Eligibility will drop to any Ohioan age 16 and up beginning on March 29. 

CLEVELAND MASS VACCINATION UPDATE

As of today, more than 30,000 people have been vaccinated at the state-federal mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH).

NURSING HOME/ASSISTED LIVING VISITATION

The Ohio Department of Health will issue an updated order related to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The general visitation requirements will remain the same, including the requirement that visitors schedule appointments in advance, are screened at the door, and wear masks. Changes to the order include: 

  • Ohio is requiring that visitation be permitted whenever safety protocols can be met. Previously, visitation was permitted, not required;
  • Vaccinated residents may have physical touch with their visitor while wearing a mask. Previously, touch was discouraged;
  • Visits may occur in a resident’s private room, as opposed to the previous requirement of a separate visitation area;
  • 30 minutes should serve as the minimum amount of time for a visit. Previously, 30 minutes was the maximum time to visit.

The order will also expand the circumstances in which compassionate care visits should be granted.

In addition, the order will update nursing home and assisted living testing requirements to require the facilities to test vaccinated staff once per week and unvaccinated staff twice per week. The previous order made no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated staff.

"We must continue regularly testing for the virus," said Governor DeWine. "It’s just good science, and it will help us identify cases early and prevent the spread. Further, if COVID is controlled, that means less disruption to visitation."

Certain circumstances, such as a facility outbreak, may necessitate that visitation be restricted on a case-by-case basis. Nursing homes must also continue following federal regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Declining Statewide Case Rate, Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program, Special Election Scheduled

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STATEWIDE CASE RATE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's statewide case rate stands at 143.8 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. When Ohio reaches 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted. 

COVID-19 Case per


OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows declining rates of COVID-19 exposure and spread in ten counties. 

Dropping from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2: Ashtabula, Carroll, Fayette, Jackson, Morrow, and Tuscarawas.

Dropping from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1: Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, and Vinton. 

Ohio Public Health Advisory System


NURSING HOME UPDATE

This week, Ohio’s long-term care facilities reported just 70 new COVID-19 cases, compared to 157 new cases reported the previous week and 2,832 new cases reported at the peak of the pandemic in December.

"In addition to wearing masks, social distancing, and cleaning, there is no doubt of the significant impact vaccination is having on protecting nursing home residents and preventing severe illness and death among those most targeted by the virus," said Governor DeWine. 

A total of 93 percent of Ohio’s nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living facilities have signed up to get additional vaccine for new staff and new residents through Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program. Governor DeWine urged the 243 facilities in Ohio that have not requested additional vaccine for new staff and residents to alert the state to its process to offer the vaccine by filling out the survey at aging.ohio.gov/COVIDvaccine.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has expanded the eligibility of the COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program, which provides reimbursements to eligible applicants to help cover the costs of inspections, assessments, maintenance, and improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to control the spread of COVID-19. The program also provides reimbursement for secondary devices designed to destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Launched in December, this $28 million federally-funded program targeted nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult day centers that invested in HVAC improvements that weaken COVID-19’s spread. The expanded eligibility extends to:

  • Intermediate care facilities;
  • Hospices;
  • Senior centers;
  • Adult care facilities;
  • Waiver settings (group homes); and
  • Substance use treatment centers.

More information, including the application, can be found at BWC.ohio.gov.

SPECIAL ELECTION

Governor DeWine announced special election dates for the 11th Congressional District to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Marcia Fudge.

The vacancy opened after the United States Senate confirmed now-Secretary Marcia Fudge on March 10 to serve as the head of the Department of Housing & Urban Development, and her subsequent resignation of her congressional seat. A Writ of Election may only be issued upon the resignation of a member of Congress. 

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • May 5th: Declaration of candidacies for partisan candidates must be filed with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • May 24th: Declaration of candidacies for write-in candidates must be filed with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • May 25th: The county board of elections must certify the names of the candidates that will appear on the special primary ballot
  • July 6th: Eligible Ohioans who want to cast a ballot in the Special Congressional Primary Election must register to vote by this date
  • August 3rd: The Special Election Congressional Primary takes place
  • October 4th: Eligible Ohioans who want to cast a ballot in the Special Congressional General Election must register to vote by this date
  • November 2nd: The Special Congressional General Election
  • November 23rd: Boards must complete and certify official canvass

The amount of time between the governor’s Writ of Election announcement and the Special Congressional Primary and General Elections are very similar compared to the previous two special elections.

 

Governor Issues Writ of Election

Special Election Primary Date

Total Number

of Days

Special Election General Date

Total Number of Days

Speaker Boehner Special Election

Nov. 1, 2015

March 15, 2016

135

June 7, 2016

219

Rep. Tiberi

Special Election

Jan. 5, 2018

May 8, 2018

123

August 8, 2018

214

Rep. Fudge

Special Election

March 18, 2021

August 3, 2021

138

November 2, 2021

229

Ohioans interested in registering to vote or signing up to be a poll worker should visit VoteOhio.gov for more information.

Full Election Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

“When making these important decisions, fairness and accessibility to the elections process are paramount," said Aaron Ockerman, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Election Officials. "Many issues must be considered, including the wishes of candidates, political parties, and election administrators. But above all, the voter must be at the core of any decision.  The timeframe set forth by Governor DeWine weighs all those interests and ultimately puts forward the best solution for the voter.” 

“It was wise of Governor DeWine to select election dates that work best for both voters and election officials alike," said Jeff Hastings, Board Chairman, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. "From the perspective of an elections administrator, this really was the only and best option. We’ve had special elections before where dates were chosen that didn’t coincide with already established elections, and turnout was not only extremely poor, but it was costly to the taxpayers, too. Thanks to Governor DeWine, we’re going to be ready to provide Ohio voters with the quality election they deserve.”

NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Today, Governor DeWine unveiled two new public services announcements aimed at encouraging Ohioans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first PSA features older Ohioans from throughout Ohio who discuss how they feel now that they've been vaccinated.

New Public Service Announcement


The second PSA features Anthony Munoz, retired Cincinnati Bengal and Pro Football Hall of Famer, who was recently vaccinated. 

Anthony Munoz PSA


CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Home Visitation, Statewide Case Rate, Rapid Testing, County Fairs

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CLEVELAND MASS VACCINATION SITE

The Cleveland mass vaccination site, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will launch on Wednesday, March 17, at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland. As of today, more than 17,000 Ohioans have registered to receive their vaccine at the site.

Additional appointments will become available throughout the coming days. To schedule an appointment at the Cleveland mass vaccination site, or with a vaccination provider, visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

NURSING HOME VISITATION

Governor DeWine today discussed the new federal regulations for nursing home visitation, as well as Ohio’s Vaccine Maintenance Program. The visitation guidelines, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicate visitation should be happening in nursing homes. There are a few specific exceptions that would limit visitation, such as outbreaks in the facility or an extreme number of cases in the community.  Full information on the federal nursing home visitation guidance is available at cms.gov

Additionally, Governor DeWine highlighted the progress being made by Ohio’s Vaccine Maintenance Program for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Ohio’s Vaccine Maintenance Program ensures new nursing home residents and employees, and established residents and employees who previously decided not to receive a vaccine, can still choose to receive one. Governor DeWine emphasized the importance of every nursing home resident receiving a vaccine. 

Long-term care facility visitation status is available on the dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

STATEWIDE CASE RATE

Governor DeWine announced that, statewide, Ohio is currently at a rate of 155 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. Last week, statewide data put Ohio at 180 cases per 100,000 people. 

"In Ohio, we are still at a very elevated level of cases, but today's health data is certainly trending in the right direction," said Governor DeWine. 

In an evening address last week, Governor DeWine announced that when Ohio reached 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted. 

The Ohio Department of Health will update this data each Thursday.

COVID-19 Case

RAPID TESTING 

Governor DeWine today detailed four initiatives that are making rapid COVID-19 tests more accessible to Ohioans:

  • Federal Qualified Health Centers
    • The state's ongoing partnership with federally qualified health centers has led to the availability of over 150,000 rapid tests at community health centers. These centers have professionals on-hand to administer the tests free of charge.
  • Local Health Departments
    • Local health departments have partnered with their communities to make at-home testing available to schools, nonprofit organizations, and first responders.
  • Public Libraries
    • The state has recently partnered with public libraries to make at-home tests available to more Ohio communities. During the first two weeks, Ohio has partnering with 120 libraries.
  • K-12 Schools
    • A new partnership launched today will bring 200,000 at-home tests to Educational Service Centers. To increase confidence and safety in schools, Governor DeWine encourages school districts to take advantage of this resource and develop aggressive testing plans.

Between libraries and local health departments, at-home testing is accessible in 76 of Ohio's 88 counties. Some of these areas had disproportionate access to testing earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

GUIDANCE ON FAIRS

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health issued a revised order that allows for the reopening of all fair activities if certain health conditions are met. The updated order includes compliance with the statewide mask order and social distancing. Additionally, there will be a 25 percent maximum for indoor grandstand capacity and a 30 percent maximum for outdoor grandstand capacity. 

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will issue updated order and guidance regarding festivals, parades, proms, and spring sports. For spring sports, students will not be required to quarantine because they have an incidental exposure to COVID-19 in a classroom unless symptoms develop. 

These orders and guidance will be forthcoming from the Ohio Department of Health.

HUSTED RECEIVES COVID-19 VACCINE 

Lt. Governor Husted today traveled to his hometown of Montpelier, Ohio to visit a vaccination site at the Montpelier Superior School, where 840 people were scheduled to receive their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

During the press conference, Lt. Governor Husted joined Montpelier Mayor Steve Yagelski and local resident Shirley Fry in receiving the vaccine, which was administered by Public Health Nurse Tammy Riegsecker. The Lt. Governor became eligible for the vaccine today, as part of Phase 2B in the state’s vaccination plan in which Ohioans age 50 and above are eligible for vaccination.   

Lt. Gov. Husted

LETTER ADDRESSING PUA FRAUD

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor today sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging the development of a national, coordinated response to ongoing, widespread fraud attempts being committed through the unemployment system, specifically the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program.

See below for an excerpt from the letter:

“We urge you to immediately develop a national, coordinated response to this ongoing attempt to defraud the American people and our national and state governments. While states are doing everything they can to administer the federal programs while maintaining system integrity, a state-by-stare response is proving inadequate. This is not an Ohio problem — it’s a national problem that requires a national solution.”

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 984,934 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 17,825 COVID-19 deaths. A total of 51,323 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,255 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Blood donation remains essential amid COVID-19 pandemic

(March 8, 2021) — A year ago, many things in the world paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the need for blood never stopped. Today blood donations are just as essential, and the American Red Cross urges individuals who are healthy to make an appointment to donate blood.

For patients in the emergency room, fighting cancer or coping with a life-threatening illness, help can’t wait. Their health is reliant on the selfless generosity of blood donors. However, the blood supply continues to face challenges from the ongoing pandemic and extreme winter weather that impacted much of the U.S. last month. 

More donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed now to ensure that patients have lifesaving blood products available for emergencies and everyday medical treatments. Schedule a blood donation appointment by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

March is Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross is celebrating blood, platelet and plasma donors for stepping up to meet the constant need for blood amid the pandemic. In thanks for being a vital part of the organization’s lifesaving mission, all who come to give March 15-26 will receive an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Important COVID-19 

information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. 

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Phase 1D and Phase 2B, Centralized Vaccination Scheduling Tool

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1D AND PHASE 2B VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY 

In response to significant increase in the amount of vaccine coming into Ohio, Governor DeWine today outlined the individuals who are included in Phase 1D and Phase 2B of Ohio's vaccination plan, which will go into effect on Thursday, March 11. 

Phase 1D includes approximately 197,000 eligible Ohioans with certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases, including type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease.

Ohio Vaccination Program March 8

Phase 2B will open vaccinations based on age for Ohioans ages 50 and older. This group includes approximately 1.2 million eligible Ohioans.  

Ohio Vaccination Program 2B

VACCINATION SCHEDULING TOOL

Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio's centralized scheduling website is now available at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. The website will serve as a singular location for Ohioans to confirm that they are eligible to be vaccinated, identify nearby providers, and schedule their vaccine appointments. 

"As we continue to receive more vaccines, having a centralized scheduling website will streamline the process, reduce data lags, and provide real-time information on vaccination progress across the state," said Governor DeWine. 

The Ohio Department of Health will continue to work directly with vaccine providers to integrate their current systems into the statewide system. Providers will be expected to use this system or another electronic scheduling system that interfaces with this portal.

The centralized scheduling website will also be used for scheduling appointments at the mass vaccination clinics, including the FEMA site in Cleveland, that were announced last week. 

Outside partners, including the Area Agencies on Aging, will be available to help Ohioans who do not have access to the internet with appointment scheduling.  

UMEPLOYMENT UPDATE

Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has signed a contract with IBM to improve the unemployment call center. ODJFS has additionally signed a contract with LexisNexis to assist the department with on-going efforts to keep fraud out of the system. 

Jeff Ficke, leader of the ODJFS Public-Private Partnership Team (P-3 Team), joined Governor DeWine to provide an update on improvements being made to Ohio's unemployment system. Members of the ODJFS Public-Private Partnership Team include highly-skilled experts, most of whom are on loan from some of Ohio's top banking and insurance companies.  

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 979,725 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 17,656 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 50,965 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,223 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Governor DeWine Announces 15 Regional Mass Vaccination Sites to Open Across Ohio

Additional Pop-Up Mass Vaccination Clinics to Launch in Columbus and Cincinnati Mid-March

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that 15 long-term mass vaccination clinics will open throughout Ohio to significantly expand regional access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The state-sponsored mass vaccination clinics will be located in Lima, Maumee, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Marietta, Wilmington, and Zanesville. Four mobile mass vaccination clinics will also make rounds in the areas of northwestern and west-central Ohio (Ada), southeastern Ohio (Athens), north-central Ohio (Mansfield), and east-central Ohio (Steubenville). 

The state-sponsored, regional sites will be offered in addition to the eight-week mass vaccination clinic, which was announced earlier today, to open March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.

“Mass vaccination clinics have always been part of our plan, but adequate supply is necessary for larger sites, so it was crucial that we first established local provider sites in all 88 counties to ensure that every citizen in every community has a provider nearby,” said Governor DeWine. “Now that we have more than 1,250 local vaccine providers and a significant increase in vaccine supply expected at the end of March, this is the right time to finalize and prepare to launch these large-scale regional clinics."

The regional mass vaccination clinics, which will begin opening in the coming weeks as supply becomes available, will operate until they are no longer necessary.

Regional Vaccination Clinics


The regional mass vaccination sites will be locally operated with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Clinics will be equipped to administer between 300 and 3,000 vaccines a day depending on location, supply, and demand. Ohio’s established vaccine providers can also expect to see an increase in their vaccine allotment as supply increases, and vaccine doses may also be allotted to new providers.

Any Ohioan who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan may be vaccinated at any of Ohio's mass vaccination clinics. Ohio will also work closely with the clinics to ensure equitable access for high-risk residents and medically underserved communities that could be disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Several appointment-scheduling options will be available, including the use of Ohio’s forthcoming central scheduling system for some sites. The sites are not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced later this month. Dates of operation and hours will vary, but sites will offer both weekday and weekend appointments.

Governor DeWine also announced today that 50,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be dedicated to two pop-up mass vaccination sites in Columbus and Cincinnati.  The pop-up clinics will open shortly after the March 17 start date of Cleveland’s mass vaccination site and will offer 12,500 first doses at each location. Those vaccinated during the Columbus and Cincinnati pop-up mass vaccination sites will be guaranteed a second dose. Exact site locations are pending.

The 50,000 vaccine doses for these pop-up mass vaccination clinics were initially required by the federal government to be set aside for use in Ohio's more than 2,400 long-term care facilities as part of the federal long-term care program. Ohio was one of the first states to begin drawing from the unused long-term care vaccine supply to provide vaccines for the general population. Ohio has already administered nearly 160,000 reallocated doses from the program to the public.

A complete list of the selected regional mass vaccination clinic sites and associated local partners can be found at governor.ohio.gov. 

For more information on Ohio’s vaccination plan, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.

Health Orders Regarding Mass Gatherings, Sports, Entertainment Venues Signed

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the following public health orders:
First Amended Revised Order to Limit and/or Prohibit Mass Gatherings in the State of Ohio, with Exceptions. Changes include:
•Wedding receptions, funeral repasts, proms, and other events, whether or not food is served, at banquet facilities shall comply with previously signed health orders, including those regarding restaurants and facial coverings.
•Events at banquet centers no longer have a 300-person limitation, so long as they comply with other health orders.
Addenda to Director’s Second Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports and Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues. Changes include:
•The maximum number of spectators in any indoor sports venue shall be 25% of fixed, seated capacity.
•The maximum number of spectators permitted in any outdoor sports venue shall be 30% of fixed, seated capacity.
•The maximum number of patrons permitted in any indoor entertainment venue shall be 25% of fixed, seated capacity.
•The maximum number of patrons gathered in any outdoor entertainment venue shall be 30% fixed, seated capacity.
Both orders are effective beginning 12:01 p.m. on March 2, 2021.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Phase 1C & Phase 2

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINE AVAILABILITY

Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio is expected to receive more than 448,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week. Of that total, more than 96,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered to around 200 new independent pharmacy providers as well as chain pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments.

Ohio now offers more than 1,200 provider locations. Ohioans can find vaccine provider locations at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Those who do not have access to the internet or are having trouble managing the online scheduling systems should call their local health department, the 211 helpline center, or the Area Agencies on Aging at 1-866-243-5678. 

PHASE 1C AND PHASE 2 VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY

In response to this significant increase in the amount of vaccine coming into Ohio, Governor DeWine today outlined the individuals who are included in Phase 1C and Phase 2 of Ohio's vaccination plan which will go into effect on March 4.

Phase 1C includes approximately 246,000 eligible Ohioans with certain occupations and with certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases.

Phase 1C: Medical Groups

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Phase 1C: Occupations

Childcare Services - Approximately 40,400 Ohioans: 

  • Administrators, lead and assistant teachers, and substitutes who are enrolled in Ohio’s Professional Registry who are currently working in open childcare and pre-kindergarten programs.
  • Licensing specialists employed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services or county job and family services agencies.

This phase does not include parent volunteers, board members, or owners/administrators that do not provide in-classroom supports. 

Funeral Services - Approximately 3,600 Ohioans: 

  • Embalmers/morticians, funeral home directors, crematory operators, and apprentices.

Law Enforcement and Corrections Officers - Approximately 76,000 Ohioans:

Ohio Vaccination Program


Examples of law enforcement occupations included in Phase 1C are police officers; sheriff’s deputies; Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers; other state or federal enforcement officers such as Ohio Department of Natural Resource enforcement staff, pharmacy board investigators, BCI agents, state fire marshal investigators, federal transportation security officers, and other federal law enforcement officers who do not have access to vaccination from federal sources.

Phase 2

Because the risk of more severe reactions and outcomes of COVID-19 increase with age, Phase 2 will open vaccinations based on age, beginning with Ohioans ages 60 and older. This group includes approximately 695,000 eligible Ohioans.

FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE & BIASED FUND ALLOCATION

Lt. Governor Jon Husted outlined provisions in the federal stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that if signed into law would disproportionally and negatively impact Ohio and its recovery.

This $1.9 trillion COVID Relief Bill provides significant additional relief funding for state and local governments, however, the as-passed version adopted by Congress distributes the $350 billion in coronavirus relief funding to state and local governments using a formula that incorporates state unemployment rates as of the fourth quarter of 2020, instead of using a solely population-based formula.

As a result, this benefits states with higher unemployment rates during that period.

Under the current proposal, because Ohio’s December 2020 unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, the state will miss out on over $800 million compared to if a more equitable population-based formula was used, as was used for the CARES Act.

Over the weekend, governors across the country, including Governor DeWine, released a joint statement opposing the new standard in the federal stimulus bill for how federal funds would be allocated to states:

The statement reiterates that “the new stimulus proposal allocates aid based on a state’s unemployed population rather than its actual population, which punishes states that took a measured approach to the pandemic and entered the crisis with healthy state budgets and strong economies.”

There are 33 states expected to lose funding under this proposal.

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES

Kim Henderson, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, will be relocating to North Carolina in the spring. She will remain in the director role until Monday, March 8. Matt Damschroder, current director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), will move into an interim director role at that time. Henderson will become a senior advisor to him until her last day on April 30th.     

A nationwide search will be launched for Director Henderson’s permanent replacement. Until that search concludes, Assistant DAS Director Matt Whatley will work as interim director at DAS.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 968,874 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 17,346 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 50,382 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,148 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

COVID Town Hall

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Spring Events, Provider Expansion, New Health Equity Website

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SPRING EVENTS

Governor DeWine today announced a loosening of restrictions for sporting and entertainment venues when safety protocols are followed.

"The vaccines have given us great hope, but until we have enough Ohioans vaccinated, we must continue masking and social distancing," said Governor DeWine. "Easing up on some prevention measures is intended to serve as a starting point. If the trajectory of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continues downward, we hope to be able to relax more of these measures. If it gets worse, we may have to tighten up."

Sporting and entertainment events will be able to reopen with 25 percent maximum indoor capacity and 30 percent maximum outdoor capacity provided they follow established precautions such as mandatory mask wearing for employees and customers, spectator pathways that allow for social distancing, and seating in groups in six-foot intervals of no more than six people from the same household.

General admission (lawns, standing room, infields) will be permitted if masks are worn and if six-foot distancing can be marked and maintained. 

New guidance for proms, banquets, wedding receptions, fairs, festivals, and parades is forthcoming. 

PROVIDER EXPANSION

Next week, Ohio will receive 310,000 first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. With this increase in doses, Ohio will add additional new vaccine provider sites including some Meijer and Walmart locations and more independent pharmacies.

Providers that are currently receiving vaccines - including RiteAid, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, local health departments, and hospitals - can anticipate larger shipments. 

Based on information provided by the federal government, once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available, Ohio will receive an additional 91,000 doses during the first week.

SCHOOL UPDATE

As of this week, all doses requested by schools through the state’s vaccination program have been allocated to local providers. Some school staff already received their second dose, and other second dose clinics are underway.

Ohio began making vaccines available to K-12 teachers this month with the goal of having all of Ohio’s K-12 students back to full or partial in-person learning by March 1. Right now, most students in Ohio districts have access to at least some in-person instruction. 

Governor DeWine expressed gratitude to school leaders who have prioritized a return to in-person instruction. Ohio will continue to work with the handful of schools across the state that are struggling to meet the March 1 goal.

School Model Status Update

NURSING HOME CASES/HOSPITALIZATIONS

Ohio continues to see downward COVID-19 hospitalization trends, particularly in the 80+ age group which was among the first groups to become eligible for the vaccine. In December, those 80+ made up more than 25 percent of Ohio's COVID hospitalizations. This month, that number has dropped to about 18 percent.

Ohio is also seeing a decline in COVID cases among nursing home residents. In the past week, Ohio had 369 new nursing home cases, compared to 2,832 new cases in one week in December. 

As part of the new COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program, Ohio will continue vaccinating new nursing home residents, new staff hires, and those who have recently decided to take the vaccine.

Due to the decrease in cases reported in long-term care facilities, Ohio's Veterans Homes in Sandusky and Georgetown have resumed accepting new residents, and certain restrictions on visitors at state behavioral health hospitals will be lifted beginning on March 1.

HEALTH EQUITY WEBSITE

Governor DeWine announced the launch of a new health equity website on coronavirus.ohio.gov that highlights Ohio's efforts to achieve equity in its pandemic response and provides resources to help communities, agencies, and organizations across the state join in those efforts. 

The new Communications Resources Hub will offer various print, digital, audio, and video resources to help Ohioans provide education about the vaccine to any number of communities. In addition to general resources, the website offers materials created for specific groups, including minorities and Ohioans who speak English as a second language.

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

For the first time in several weeks, Ohio's Public Health Advisory System has shown change in the amount of spread in some Ohio counties. Holmes, Mercer, Shelby, and Williams counties decreased to a Level 2 (Orange) Public Health Emergency

Ohio Public Health Advisory System


TECHCRED

Lt. Governor Jon Husted today reminded Ohioans about the benefits of TechCred, which helps Ohioans learn new in-demand skills while also helping employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a technology-infused economy.

There are more than 1,000 pre-approved credentials offered through the program. These technology-focused credentials take only a year or less to complete and prepare current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.

Businesses can be reimbursed up to $2,000 for each credential earned by an employee and up to $30,000 total each application period.

To learn more, visit: TechCred.Ohio.Gov.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 962,404 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 17,125 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 49,951 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,104 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

COVID TownHall

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Home Visitation, Progression of Vaccine Eligibility

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WEATHER DELAY UPDATE

Due to last week's winter weather, the delivery of some Pfizer vaccines and all Moderna vaccines were delayed. Some providers used second doses that they had already received to avoid clinic cancelations. Those second doses will be backfilled with the shipments they receive this week.

Additional delayed shipments of Pfizer and Moderna will arrive between today and Wednesday.

For providers who canceled appointments last week, Governor DeWine is urging them to expand their appointment schedules to include evening and weekend hours to catch up.

NURSING HOME VISITATION

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio's nursing homes has dropped significantly to 343 new cases last week compared to the peak of 2,832 new cases in December.

As the number of nursing-home cases continues to drop due to vaccinations in long-term facilities, Governor DeWine today reminded nursing home staff and families of nursing home residents about the status of visitation in Ohio's nursing homes. Visitation is permitted at nursing homes in Ohio if the facilities meet the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) criteria to allow visits:

  • No new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days;
  • The facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing; and
  • CMS reports the COVID-19 county positivity rate at less than 10 percent.

Compassionate care visits, which are special visits in which a family member or other visitor provides comfort, support, and assistance to a resident whose well-being is suffering or at risk, are always permitted regardless of the criteria above.

Governor DeWine sent a letter today to all nursing homes in Ohio reminding them to check their county positivity rate every week to determine their visitation status and to remind them to allow for compassionate care visits. 

Ohio’s nursing home facilities are required to report their visitation status to Ohio's Long-Term Care Visitation Dashboard.

If you have a loved one in need of a compassionate care visit but are having trouble scheduling a visit, contact Ohio's Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at [email protected] or 1-800-282-1206.

PROGRESSION OF VACCINE ELIGIBILITY

Governor DeWine provided information on the progression of vaccine eligibility in Ohio. Because those ages 65 and older make up approximately 87 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, no additional age groups are eligible for the vaccine at this time. Once the demand for the vaccine has been met for those 65 and older, those ages 60 and older will become eligible. After a period of vaccination for this age group, those ages 55 and older will become eligible, followed by those ages 50 and up.

Individuals in specific small groups that could have an increased risk of exposure to the virus may also potentially be included in the 60 and older vaccination phase.

PHASE 1B MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Last week, vaccine eligibility opened up to those Ohioans born with or who have early childhood conditions that are carried into adulthood, which put them at higher risk for adverse outcomes due to COVID-19.  Today, Governor DeWine asked Ohio hospitals and doctors with access to the vaccine to begin to proactively reach out to these patients with the specific medical conditions outlined in Phase 1B to schedule vaccination. 

OTHER PRIORITY POPULATIONS

In Ohio’s eight state-operated developmental centers, more than 91 percent of residents have accepted their first vaccine. 

More than 14,000 Ohioans living with developmental and intellectual disabilities who also have a certain health condition they were born with or developed in childhood and carried into adulthood have also received their first dose of vaccine.

Ohio is working to complete the vaccination of residents and staff in congregate settings for residential treatment facilities, mental health residential care facilities, and recovery housing.

ROCKET MORTGAGE EXPANSION IN CLEVELAND

Lt. Governor Jon Husted relayed the news that Rocket Mortgage has moved another step forward in its downtown Cleveland expansion plans, as the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the project for tax credit assistance at its meeting this morning. The company plans to bring 630 new jobs to the Northeast Ohio region, adding to its current workforce of 721.

Rocket Mortgage considered several cities for its expansion and ultimately chose Cleveland. 

Partners on the project include the Ohio Development Services Agency, JobsOhio, the city of Cleveland, Team NEO, and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 955,378 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 16,874 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 49,492 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,044 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

88 Counties


Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID Town Hall

COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Maintenance Program, Nursing Home Visitation,  Phase 1B Medical Conditions

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WEATHER DELAYS

As a result of continued bad weather, vaccine shipments in Ohio and across the country continue to be delayed. Ohioans with vaccine appointments this week should confirm that their appointment has not been canceled before leaving home.

Because of these weather delays, it is expected that providers will give vaccinations over the weekend as shipments arrive.

VACCINE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

This morning, Ohio launched its COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Each month, facilities can host a vaccine clinic for residents and staff if there is the need for vaccinations. The program ensures that vaccinations in long-term care facilities continue for new residents and staff or current residents and staff who have now decided to be vaccinated. 

NURSING HOME VISITATION

Governor DeWine announced that he has assembled a team of doctors and nurses to develop a plan for safe nursing home visitation. Members of the team are experts in infectious disease control, skilled nursing, and other types of long-term care settings.

Ohio's existing visitation order does allow compassionate care visits. Examples of compassionate care situations could include:

  • A resident who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.
  • A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
  • A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently.

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman is available to assist citizens with questions about compassionate care visits. The office can be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-282-1206. 

PHASE 1B MEDICAL CONDITIONS

This week, vaccine eligibility opened up to Ohioans born with the medical conditions outlined below, or those who were diagnosed in early childhood whose conditions continued into adulthood. Following anecdotal reports of individuals with these conditions being denied vaccination appointments, particularly those with cystic fibrosis, Governor DeWine stressed that vaccine providers should vaccinate those of any age with any of the following conditions. 

Ohio Vaccination Program


VACCINE DATA COLLECTION

Governor DeWine again asked vaccine providers to collect and report accurate and complete data on vaccine administrations including race, ethnicity, age, and category of eligibility. This information is critical to understanding uptake rates among specific communities or occupations and also helps inform future policy and allocation decisions. The Ohio Department of Health will continue to reach out to all providers to make sure this critical information is being entered into the system.

RICHLAND COUNTY CLINIC

Today Lt. Governor Jon Husted traveled to Richland Public Health (RPH) in Mansfield to tour their vaccine clinic and thank the staff and healthcare providers for their efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the 100 Ohioans being vaccinated during the visit today were receiving their second dose.

To date, RPH has vaccinated 2,705 individuals (948 fully vaccinated) at their clinic that runs typically Monday-Friday.

During the press conference, Lt. Governor Husted had the opportunity to look on as two Richland County residents received their shot: Ms. Doris Rheinbolt received her second dose and Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker received his first dose, respectively.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 947,389 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 16,611 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 49,061 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,002 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Counties Ranked


Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Town Hall

COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Distribution, Nursing Home Cases Drop, ApprenticeOhio Milestone

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE

Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio received a total of 214,525 first doses of vaccine this week. A total of 223,025 first doses are scheduled to arrive in Ohio during the week of February 15.

The federal retail pharmacy program will soon begin allotting doses to Ohio's more than 160 Rite Aid pharmacies. Vaccine distribution will also expand into all 194 Kroger pharmacies.

Those with specific medical conditions that put them at a very high risk of dying from COVID-19 will be eligible for vaccinations next week.

Ohioans born with the medical conditions outlined below, or those who were diagnosed in early childhood whose conditions continued into adulthood, will qualify to be vaccinated beginning on February 15.

Ohio Vaccination Program


Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at Ohio Department of Health, explained these conditions in more detail. His remarks are available on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page.

Approximately 12,000 individuals with these severe medical conditions anddevelopmental disabilities have already been vaccinated, and vaccinations of those in this group will continue.

NURSING HOME CASES

Governor DeWine announced today that the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio's nursing homes has dropped more than 77 percent since late November. This dramatic drop in cases follows Ohio's aggressive efforts to vaccinate residents and staff in Ohio's long-term care facilities. 

As outlined in the chart below, there were 2,697 COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities in Ohio during the week of November 29, 2021. During the week of January 17, there were 612 positive cases.

Long-Term Care Cases


SCHOOL MODEL UPDATE

Governor DeWine shared the latest information on the number of school districts that are physically in school versus those that are fully or partially remote. As a condition to receive priority access to the vaccine, schools were required to commit to full or partial in-person learning by March 1. All but one school district in Ohio have committed to this plan.

School Model Status Update


OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

There was no change in this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System


APPRENTICEOHO MILESTONE

Lt. Governor Husted shared that the ApprenticeOhio program has reached an important milestone. More than 5,000 Ohioans have officially graduated from the ApprenticeOhio program since the start of the DeWine-Husted Administration.

Ohio is currently ranked number one among states who run registered apprenticeships at the state level, and number four among states who run registered apprenticeships at the federal level. Many ApprenticeOhio programs are completed within two to four years. ApprenticeOhio programs provide full-time work during the training period as well as competitive wages – allowing Ohioans to earn while they learn.

On average, apprentices in Ohio earn $60,000 a year without racking up student loan debt. Ohio offers apprenticeship opportunities in traditional fields like construction and manufacturing, and non-traditional apprenticeship fields like IT and healthcare. Through this program, ApprenticeOhio program sponsors can grow their workforce, improve productivity, reduce turnover costs and increase employee retention.

More information can be found at Apprentice.Ohio.gov.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 931,437 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 12,577 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 48,269 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,908 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: K-12 Progress, Rent Assistance, Ongoing Nursing Home Vaccination Plan

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

K-12 PROGRESS

Governor DeWine announced progress toward the goal of getting K-12 students back into the classroom by March 1. In December, 45 percent of Ohio students were attending school remotely full-time, but today, less than 15 percent of Ohio students are still attending classes completely online.  Despite this progress, the pandemic has taken a toll on academic progress, as demonstrated in the Ohio Department of Education’s fall 2020 enrollment report.

“This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has impacted all of us, so it should be no surprise that it has impacted our children. But we should not panic, nor should we be surprised by the results of assessments,” said Governor DeWine.  “Instead, we should do what Ohioans have always done when facing a challenge – stay calm, roll up our sleeves, and work to solve the problem."

Governor DeWine asked school districts to work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the pandemic.

Governor DeWine also requested that school districts design plans to meet the needs of the students in their districts that include ending the school year later than scheduled,  beginning the new year early, or even extending the school day. Summer programs, tutoring, or remote options could also be considered. School districts should provide their plans to the public and General Assembly no later than April 1.

Lt. Governor Husted today also highlighted a provision in the proposed Executive Budget that guarantees student access to a computer science education.  

The “right to access” computer science classes would be defined as the statutory right of a student to be able to take a class either offered directly by their school district or through another provider of the student’s choice. However, the program must be approved through the Ohio Department of Education. 

“Every budget cycle presents an opportunity to distinguish ourselves as a state,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Coming out of the pandemic, the stakes are higher and the impacts more consequential. We must rise to the challenge and commit to the work that will lead to an educational recovery that will echo economically for a generation.”

RENT ASSISTANCE

The Ohio Development Services Agency is now distributing $100 million in federal funding to help low-income Ohioans who do not own their own home pay their rent, water, sewer, wastewater, electric, gas, oil and/or trash removal bills.

Ohioans can apply for assistance with outstanding balances dating back to March 13, 2020, assistance for future rent/utility payments once back bills have been made current, and assistance for future rent and utility assistance for three months at a time.

Eligible Ohio households must:

  • Be at or below 80% of their county’s Area Median Income (varies by county and size of household);
  • Have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
  • Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

The funding, which was approved by the Ohio Controlling Board for distribution, will be divided among Ohio’s 47 Community Action Agencies. Ohioans can apply for assistance by contacting their local Community Action Agency. A list of agencies can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov under Home Relief Grants.

MAINTENANCE COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAM

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's maintenance COVID-19 vaccine program plan to ensure residents and staff within nursing homes and assisted living facilities have continuing access to the life-saving vaccine is nearly complete. The plan will outline how nursing homes and assisted living facilities will move forward to vaccinate new residents, new workers, and workers who initially declined the vaccine but are now willing to be vaccinated. The plan will leverage existing relationships between nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the pharmacies that regularly provide them with prescription drugs.   

In preparation for the release of this plan, Governor DeWine urged administrators for long-term and assisted-living facilities to find out if their facility already has a pharmacy provider that can administer the vaccine. If the provider is not a COVID vaccine provider, they should determine if they intend to become one. 

Since the pandemic began, individuals in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have been at the greatest risk of death from COVID-19. Over 50 percent of Ohio’s deaths have been individuals from long-term care settings.

To protect family members and loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Ohio immediately activated the federal long-term care vaccination program in mid-December. First and second doses of the vaccine have been administered in nearly all of Ohio's nursing homes and most of Ohio's assisted living centers.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 925,350 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,793 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 47,853 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,869 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: New ODJFS Public-Private Partnership Team

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINE UPDATE

Ohio is among the top five states for delivering COVID-19 vaccine doses to long-term care facility residents. As a result of this aggressive effort to vaccinate those in long-term care, Ohio is beginning to see a drop in cases.

Pfizer has notified Ohio that they believe they will increase their shipment of vaccine by 40 percent around mid-to-late February. Shipments could additionally increase even more by the end of March. Pfizer is currently shipping approximately 73,000 doses to Ohio per week.

Moderna doses have increased from 73,200 two weeks ago to 105,600 doses that are expected next week. 

Ohio was one of the first states to draw unused doses from the long-term care program, and those 77,000 extra doses are being delivered this week to select CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.

ODJFS PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TEAM 

Governor DeWine announced the formation of a new Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Public-Private Partnership Team to improve Ohioans’ experiences with the unemployment system.  

Members of the team will include highly-skilled experts, most of whom are on loan from some of Ohio’s top banking and insurance companies:

  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Nationwide 
  • Western & Southern Financial Group
  • Encova Insurance
  • KeyBank

Pat Tiberi, President and CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable, worked with business leaders to identify the best talent for the partnership team who have experience in large organizations’ call centers, claims processes, and fraud detection. 

"These experts will provide recommendations and solutions to improve the call center, claims process, and fraud detection efforts in the state unemployment system," said Governor DeWine. "They’ll examine short-term and long-term improvements. Our goal is quick action while keeping an eye on the long-term best processes going forward, and we will continue working to improve the unemployment system so that eligible Ohioans in need can receive the financial assistance they are counting on during this pandemic." 

The team currently has around 16 members but is expected to grow.

UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATE

This week, Ohio has paid out nearly $100 million to more than 110,000 Ohioans receiving traditional unemployment. This represents some extended weeks of benefits plus an additional $300 a week, which were included with the new federal aid.

Starting this Saturday, more than 155,000 Ohioans will also start seeing benefits from this new federal aid package. This includes Ohioans who recently lost a job as a result of the pandemic as well as Ohioans who continue to be impacted due to the pandemic. 

By the last week in February, all Ohioans impacted by unemployment will have the ability to claim all the weeks and supplements available under the law and receive the benefits they are owed.

OPIOID SETTLEMENT

Governor DeWine also commented on Ohio's $24.7 million settlement with McKinsey & Co. for its role in fueling the opioid crisis. The settlement is part of a $573 million national settlement encompassing 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

Settlement funds will be distributed as part of the OneOhio plan which focuses funding to programs that address prevention, treatment, and long-term recovery as well as criminal justice and public awareness costs that promote the overall health and well-being of Ohioans.

Ohio was one of the first states to file lawsuits against the opioid manufacturers and distributers that pushed millions of addictive pills into Ohio. Last year, the state developed the OneOhio partnership with Ohio townships, villages, cities, and counties that filed suit against these same companies. 

"Although McKinsey was not a part of the lawsuits that brought Ohio together under the OneOhio plan, I am pleased that Attorney General Dave Yost has decided to leverage this recent settlement to start the work of OneOhio and begin the development of a statewide foundation," said Governor DeWine. "We remain committed to holding these drug manufacturers and distributors accountable. When the settlements for those cases happen, Ohio will be ready to implement the necessary funding, programs, and services for Ohio’s communities."

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 910,847 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,509 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 47,110 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,800 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccine Equity

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

EQUITY UPDATE

Governor DeWine today outlined steps that Ohio has taken and will take to address inequities in healthcare as they relate to vaccine accessibility. 

"There are Ohioans who simply do not have equal access to healthcare," said Governor DeWine. "We have worked hard to address these gaps, especially in our efforts to roll out the vaccine, but there is still more to do." 

Geography: Instead of offering the "mega vaccination sites" being seen in other states, Ohio's vaccination plan focuses on ensuring that there are multiple vaccine providers in every county in the state. This week, more than 700 providers across Ohio are receiving the vaccine to help ensure that Ohioans have access to vaccine close to home.  

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs): These health centers serve highly vulnerable neighborhoods. Ohio's vaccination plan offers vaccines at these facilities for equitable distribution. More than 60 of these centers are receiving vaccine this week.   

Pop-up Vaccine Sites: Ohio is working with FQHCs, faith-based communities, and local health departments to pilot pop-up vaccination sites in at-risk communities.  Two sites were hosted at an FQHC in Columbus last week and another pop-up vaccination site is scheduled this week in Cleveland.

Transportation: The Ohio Department of Health is working with the Ohio Department of Medicaid to provide transportation options for those who want to receive the vaccine but face transportation barriers.

Local Health Departments: Many local health departments are prioritizing underserved populations by partnering with organizations that work to serve African American, Hispanic and Latino, and other underserved populations to provide education and offer opportunities for vaccination when vaccine becomes available.

Education and Communication Strategies: In addition to newspaper, television, and radio advertisements focused on reaching underserved populations, Ohio will also launch a series of virtual town hall meetings to gain a better understanding of the barriers to vaccination and develop solutions. The events will be coordinated in partnership with Ohio's Minority Health Vaccine Advisory Group, whose mission is to help advise the Ohio Department of Health on how to best deliver the vaccine to underserved populations and better ensure equity. The townhalls will be live-streamed during the week of February 22. To learn how to participate in these events, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Affordable Housing Vaccination Clinics: Next week, the Ohio Department of Aging, in partnership with key state and local organizations, will off­er on-site vaccination clinics at affordable senior housing communities as part of its Regional Rapid Response Program. On-site clinics will be coordinated with support from the Ohio National Guard. 

VACCINATION STATUS UPDATE

Governor DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine both received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine this morning from Dr. Kevin Sharrett at Kettering Health Network’s Jamestown office in Greene County. The DeWines became eligible for the vaccine this week as part of the 70 and older age group.

  Gov DeWine and First Lady

Those currently eligible to receive vaccine in Ohio are: 

  • Those 70 years of age and older 
  • Teachers and school personnel who are necessary for in-person learning in specified counties
  • Individuals with severe congenital, early-onset, or inherited conditions and with developmental or intellectual disabilities

Individuals with severe congenital, early-onset, or inherited conditions and developmental or intellectual disabilities should have been contacted by their local county board of developmental disabilities to schedule their vaccination. If you believe that you or a loved one falls into this category and hasn't been contacted, please contact your county board of developmental disabilities.

NURSING/ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

Of Ohio's 920 skilled nursing facilities, Ohio has administered first doses of vaccine in 100 percent of these facilities. The second dose has been given in 89 percent of facilities.  

Of Ohio's 645 assisted living facilities, Ohio has administered first doses in 86 percent of these facilities, and second doses have been administered in 48 percent of facilities.

Plans are in place to continue vaccinating in these facilities as new residents move in.

LONG-TERM CARE REVACCINATIONS

Today, Walgreens Pharmacy alerted the Ohio Department of Health that vaccines that had not been stored under the proper cold storage conditions were administered yesterday to some residents in five long-term care facilities. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents who received these vaccines will be revaccinated. 

The impacted facilities are: 

  • Ashtabula County Residential Services Corp "The Maples" in Kingsville
  • Ashtabula Towers in Ashtabula
  • Heather Hill Care Communities in Chardon
  • Six Chimneys in Cleveland
  • Willow Park Convalescent Home in Cleveland

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION - DATAOHIO

Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the Ohio Department of Education is the latest agency to join the DataOhio portal, with seven key datasets and visualizations added on January 29, 2021

The DataOhio Portal launched in December of 2020 to the public and features more than 200 datasets and over 100 visualizations from four State of Ohio agencies. Nearly half of the datasets added to the portal are available to the public for the first time.

Users can view these newest datasets and visualizations under “Recent Datasets” at Data.Ohio.Gov. The DataOhio Portal team continues to add additional agency datasets, visualizations, and portal features, with a new Agency being announced in the coming weeks, including additional Ohio Department of Education datasets and visualizations. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 902,736 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,336 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 46,659 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,730 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Vaccination Schedule For Ohio Schools Announced

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio K-12 schools, including public, private, and career-tech entities, today learned when their teachers and staff necessary for in-person learning are able to begin receiving vaccines.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has made clear his goal of Ohio returning to in-person learning either full-time or in a hybrid model by March 1st. In order to do this, the governor identified teachers and school personnel necessary for in-person learning as Phase 1B recipients as part of the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination program.

“Vaccine is incredibly scarce, and we simply don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone at the same time. Therefore, this will be a rolling process, just like it has been during other vaccination phases, with a goal of administering all first doses by March 1st,” said Governor DeWine. “This rollout schedule is a heavy logistical lift that aims to ensure the maximum number of people can be vaccinated in the shortest amount of time.”

The plan also makes the process as simple as possible for staff to be vaccinated and is organized to allow most K-12 staff in a county to be vaccinated within seven days of their assigned vaccination start date. For the limited number of counties where vaccinations will take place over multiple weeks, local leaders will make the logistical and scheduling decisions.

Eligible recipients may learn more about the locations and times of the vaccination sites from their administrators. The following documents list the entities by county in the week when teachers and personnel are able to begin vaccinations.

Week One (Beginning February 1st)

Week Two (Beginning February 8th)

Week Three (Beginning February 15th)

Week Four (Beginning February 22nd)

COVID-19 Update: K-12 Staff Vaccinations, Pandemic Impacts on K-12 Kids

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

K-12 STAFF VACCINATIONS

Every public school district in the state - except for one - has agreed to resume in-person schooling by March 1 which was a requirement for staff to have early access to the vaccine.

K-12 schools whose staff can be vaccinated next week have been notified. All other schools will be contacted tomorrow with information on when their K-12 staff will be permitted to receive a vaccine. 

More details on Ohio's K-12 vaccination process will also be released on Friday. The plan ensures that the maximum number of people can be vaccinated in the shortest amount of time. The plan also makes the process as simple as possible for staff to be vaccinated and is organized to allow most K-12 staff in a county to be vaccinated within seven days of their assigned vaccination start date. 

PANDEMIC IMPACTS ON K-12 STUDENTS

Ohio has prioritized getting K-12 students back in schools by March 1 because many adolescents’ social-emotional and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic.

"We know some of our students have not been in the classroom in months - it’s taking its toll," said Governor DeWine. "For some, remote learning works, for others, it doesn’t. We are in danger of too many kids struggling for too long if they don’t get back to school in person."

"School is community for our youth," said Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Lori Criss. "It benefits kids so much more than academic content. It’s the social and emotional connections that kids feel with friends, classmates, extra-curriculars, teachers, and more."

According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the change of routine and the constant uncertainty of the pandemic produces anxiety, and the disconnection from learning, emotional, and social supports can lead to depression. In addition, missed significant life events like graduations, proms, art performances, science competitions, sports, and more can result in grief.

Families and friends should reach out for help if a young person is:

  • talking about feeling hopeless;
  • worrying about being a burden;
  • feeling like there’s no reason to live;
  • using drugs, alcohol or engaging in other risky behaviors;
  • struggling with school;
  • disconnecting from family and friends.

Trained counselors with Ohio's CareLine are available 24/7 at 1-800-720-9616.  They can help with a crisis, provide guidance, and connect callers to help in the community.

Ohio CareLine


OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM:

This week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map shows little change. Hamilton County is no longer listed as a Level 4 (Purple) Public Emergency, but the rest of the state remains the same as last week. A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Jan. 28


CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 883,716 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,006 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 45,786 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,644 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Curfew & Vaccine Updates, Senior Housing Clinics

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CURFEW UPDATE

Governor DeWine today announced a new plan for Ohio's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.curfew that is contingent on the hospital utilization statewide. 

The Ohio Department of Health has recommended that Ohio's curfew be amended to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. when COVID-related hospital utilization drops below 3,500 for seven consecutive days. As of today, hospitalizations have been below 3,500 for the past six days. If hospitalizations remain at this level for a seventh consecutive day, Ohio's curfew will be amended on Thursday and will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for at least two weeks.

If hospital utilization subsequently drops below 3,000 for seven consecutive days, Ohio's curfew would be amended to 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. for at least two weeks. If hospitalizations drops below 2,500 for seven consecutive days, the Ohio Department of Health would recommend lifting the curfew. 

If, at any point, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations begins to rise, health officials could reinstitute the appropriate curfew measures.

"When our COVID hospitalizations are above 2,500, which is more than three times Ohio's peak in a typical flu season, our hospitals strain in their ability to deliver other care, especially routine diagnostic and procedural care," said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health. "When cases are above 3,500, our hospitals are highly stressed as evidenced by local and regional diversions and the greater need for transfers."

VACCINE UPDATE

Ohio has been averaging about 146,000 first doses coming into Ohio every week. As Ohio's Phase 1A begins to wind down, more doses will be available for those in Phase 1B.

Ohio is second in the nation for the number of people vaccinated in nursing homes, however, because not all residents and staff are choosing to receive the vaccine, Ohio will begin directing approximately 77,000 vaccines set aside to use in nursing homes to others in Phase 1A and 1B. 

Ohio has put focus on vaccinating members of the public living in congregate settings because these individuals are especially vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. In Ohio's state-run developmental centers, 89 percent of residents have accepted the vaccine; 73 percent of long-term patients in state-run psychiatric hospitals have accepted the vaccine; a total of 92 percent of veterans in state-run veterans homes have accepted the vaccine. Of those with developmental disabilities not living in state-run facilities, 5,500 people have been vaccinated so far.

SCHOOL STAFF VACCINES

Next week, Ohio will make vaccine available to 91,000 K-12 teachers and school personnel who are necessary to provide in-person education to students. Like other groups eligible in Phase 1B of Ohio's vaccination program, this will be a rolling process beginning with Cincinnati Public Schools which will begin offering vaccinations to their staff later this week. 

Due to the scarcity of vaccine, the process will take weeks, but Ohio’s goal is to have all first doses administered by the end of February.  To be eligible to receive vaccine, districts had to commit to remaining or returning to in-person learning full-time or in a hybrid model by March 1. 

Districts that are eligible to begin receiving vaccines next week should have already received notification, and the rest should be notified of their scheduled dates by the end of the week.

Teachers and staff with questions should contact their administrator.

Additional Resources:

SENIOR HOUSING CLINICS

Governor DeWine announced today that, in pursuit of fairness and equity in the distribution of the scarce vaccines, Ohio will be delivering vaccines directly into affordable senior housing locations starting the week of February 8.  These senior housing facilities are home to several thousand older Ohioans throughout the state and are often residential clusters with apartment buildings ranging in units from 30 to over 200. 

The Ohio Department of Health will be working with local partners to offer assistance through onsite clinics. These clinics will help ease the burden for many seniors having trouble navigating the registration process and arranging transportation.

PFIZER VACCINE DOSES

In many instances, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine can provide six vaccine doses. Some vaccine providers have been able to extract this sixth dose as much as 90 percent of the time based on technique and supplies. These supplies, however, have had limited availability nationally. The key to getting the sixth dose is having access to syringes with low or zero dead volume and, when clinically appropriate, using a one-inch vaccine needle. 

The Ohio Department of Health surveyed best practices across the state and have determined that it is possible to reliably extract a sixth dose using a hybrid model of traditional syringes for four doses and the less-available low dead volume syringes for doses five and six.  

This approach conserves limited special syringe supply. The Ohio Department of Health will be working with vaccine providers to share this information and provide further guidance to assist them with implementation.

OHIO-BASED COMPANY ON FRONT LINES OF VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

Lt. Governor Jon Husted highlighted a company out of Athens, Ohio that has become a critical component of the nation’s vaccine distribution infrastructure. Stirling Ultracold manufactures one-of-kind, portable Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezers, which are used to transfer the vaccines from the manufacturer to local hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers to safely store until being administered.

During today’s press conference, the Lt. Governor presented the portable freezer, which is capable of storing both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for extended periods of time. The freezer is currently set at -71° C (-95.8° F).

The company is headquartered in Athens, Ohio, where its technology was developed and where the products are manufactured today. Stirling Ultracold has expanded its employee base by 30 percent over the last three months and now employs 200 Ohioans.  

JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Service Agency provided critical early support for Stirling Ultracold to be able to grow and accelerate its manufacturing capability to help in the vaccination effort.

TECHCRED APPLICATION CLOSING

The Lt. Governor also reminded businesses, both big and small, that the January TechCred application closes on January 29 at 3:00 p.m. TechCred helps Ohioans obtain new skills and improves Ohio’s workforce by reimbursing employers up to $2,000 for each technology-focused credential earned by a current or prospective employee.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 872,918 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 10,856 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 45,276 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,600 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Governor DeWine Announced Curfew Extension 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 30, 2021 (order).

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.

Stark County Health Department announces registration process and first location

 

For those listed in Phase 1B wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

(Jackson Twp., OH, Jan. 13th) – The Stark County Health Department is launching the registration process for individuals in Phase 1B who are wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The department will start scheduling those 80 years of age and older beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2021. Others 65 years of age and older and those with Congenital or Developmental Disorders will be placed on a waiting list until it is their time to receive the vaccine. Those wishing to schedule and register for the vaccine can call (330) 353-9010, where they will hear a recorded prompt to leave their information. A representative will give them a call back shortly to schedule their appointment or to register their information so that when their week comes they can be scheduled. Residents can also visitStarkHealth.org to learn more about this process. The clinic will be held at the Whipple-Dale Centre, the home of Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, located at 2950 Whipple Ave. NW, Canton, Ohio 44708.

“We are pleased to announce our first major vaccination clinic to our community as we continue our fight against COVID-19,” said Kirkland Norris, RS, MPH, Health Commissioner of the Stark County Health Department. “I ask for your patience as we start this process and offer a reminder to all in Stark County that as we begin, there will be a limited supply of vaccine to start.”

Those registered should bring a state issued ID or driver’s license and an insurance card. The following Ohioans will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines during Phase 1B (this phase will also include an additional phased approach, with new eligible populations added weekly beginning the week of January 19):

PHASE 1B Timeline – Stark County Health Department

The tentative timeline to start vaccinating the Phase 1B population following the process outlined above is as follows:

· Week of January 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older.

· Week of January 25: Vaccinations begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders.

· Week of February 1: Vaccinations begin for those ages 70 and up. 

· Week of February 8: Vaccinations begin for those ages 65 and up. 

PHASE 1B – Those Ohioans eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are:

· Adults 65 and Older

· Ohioans With Congenital or Developmental Disorders (includes cerebral palsy; spina bifida; congenital heart disease; type 1 diabetes; inherited metabolic disorders; severe neurological disorders including epilepsy; severe genetic disorders including Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Prader Willi Syndrome, and Turner Syndrome; severe lung disease including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma; sickle cell anemia; and alpha and beta thalassemia)

· Adult K-12 School Employees (please note schools will register through a separate process through their school or district) of schools planning in-person or hybrid learning effective March 1, 2021

When a new age group begins, vaccinations may not be complete for the previous age group. It will take a number of weeks to distribute vaccine to all groups given the limited doses available. The department is still currently vaccinating those listed in Phase 1A which includes Stark County’s frontline workers.

“We will continue to issue information and updates on the vaccination process on our website at StarkHealth.org, on our social media, and through press releases,” said Norris. “We encourage the community to read our FAQs on the vaccines if they have any questions or reservations.”

Does where I live in Stark County matter?

The health department will be issuing the COVID-19 vaccine to those in its jurisdiction. The department represents the following areas: Bethlehem Township, Canton Township, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Lawrence Township, Lexington Township, Marlboro Township, Osnaburg Township, Paris Township, Perry Township, Pike Township, Plain Township, Sandy Township, Sugarcreek Township, Tuscarawas Township, Washington Township, Village of Beach City, Village of Brewster, Village of East Canton, Village of Hartville, Village of Hills and Dales, Village of Magnolia, Village of Meyers Lake, Village of Minerva, Village of Navarre, Villas of Waynesburg, Village of Wilmot, the City of Canal Fulton, the City of Louisville, and the City of North Canton. Those who live in the cities of Alliance, Canton, and Massillon should reach out to their local health department as their process may differ from that of the Stark County Health Department.

“We want our community to know that we are doing all that we can to ensure those who want the vaccine can get it,” said Norris. “It will take some time to do this and that is why we ask you to be patient and continue to take the precautions of washing your hands, wearing a mask, limiting gatherings, and keeping a social distance when you can.”

The Stark County Combined General Health District (Stark County Health Department) was founded in 1920 and is celebrating a century of health. The department is currently the ninth largest health district in the State of Ohio which serves the public health needs of over 250,000 people. The jurisdiction of the Stark County District is that of the 17 Townships, 12 Villages, and the cities of Louisville, North Canton, and Canal Fulton. The mission of the department is to assess, protect, promote, and improve the health of Stark County through leadership, quality service, and community partnerships.

ATTENTION!The Stark County Health Department does not provide sick care, treatment, or testing for COVID-19.

If you are sick, contact your primary care provider (PCP).  If you do not have a PCP call 330-493-9904 and ask to speak to our communicable disease staff.

If you have a cough or any respiratory symptoms:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf, mask, or other barrier

• Avoid contact with others

• Wash hands and sanitize often

• Cover your nose and mouth with tissue or sleeve when sneezing

For Questions related to COVID-19  call the Ohio Department of Health Call Center - 1-833-4-ASK-ODH  9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Open 7 days a week

For more information, please visit:

• https://www.starkcountyohio.gov/public-health

• www.coronavirus.ohio.gov

• https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

WE’VE MOVED! We are now in our new facility located at 7235 Whipple Ave NW  North Canton, OH 44720 in the Park Centre Plaza.

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1B Timeline, K-12 Schools, Cybersecurity, Ohio Department of Insurance

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1B TIMELINE

Governor DeWine today highlighted the vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio's vaccination program, which began today for those ages 80 and up.  Governor DeWine was joined by several Ohioans, who received a vaccination as part of Phase 1B.  

Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, and who have a developmental or intellectual disability. 

A representative from the local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a developmental or intellectual disability.

Ohio Vaccination Program Jan. 19

During the week of February 15, Ohioans with any of these conditions, and do not have a developmental or intellectual disability, will be eligible to receive the vaccination. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming. 

"This group has been identified by medical professionals as having a high risk of death if they caught COVID-19," said Governor DeWine. "It's critical that we continue to prioritize Ohioans who are most vulnerable."

Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days. 

Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above. 

The Ohio Department of Health has launched a tool on vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.govto assist residents looking for a provider that has been allocated vaccines. 

The tool is searchable by zip code and county, but it will not be uploaded in real-time.  It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local resources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability.

K-12 SCHOOLS

Vaccinations will also be available for personnel in Ohio schools in Phase 1B.  As of today,  96% of public school districts have committed to returning to school at least partially in-person by March 1. 

Schools committed to at least partially returning to in-person by March 1 have been designated a local Educational Service Center as a working partner.  Additional details will be confirmed this week between the working partners and school districts. 

School districts are also choosing a retail pharmacy partner, secured by the state, or an existing local partnership, to administer the vaccinations to school personnel.  Beginning the week of February 1, vaccination administration will be coordinated with school-provider partnerships, and a majority will be closed clinics for school personnel only.

CYBERSECURITY

Lt. Governor Husted today outlined various resources available to Ohioans who are interested in earning a credential, or pursuing a career, in cybersecurity. Strengthening the state’s talent and workforce in this industry is a key component to improving cybersecurity efforts and protecting citizens and businesses from cyberattacks.

Resources include:

  • Industry-recognized credentials are offered at high schools across Ohio. Learn more at education.ohio.gov.
  • Cybersecurity programs offered at institutions of higher education: Ohioc3.org
  • The Ohio Cyber Range supports curriculum development, cyber contests for k-12 to college students, internship programs, and more. Learn more at OhioCyberRangeInstitute.org
  • TechCred: Offers tech-focused credentials, including many on cybersecurity. Visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov to learn more.

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE 

Governor DeWine announced today his nomination of former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French as Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. French brings more than 30 years of experience, and will lead the department in providing consumer protection through education and fair, but vigilant, regulation while promoting a stable and competitive environment for insurers. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 836,055 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 10,336 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 43,605 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,391admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1B Vaccinations, Nursing Home Vaccinations, County Data

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine today highlighted the vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program, which is set to begin next week for those ages 80 and up.

Week of January 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.

Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up following the same process outlined above. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.

Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above. 

“When a new age range opens, that does not mean vaccinations will be complete for the previous age range,” said Governor DeWine. “Vaccinating Ohioans in Phase 1B will take a number of weeks given the limited doses available.”

Beginning tomorrow, Ohioans aged 80 and up can find additional information about providers administering vaccines by calling their local health department or visiting their local health department website.   

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will launch a tool tomorrow morning on coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist residents looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines.

The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local resources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability.

“Providers throughout the state are developing systems that work best for them in terms of scheduling and administering vaccinations,” said Governor DeWine. “As we continue to rollout additional vaccination groups, we will work with our local partners, and modify the process as needed.”

The Ohio Department of Health is in the process of developing a state vaccination scheduling system.  Additional information is forthcoming.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is imminently close to completing the administration of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines in skilled nursing facilities.  

"When we started distributing the vaccine in Ohio, one of our first goals was to vaccinate our most vulnerable in our nursing facilities," said Governor DeWine. 

Ohio partnered with four pharmacies through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership in distribution of the vaccine to skilled nursing facilities. These facilities are a part of Phase 1A. 

Absolute has administered 100% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines as assigned.

As of yesterday, CVS has administered 97% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines at the 478 assigned facilities. It is anticipated CVS will finish the administration of doses this week.  

Pharm Script has completed 61 of 63 assigned facilities, and will complete the administration of doses today.  

Walgreens has completed 95% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines at the 398 assigned facilities.  

Within the Federal Pharmacy Partnership, Ohio, with 3.6% of the U.S population, has administered more than 8% of the vaccines in this program nationwide.  This is above the anticipated pace of administering the vaccine. 

OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

 All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence.

88 Counties


Governor DeWine also discussed key measurements regarding incidence cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks, as well as regional COVID-19 ICU utilization. 

"We saw new cases per capita at the statewide level increase since last week, which indicates that COVID-19 continues to spread in both urban and rural communities throughout Ohio," said Governor DeWine. 

Key Measures


GENERAL MOTORS COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

Lt. Governor Husted today announced the community investment from General Motors as part of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority recommendation. 

 The agreed investment of $12 million includes:

  • $5 million to Youngstown State University for workforce development in partnership with Gateway Community College, and funding for the YSU Energy Storage Innovation and Training Center.
  • $3 million to the Village of Lordstown for the design and construction of a new water tower.
  • $2.5 million to the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments for local infrastructure improvements.
  • $1.5 million to the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition to support community workforce development.

In September, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a recommendation by the Ohio Development Services Agency to terminate the Job Creation Retention Tax Credit agreements with General Motors following the company’s decision to close its Lordstown assembly facility.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 807,293 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,990 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 42,491 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,289 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1B Timeline

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1B TIMELINE

Governor DeWine today reemphasized the vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio's vaccination program which is set to begin next week with those ages 80 and older.

This week: Today, the Ohio Department of Health will receive information from the federal government on Ohio's vaccine allotment for the upcoming week. This information, including which providers will receive vaccines and how many, will be communicated to local health departments this evening. Each county health department, in partnership with their local emergency management agency and vaccine providers, will communicate vaccine distribution plans with the media and the public on Wednesday and Thursday. The process to vaccinate those in each county will vary depending on the provider. Some are expected to hold walk-up clinics, others may take appointments, etc.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health will launch a tool on coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist citizens looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines. The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local sources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability. 

Hospitals that are vaccinating their frontline healthcare workers as part of Phase 1A must complete these vaccinations by Sunday, January 17.

Week of January 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.

Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up following the same process outlined above. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.

Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Vaccine providers are not expected to vaccinate everyone in each age group in one week. As new age groups are authorized to receive vaccinations, previous age groups will continue receiving the vaccine. 

Senior citizens with questions on the vaccination process are urged to contact the Area Agencies on Aging at www.aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-866-243-5678.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

To date, 85 percent of Ohio's nursing homes have been visited by a vaccine provider as part of Phase 1A. Vaccine providers anecdotally tell the Ohio Department of Health that the number of residents and staff accepting the vaccine is increasing. 

In Ohio's two nursing homes operated by the Ohio Department of Veteran Services, 92 percent of veterans have accepted the vaccine. Regarding staff, 60 percent have opted to receive the vaccine in the Sandusky home and 42 percent have chosen to be vaccinated in the Georgetown home.

BROADBAND EXPANSION INVESTMENT

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that Southern Ohio Communication Services, Inc., in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and Pike County Economic & Community Development, plans to invest $3.8 million to provide high-speed Internet service over 64 miles to 1,300 residential and business customers in southern Ohio.  Southern Ohio Communications Service received a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant toward building and engineering costs. Learn more about the announcement here.

INDUSTRY SECTOR PARTNERSHIP AWARDS

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that 12 partnerships have been awarded for a total of $2.5 million for the Industry Sector Partnership Award Grant Program. The selected partnerships are located in various regions across Ohio and focus on multiple in-demand industry sectors, including healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, construction and transportation.

“These awards will jumpstart and expand workforce partnerships across Ohio that are helping more individuals earn the skills needed to successfully find employment,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “This is real-world skill development where educators and businesses work together to help people gain the skills they need to get hired for jobs that pay well and have a future. Enhancing meaningful partnerships between the business and education community is key to growing Ohio’s workforce and filling in-demand jobs at a time when many people are looking for opportunities, but not sure where to start.”

Learn more about the Industry Sector Partnership Grant by visiting Workforce.Ohio.gov/ISP

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 792,938 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,802 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 41,863 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,237 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 UPDATE: U.S. Capitol Breach, County Data, Phase 1B Vaccinations

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

U.S. CAPITOL BREACH

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted shared additional comments regarding yesterday’s events at the United States Capitol.

“Yesterday was a sad day. It was a dark day for this great republic. This was a direct attack on the U.S. Constitution, and everything we hold dear,” said Governor DeWine. “Yesterday’s actions were shameful, and all Americans need to denounce these acts. It is time we all accept the election results, and the will of the People. We need to come together as a People, and we need to work together.”

OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

 All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to look more closely at the chart below, which shows the number of positive cases per 1,000 residents.

88 Counties Ranked


PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced those in Phase 1B will be able to receive vaccinations beginning on Tuesday, January 19. Those 80 years of age and older will be prioritized first in this next phase, roughly totaling 420,000 Ohioans. Ohio is expected to receive 100,000 doses during the first week of distribution to Phase 1B.

“With up to 420,000 people 80 years and above, and only 100,000 doses available the first week, it will take several weeks to vaccinate those 80 years of age and older," said Governor DeWine. "Phase 1B will take a few weeks, and a lot of coordination in distribution.”

Vaccines for Ohioans 80 years of age and older will be administered by physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, in-home health service providers, and some retail pharmacies.  As of today, the Ohio Department of Health has approximately 1,700 providers registered to distribute vaccines. 

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will be hosting a webinar for registered providers to discuss expectations, and instructions for distribution. Additional details will be shared with registered providers in the coming days.

Governor DeWine anticipates vaccinations will be available to Ohioans 75 years of age and older beginning Monday, January 25. The following week, vaccinations will be available to those 65 years of age and older.

“As we include other age ranges, please know that does not mean vaccinations will be complete for the previous age range,” said Governor DeWine.  

The week of January 25 will also include vaccinations for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders.  Additional details about distribution for this group will be forthcoming.

During the week of February 1, Governor DeWine announced that vaccinations will be available for personnel in Ohio schools.  The Ohio Department of Heath will send forms to Ohio superintendents to indicate their school plans to go back to in full in-person and hybrid learning by March 1, as well as indicate the number of staff they believe will choose to take the vaccination.  Superintendents will also be asked if a community partner has been identified to help with the administering of the COVID-19 vaccines to school personnel.

Additional information about vaccinations can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

BROADBANDOHIO CONNECTIVITY GRANT

Lt. Governor Husted today announced that the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant, which provided $50 million to schools to help them purchase equipment for students to access the internet, has been extended. This program helps schools to fund everything from hotspots, to Wi-Fi, to access points on school busses. The grant was funded using Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the CARES Act.

The deadline to spend these funds was originally December 30, 2020, however, a second federal stimulus bill was signed at the of December, which extended the CRF expenditure deadline an additional year, until December 31, 2021. As a result, this administration extended the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant to the same date, December 31, 2021.

School districts now have more time to spend these funds for services they provide to students to keep them online.

More information about the grant program can be found at ohio-k12.help.

AMENDED HEALTH ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Sixth Amended Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions.

This revised order clarifies that in-person compassionate care visits are permitted in nursing homes and similar facilities. The new order does not change required precautions all visitors must take, including but not limited to, wearing of a facial covering and social distancing.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 753,068 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,462 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 40,469 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,092 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Phases, Nursing Home Vaccinations, Virus Variant, Vaccine Redistribution

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATION PHASES

Governor DeWine today recapped Phases 1A and 1B of Ohio's vaccine distribution plan. Because the availability of the vaccine remains limited in Ohio and across the country, Ohio is taking a phased approach that prioritizes the most vulnerable citizens, those in the healthcare field, and school staff members.

Phase 1A, which is currently underway, includes approximately 1 million Ohioans. 

Ohio Vaccination Program


It is anticipated that vaccine distribution in Phase 1B will begin as Phase 1A begins to wind down. 

Phase 1B focuses largely on those who are 65 and older. Those in this age group are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and make up more than 87 percent of Ohioans who have died from the virus. Phase 1B also includes school teachers and other school staff who will be offered the vaccine in an effort to get Ohio's children back to school as soon as possible. In total, Phase 1B includes an estimated 2.2 million people.

Estimates 1B Vaccines


Details of future phases of the vaccination plan will be announced as Phases 1A and 1B progress and as Ohio receives vaccines for the future phases. Ohio is currently receiving roughly 100,000 vaccines each week, although that number could increase if more vaccines are approved for administration.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

As of Sunday, approximately 61 percent of nursing homes in Ohio have been visited by a pharmacy vaccine provider. Of those locations, only approximately 40 percent of staff members have chosen to receive the vaccination. Of nursing home residents, approximately 75 to 80 percent of residents have decided to receive the vaccine.

Nursing home staff and residents who have received their first dose of vaccine will begin receiving second doses on Friday. Governor DeWine encouraged those in nursing homes who initially declined to receive the vaccine to get their first dose as part of this second round. Following this opportunity, it may be some time before a first dose is available again.

VACCINE DISCUSSIONS FOR LONG-TERM CARE PROVIDERS

The Ohio Department of Aging will be hosting live discussions to help educate long-term care providers about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. State and community vaccine experts will be available to answer questions about the vaccine, and participants will have the opportunity to offer input to help state leaders make decisions to guide Ohio out of the pandemic.

VIRUS VARIANT

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health, provided information related to the coronavirus variation that was first seen in the United Kingdom.

"Although virus variations are normal, and most do not impact the behavior of a virus, this variation is notable because it appears to be more contagious than other variants of the coronavirus," said Dr. Vanderhoff. "Fortunately, this variant doesn't appear to be more severe or to impact those who are already immune, but it worries us because a more contagious variant could lead to more people getting sick, more people being hospitalized, and more people dying."

Ohio currently has three times the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations that it had on November 1 and nearly seven times the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations that it had on October 1. 

Dr. Vanderhoff stressed the importance of continuing Ohio's coronavirus protocols of social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands, wearing masks, and accepting the vaccine when available to prevent the spread of all variants of the coronavirus and to prevent further increases in hospitalizations. 

VACCINE REDISTRIBUTION PLANS

The Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a directive requiring vaccine providers to develop a surplus vaccine redistribution plan. The directive follows a recent incident in which a long-term care facility in Ohio overestimated the number of vaccine doses needed for residents and staff. Seven vials of vaccine (35 doses) were not administered and expired.

"Every vaccine dose that Ohio receives must be administered," said Governor DeWine. "Each vaccine represents a potential life saved, and it is our obligation to ensure that not a single dose is wasted."

Vaccine redistribution plans will prioritize recipients based on Phase 1A and 1B vaccine distribution criteria. If a significant number of doses remain, vaccine providers must contact the Ohio Department of Health for immediate redistribution assistance.

NEXT ROUND OF TECHCRED NOW OPEN

Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the seventh round of TechCred – a program that helps businesses upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused credentials – is now open until January 29.

Ohio businesses can receive up to $2,000 for each tech-focused credential earned, up to $30,000 per employer each application period. Since the program’s start, a total of 966 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 15,105 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.

To learn more and apply, businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.

BAR & RESTAURANT FUND DEADLINE EXTENDED

The Lt. Governor also announced that the deadline to apply for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund has been extended to January 31.

There are approximately 15,400 on-premises liquor permits in the state eligible for assistance. Of that, roughly 10,854 or 70 percent have taken advantage of this funding opportunity as of today.

Governor DeWine designated $38.7 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and each active on-premises liquor permit is eligible for funding.  

While the program is referred to as the Bar & Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible permits. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.

Eligible businesses can visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply, which requires them to simply enter their liquor permit number and federal tax information.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION RATE CUT

The Lt. Governor also announced that Ohio’s public employers will pay $14.8 million less in premiums this year thanks to a rate reduction from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation that went into effect January 1.

The rate cut means approximately 3,700 counties, cities, public schools, and other public taxing districts will pay an average of 10 percent less on their annual premiums than in calendar year 2020. The reduction, made possible by declining injury trends and relatively low medical inflation costs, is the twelfth cut for public employers since 2009 and follows a 10 percent cut in 2020.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 735,003 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,247 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 39,650 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,022 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: School Quarantine Guidance Change, Curfew Extension, Bar and Restaurant Grants Still Available

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO VACCINES

Ohio is expected to receive more than 238,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next week. Governor DeWine encouraged those administering the vaccine to do so with urgency. 

"Although we'll never know whose lives have been saved, we do know that these vaccines are saving lives," said Governor DeWine. "We all have a moral responsibility to get the vaccine out to those who choose to receive it as quickly as we possibly can."

Governor DeWine also encouraged citizens who wish to be vaccinated to act with urgency when offered the vaccine. Because the vaccine is currently scarce, Governor DeWine warned that those who decline to receive a vaccine at the first opportunity may not immediately receive another chance. 

SCHOOL QUARANTINE GUIDANCE CHANGE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is changing its guidance regarding quarantines following an in-classroom exposure in K-12 schools. Moving forward, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom setting and all students/teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols.

The change follows an evaluation of virus spread in Ohio schools conducted by researchers with the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation Team. Preliminary results of the evaluation found no discernable difference in the risk of contracting the coronavirus between those in close contact with a COVID-positive person in the classroom and those who were farther away.  

"This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio's classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working," said Governor DeWine.

Schools should continue to require quarantines for exposed students in situations where masking and distancing protocols were not followed. The updated quarantine guidance does not apply to after-school activities, including sports. 

CURFEW EXTENSION

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 23, 2021. The extension is necessary until Ohio can determine if it will see a post-holiday case surge that impacts hospitals.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.

BAR & RESTAURANT GRANTS STILL AVAILABLE

More than 5,100 eligible on-premises liquor permit holders have not yet applied for state assistance through Ohio’s Bar & Restaurant Grant Program. Of the $38.7 million allotted to support liquor permit holders, more than $12 million remains unclaimed.

Each active on-premises liquor permit (as of 10.23.20) is eligible for $2,500 per location. The funding is not competitive, and the money does not have to be repaid. 

Although the program is referred to as the Bar & Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible liquor permits.  Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.

Permit holders who have not yet claimed their funds should visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 690,748 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,855 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 38,002 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,837 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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Ohio National Guard members receive COVID-19 vaccinations

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 28 —OhioNational Guard members on the front line of the state’s pandemic response began receiving the COVID-19vaccination last week.The U.S. Department of Defense is allocating doses of the vaccine to the Ohio National Guard as part of a pilot program for Soldiers and Airmen who are currently performing full-time National Guard duty under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code,in support of the state’s COVID-19 response operations. About 500 Guard members who are assisting in missions at long-term care facilities, COVID-19 testing sites, and food banks are expected to be vaccinated.“We’ve been supporting our state since March in the fight against COVID-19. I’m incredibly proud of the work being done by our men and women,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general and commander of the Ohio National Guard.“Their health and safety is a top priority. The vaccine will help protect them, their families, and their communities.”Ohio Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Adam Stang,a Soldier with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the food bank mission inCincinnati,was one of the first in line to get the vaccination.“I am representing the Ohio National Guard and it’s one of my responsibilities to be the best representative I can be, and to be safe and healthy. So this was one way that I could ensure that I would be safe and healthy and be able to continue my mission,” Stang said. Ohio Army National Guard 1st Lt. Zachary Cook, also with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the officer in charge of the food bank mission in the Cincinnati area,felt it was well worth getting the vaccination. He urged others to do the same.“I’m getting vaccinated because my wife’s a teacher and I want to make things easier for her,” Cook said. “It is absolutely recommended to get the vaccine. It is safe, it’s effective by every measure that the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has put out.”Even though the vaccine is available, Ohio National Guard members will continue to adhere to all public health standards issued by the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health.

The Department of Defense pilot program is separate from the doses of vaccine the state of Ohio is currently receiving for front-line civilian healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

COVID-19 Update: Next Vaccination Phase, Local Health Departments and Hospitals, New Maps 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NEXT VACCINATION PHASE

Governor DeWine announced the goals of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution are to save lives and for schools to be fully open by March 1st.

“Ohioans in the 65 and older category make up just under 87% of COVID deaths. This is a stunning number, and it’s critical that we protect our older Ohioans,” said Governor DeWine.

In the next phase, vaccines will be available to those who choose to receive them who are 65 years or older or those living with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additionally, adults working in Ohio's schools will have the option to receive the vaccine. This is intended to assist schools in returning to in-person learning. 

Ohio Vaccination Program

Additional details about the next phase are forthcoming.

The following Phase 1A members are currently receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.  This phase includes health care workers and personnel, nursing homes residents and staff, assisted living facilities residents and staff, psychiatric hospital patients and staff, people with developmental disabilities and those with mental illness who live in group homes or centers and staff at those locations, Ohio veterans homes residents and staff, and EMS responders.

LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HOSPITALS

The local health departments and hospitals will assist with managing mass vaccination clinics as more vaccines are shipped to Ohio.

"Ohio's public health departments and hospitals are experts at managing mass vaccination clinics, and I am thankful we can turn to them to begin vaccinating Ohioans against COVID-19," said Governor DeWine. 

Christina Conover, director of nursing for the Clark County Combined Health District, joined today's public briefing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged other first responders and health care workers to do the same. 

Dr. Kevin Miller, emergency department physician, chief of Sugarcreek Fire Department and Tuscarawas County EMS director, and Dr. Jeffrey Cameron, Tuscarawas County coroner and emergency room doctor, both received their COVID-19 vaccine at the public briefing. Both doctors discussed their experiences in the emergency room throughout the pandemic and why they chose to receive the vaccine.

Additionally, advanced EMTs and paramedics will assist in administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Carol Cunningham, an emergency room physician and Ohio’s State Medical Director for Emergency Medical Services, received a COVID-19 vaccine administered by Dan Samf, a paramedic with the Kirtland Fire Department.

Also Charles Shepherd, a therapeutic program worker at Twin Valley Psychiatric Hospital, joined today’s public briefing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and discussed the impact the vaccine will have at state psychiatric hospitals. .

NEW COVID-19 MAPS

Governor DeWine shared two new maps from the Ohio Department of Health for tracking how severe the spread of COVID-19 is in Ohio. 

The first map measures cases per capita over time. The time-lapse map is based on the list of high incidence counties and indicates the levels of spread from week to week.

Incidence - Cases per 100k

The second map shows each Hospital Preparedness Region and what percent of the overall ICU patient population are COVID patients.

“At the beginning of August, we were at about 12% statewide, or 1 in 8 patients in the ICU was a COVID patient,” said Governor DeWine. “Now, we’re at 31% or about 1 in 3 patients in the ICU are a COVID patient.”

Regional COVID-19 ICU

Both maps will be updated weekly on Thursdays at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

BWC "WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED" 

Lt. Governor Husted today announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is distributing another 23 million Ohio-made masks to help support the state’s workforce.  Shipments began in November and are expected to continue through June 2021. In October, the BWC contracted with Buckeye Mask Company, in Cleveland, for 10 million masks, and with Career Development and Placement Strategies, also in Cleveland, for 13 million masks.

Today’s announcement marks the second round of mask distribution launched by the BWC, which sent out nearly 23 million masks over the summer and fall to assist in weakening the spread of COVID-19.

SUPPORT LOCAL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

With Christmas days away, Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans to consider “shopping local” this holiday season to help Ohio retailers and small businesses. In addition, to support local restaurants, many Ohio food establishments offer delivery and take-out options.

For ideas on how to support local, visit Ohio.org.

FOODBANKS

First Lady Fran DeWine encouraged Ohioans to consider donating to The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which serves all 88 counties.

More information about how to donate can be found at OhioFoodbanks.org/Coronavirus

CHILD CARE STUDY

Since reopening child care at the end of May, Ohio has participated in two significant research studies on the spread of COVID in child care settings. The results of both studies found that child care did not lead to an increased risk for contracting COVID.

In October, Yale University released their findings from a survey of nearly 100,000 child care educators across the nation, including more than 5,000 in Ohio. This study found the work of child care providers to sanitize, wash hands, stay masked, and social distance greatly impacted the safety of children in their care.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation also commissioned a study of Ohio child care facilities through Case Western Reserve University. The results of this study will be released soon, confirming the findings of the Yale study.

Through parent and child care worker surveys and interviews; symptom tracking of workers, children, and parents; and hundreds of COVID tests of child care workers and families from August to November, researchers from Case Western found no link between child care and an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. In fact, just 2 asymptomatic positives were found among the nearly 400 COVID tests, which is a positivity rate of just 0.5 percent.

"I want to thank all of our child care workers for their efforts over the past nine months, said Governor DeWine. "You all have truly risen to the occasion to protect the children and families you serve, and just as importantly, yourselves."

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 644,822 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,361 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 36,025 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,640 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Thanksgiving Mobility, Upcoming Holidays, Ohio National Guard Waiver

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO EXCEEDS 8,000 DEATHS

On Saturday, Ohio surpassed 8,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. As of today, 8,122 people infected with the coronavirus have died since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In the past 24 hours, 6,548 new cases and 301 new hospitalizations were reported. A total of 17 counties have a case rate over 1,000, meaning that at least 1 percent of people in these counties either have or recently had the virus and are at risk of spreading it to others.

THANKSGIVING MOBILITY & UPCOMING HOLIDAYS

Ohio is not experiencing a drastic surge in cases related to Thanksgiving gatherings which is attributable to the fact that Ohioans greatly reduced their contacts and travel over the holiday. According to anonymized data published in the New York Timesthere was a 60 to 70 percent reduction in contacts over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

"If we can get through Christmas and New Year’s without a significant surge, we will be much better positioned to start 2021 against this virus," said Governor DeWine. "It’s critical that we keep up the work we started over Thanksgiving for the next several weeks to prevent another surge in January."

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff stressed the need for citizens to continue following the Stay Safe Ohio Protocol to help prevent Ohio hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. 

"Up to and through Thanksgiving, Ohioans took important steps to avoid letting COVID-19 overwhelm our hospitals, but in spite of this, our hospitals remain extremely busy," said Dr. Vanderhoff. "Adding a post-holiday spike would create a terrible situation, so we can't let ourselves be lulled into a sense of complacency as we move into the next two-week period, the biggest holiday season on our calendar."

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD WAIVER

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Ohio National Guard received a waiver that will allow them to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine. The waiver gives the Ohio National Guard the flexibility to fully utilize National Guard medical personnel trained in administering the vaccine.

The Ohio National Guard has approximately 600 members who are medical personnel, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and medics. Ohio is working to determine how it will best utilize Guard medical personnel without adversely affecting Ohio health care systems’ critical medical resources by removing Guard members from their civilian medical positions.

PHONE NUMBERS

Governor DeWine reminded doctors and others performing COVID-19 testing to collect complete information from patients including telephone numbers. This is vital information for local health departments conducting case investigations and contact tracing.

IMAP

Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans about the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program, or IMAP, which is a program available to Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed to earn a tech-focused credential for free. There are 11 IMAP training providers and 54 eligible credentials available, and 37 of these credentials can be completed 100 percent online. Those interested should visit IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov to apply.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 629,354 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,122 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 35,048 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,537 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccines, New Advisory System Map, New Nurse PSAs

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows sustained severe exposure and spread (Purple Level 4) in Richland County. Medina, Portage, Stark, and Summit counties all moved from Purple Level 4 to Red Level 3 this week. Governor DeWine cautioned that a decrease from Level 4 to Level 3 does not indicate that the situation in these counties is improving, but rather that healthcare indicators, such as hospitalizations, are plateauing at a very critical level. 

"Red and purple are not all that different," said Governor DeWine. "They both mean that a county has a very high level of cases and a very high level of COVID activity in the healthcare system. Purple simply indicates counties where things are worsening noticeably, but red counties are also at very worrisome and unsustainable levels."

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Dec. 17


A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

When seeking to determine the level of risk in each county, Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to look more closely at the chart below which shows the number of positive cases per 1,000 residents. All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. The top 20 counties show rates of nine to 13 times the high-incidence level. 

All 88 Counties Ranked


VACCINE UPDATE

Tomorrow, as part of the federal program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff, facilities in Ohio will be among the first in the nation to receive vaccines through Walgreen’s, CVS, PharmScript, and Absolute Pharmacy. Ohio was invited by the CDC to participate in the scaling up of the federal program.

NEW PSA FEATURING OHIO NURSES

Governor DeWine unveiled a new public service announcement featuring four of Ohio's frontline nurses. The nurses describe what it’s like taking care of COVID patients in Ohio's hospitals.

The featured nurses are Erin Russo of Memorial Hospital in Marysville, Dara Pence of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Jasmine Shavers of Miami Valley Hospital, and Lisa Burich of St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. 

Erin Russo, RN


CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 596,178 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,894 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 33,745 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,382 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Altercare to Begin COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

Skilled Nursing Care Centers Partner with Absolute Pharmacy to Vaccinate Long-term Care Residents and Employees

North Canton, Ohio, December 13, 2020 – Altercare Integrated Health Services, in partnership with Absolute Pharmacy, will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to its long-term care residents and staff on Monday, December 21, 2020.

Upon availability, Absolute Pharmacy will supply and administer the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine via onsite clinics at select Altercare centers throughout Ohio as part of the nationwide, phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to offer the Pfizer vaccine to our residents and hardworking staff. The vaccine, with results reflecting an effectiveness of up to 95 percent, will provide welcomed protection to our vulnerable communities and their care-giving teams,” says Deanna Hatfield, Chief Nursing Officer, Altercare.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, administered 21 days apart. This particular vaccine requires extreme cold storage, and has a short stability timeframe once prepared for administration. Absolute Pharmacy, in partnership with local resources, is equipped to meet the storage needs of the vaccine.

“The coordinated leadership and longstanding relationship between Absolute and Altercare supports our ability to bring the vaccine to the residents and staff of Altercare as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Kevin Fearon, Chief Operating Officer, Absolute Pharmacy.

To ensure all qualifying individuals have an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Absolute Pharmacy will schedule and coordinate three on-site clinic dates at each center in collaboration with clinical management teams. Pfizer indicates that full antibody levels are achieved ten days after the second dose. “We are thrilled that decision makers have made patients and staff of skilled nursing and assisted living centers the first to receive the vaccine. These individuals are absolutely deserving of this prioritization. We are committed to making good on this opportunity and will work diligently to vaccinate as many residents and staff as quickly as possible. The vaccine will allow our centers to identify as among the safest places to work and live during this public health emergency,” said Greg Colaner, president of Altercare Integrated Health Services.

Both Altercare and Absolute Pharmacy are part of The Schroer Group, a family-owned outcom based company in North Canton.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations Continue in Ohio, Local Health Department Vaccination Guidance

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATIONS CONTINUE IN OHIO

Seven hospitals in Ohio received their first vaccine shipments today, bringing the total number of vaccine doses delivered to Ohio over the past two days to 98,475.

Governor and First Lady DeWine were present this morning for the delivery of the vaccine shipment to Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center and Lt. Governor Jon Husted visited OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus as they received their first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to the two aforementioned hospitals, COVID-19 vaccine shipments of 975 doses apiece were also delivered to:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

An additional 975-dose shipment was delivered today to OhioHealth Riverside Hospital for use at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens. 

Although vaccine supplies are currently limited, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has advised that Ohio will continue to receive vaccinations throughout the month of December. Next week, Ohio is expected to receive 123,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as 201,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine. During the week of New Year’s, Ohio is expected to receive an additional 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and an additional 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. 

A number of healthcare workers who received vaccinations today joined today's public briefing to discuss their experiences, including Kasi Gardner, RN, of Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center who received her vaccine during the news conference.

Dr. Jennifer Wall Forrester, associate chief medical officer at UC Health, also discussed when citizens should call their doctors or go to the hospital if they develop COVID-19 symptoms

HOSPITALIZATIONS 

Ohioans continue to be hospitalized at record numbers. As of today, 5,296 patients are hospitalized throughout the state and 1,311 of those patients are in intensive care units. Ohio currently has more patients in the ICU than it had total for all COVID-19 hospitalized patients during the previous peak last summer.  There are currently 863 patients who need a ventilator, as compared to 360 patients on ventilators a month ago.

"While there is good reason to be optimistic about Ohioans receiving the vaccine, we have our work cut out for us to slow the spread of the virus until enough Ohioans can be vaccinated," said Governor DeWine. "We must continue rallying together to prevent overwhelming our hospitals."

LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT VACCINATION GUIDANCE

Next week, local health departments in Ohio that registered as providers are expected to begin receiving vaccines.  Today, Governor DeWine outlined guidance on individuals who should be prioritized by health departments during Phase 1A.

Local health departments should coordinate the vaccinations of congregate care residents and staff, such as those at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who are not enrolled in the federal long-term care pharmacy programs or are not registered as providers themselves. This includes people with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, as well as staff.

In addition, local health departments should prioritize vaccinating other healthcare providers who are not being vaccinated by hospitals and health systems and are not enrolled as providers themselves.  These providers could include:

  • Home health workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Emergency medical services responders
  • Primary care practitioners
  • Free-standing emergency department, urgent care, pharmacy, and dialysis center providers not vaccinated by hospitals or healthcare systems
  • Dental providers
  • Public health employees who are at risk of exposure or transmission, such as vaccinators
  • Mobile unit practitioners
  • Federally-qualified health center providers
  • High-risk ancillary health care staff members

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 579,357 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,654 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,878 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,283 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations begin in OH

(COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 14th)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATIONS BEGIN IN OHIO

Governor DeWine announced today that the first COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ohio. Shipments of 975 doses were delivered this morning to both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and UC Health in Cincinnati. Several healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients immediately received vaccinations. 

“It was such a moment of hope to watch the healthcare workers begin to get vaccinated today,” said Governor DeWine. “Today is the first day of a process that will continue over the months ahead as Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated have their opportunity to receive the vaccine. However, until the vaccine is widely available for all Ohioans who choose to receive it, we must continue to use all available tools to prevent the spread of the virus, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands.”

Vaccine shipments will be delivered to eight additional hospitals in Ohio tomorrow:

• Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County

• Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County

• Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County

• Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County

• OhioHealth Riverside Hospital, Franklin County

• Aultman Hospital, Stark County

• OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County

• Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

All 10 hospitals were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. 

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to come to Ohio, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight Logistics business will help provide same-day delivery services. Once the vaccine is widely available, this partnership will allow Ohio to ship the vaccine to approximately 350 locations across the state.  

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has invited Ohio to participate in an early scaled launch of vaccinations in nursing homes. Ohio will begin providing vaccinations in five to ten nursing homes starting this Friday, December 18. 

Ohio had previously been scheduled to start its nursing home vaccination program in partnership with pharmacy providers on Monday, December 21.

VACCINATION DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will launch a new COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard in the coming days at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The dashboard will list the number of people vaccinated in Ohio and will be sortable by demographic and by county.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 570,602 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,551 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,264 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,209 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page. 

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations Begin in Ohio

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATIONS BEGIN IN OHIO

Governor DeWine announced today that the first COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ohio. Shipments of 975 doses were delivered this morning to both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and UC Health in Cincinnati. Several healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients immediately received vaccinations. 

"It was such a moment of hope to watch the healthcare workers begin to get vaccinated today," said Governor DeWine. "Today is the first day of a process that will continue over the months ahead as Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated have their opportunity to receive the vaccine. However, until the vaccine is widely available for all Ohioans who choose to receive it, we must continue to use all available tools to prevent the spread of the virus, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands."

Vaccine shipments will be delivered to eight additional hospitals in Ohio tomorrow:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Hospital, Franklin County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

All 10 hospitals were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. 

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to come to Ohio, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight Logistics business will help provide same-day delivery services. Once the vaccine is widely available, this partnership will allow Ohio to ship the vaccine to approximately 350 locations across the state.  

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has invited Ohio to participate in an early scaled launch of vaccinations in nursing homes. Ohio will begin providing vaccinations in five to ten nursing homes starting this Friday, December 18. 

Ohio had previously been scheduled to start its nursing home vaccination program in partnership with pharmacy providers on Monday, December 21.

VACCINATION DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will launch a new COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard in the coming days at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The dashboard will list the number of people vaccinated in Ohio and will be sortable by demographic and by county.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 570,602 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,551 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,264 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,209 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Stay Safe Ohio Protocol,  Curfew Extension, Sports Variance

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STAY SAFE OHIO PROTOCOL

Governor DeWine today unveiled the new Stay Safe Ohio Protocol. The protocol was developed in partnership with medical professionals across the state to inform Ohioans how to safely live with the virus.

Stay Safe Ohio Protocol

Governor DeWine was joined by medical professionals throughout the state to explain the importance of the protocols.  

CURFEW EXTENSION

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be extending the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until January 2, 2021.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10 p.m.

“COVID-19 is the single greatest threat to the physical well-being of all Ohioans, the mental health of our citizens, and our economic security,” said Governor DeWine. “We must do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus.”

The decision to extend the curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic impact and health care system.

The extended order can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) showed sustained severe exposure and spread (Purple Level 4) in Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark and Summit counties. Ashland and Guernsey counties were moved to the Watch List.

Noble, Harrison and Washington counties moved to Red Level 3 for the first time since implementation of the Advisory System in April.

Ohio also had 11,738 new cases reported between yesterday and today, which is the fourth highest case court to date. A total of 452 new hospitalizations were reported, as well as 111 deaths.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

SPORTS VARIANCE

The Ohio Department of Health will issue a variance to the curfew for specific sporting events in Ohio. The start times of these games are dictated by national television contracts, and as a result, the games would not be finished until after the 10 p.m. curfew.

More information will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov in the coming days.

DINE SAFE

Lt. Governor Husted encouraged Ohioans to do what they can to support local restaurants during this time, whether it’s by carrying out a meal at least once a week or by ordering delivery. He also recommended giving out restaurant gift cards as gifts for family and friends this holiday season.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

As another update in Ohio’s economic recovery, the Lt. Governor discussed two new projects that are putting Ohio on the map as far as innovation in transportation technology.

Agility Prime: Earlier today, the Lt. Governor joined officials from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton Development Coalition, JobsOhio, City of Springfield, BETA Technologies, and Joby Aviation to participate in a virtual groundbreaking event for a new advanced urban air mobility technology simulator facility at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

The Air Force recently launched the program, which seeks to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility aircraft and create a robust domestic industry and supply chain to support their development and production.

Waymo: Last week, Waymo – one of the world leaders in autonomous driving technology – announced their plan to develop new proprietary features at TRC’s SMARTCenter to help them advance their Waymo Driver self-driving system and driverless Class 8 truck. This is a big win for Ohio as it’s the first time Waymo has established a permanent presence at a third-party test site.

The Lt. Governor underscored what these announcements mean to Ohio’s recovery and how they attract investment, new technologies and workforce development.

“This can really be an important part of the foundation for our economic recovery in 2021,” Lt. Gov. Husted said. “We really welcome these new investments from companies who are outside of Ohio – who are bringing their investments to Ohio – to start brand new innovations, brand new companies and brand new technologies that we hope will benefit Ohioans for generations to come.”

FOODBANKS

First Lady Fran DeWine encouraged Ohioans to consider donating to The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which serves all 88 counties. The Ohio National Guard has assisted foodbanks throughout the state this year in distributing more than 79 million pounds of food. 

More information about how to donate can be found at OhioFoodbanks.org/Coronavirus

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 531,850 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,298 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 31,142 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,090 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Antigen Testing, K-12 Education Update, DataOhio Portal

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS

In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 9,273 new coronavirus cases, the sixth highest count reported in one day since the pandemic. 336 new hospitalizations were reported and 40 new patients are in intensive care. An additional 63 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio, surpassing 7,000 total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.   

ANTIGEN TESTING UPDATE

Governor DeWine discussed the Ohio Department of Health aligning with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current case definition. In August, the CDC changed the case definition of antigen testing to include case counts without additional verification.  Ohio has continued to manually verify an epidemiological link, such as a known positive contact, with an antigen positive test result.

Tomorrow, December 8, the department will begin including antigen tests without an epidemiological link in the total case count. This will result in a one-day spike in reported cases from pending positive antigen cases. 

“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”

Not all pending cases will be translated into new cases.  Cases will be checked and duplicate records will be removed. Cases will also be assigned to their appropriate onset date.

K-12 EDUCATION UPDATE

The Ohio Department of Education continues to report limited spread of COVID-19 in a classroom setting, but an increase of community spread from informal gatherings outside of school.

The department also tracks how many districts are hosting in-person, hybrid, or remote learning. 

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote.  Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning," said Governor DeWine. 

Education Delivery Model

DATAOHIO PORTAL

Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which delivers datasets and interactive visualizations to Ohioans.  This portal delivers unprecedented access through an innovative, data-sharing platform for state agencies and their partners. 

We’ve all learned over the past year how critical data is to tackling our biggest challenges,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The IOP team has built a one-stop-shop for the state’s data, providing a secure approach to data access and displaying datasets that, in some cases, are available now for the first time. This collaboration will help Ohio make better public policy decisions so we can better serve the people of our state."

ADDITIONAL GUESTS

During today’s briefing, Governor DeWine was joined by two nurses who discussed their experiences treating patients with coronavirus.

Lisa Burich, a registered nurse and emergency room team lead at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, discussed the conditions seen for admitted coronavirus patients and the concern of spreading COVID-19 from the hospital setting.

CJ Adams, nurse manager at TriHealth Bethesda North Hospital, discussed the challenges associated with bed and staffing capacities. Adams was a Captain in the Air Force Reserves and shared how her military experience has helped build her leadership and resiliency skills.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 484,297 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,022 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 29,569 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,943 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

OHIO STATE STUDY FINDS SPECIFIC PROTEINS INHIBIT OR ENHANCE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study in human and mouse cell lines shows that specific proteins that have long been studied as inhibitors of influenza can also inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the type of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

Findings of the study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State College of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are published online in The EMBO Journal.

The research team focused on studying interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) that are known to restrict infections by many viruses. According to past research on IFITMs and common cold coronaviruses, whether IFITMs are antiviral depends on the specific virus.

“Our new findings are potentially quite important because there are people who have mutations in the IFITM3 gene, possibly making them more susceptible not only to influenza but also SARS-CoV-2,” said co-author Jacob Yount, an associate professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity and co-director of the Viruses and Emerging Pathogens Program at Ohio State’s Infectious Disease Institute. “We also made a somewhat surprising finding that, under certain circumstances, the virus can actually hijack IFITM3 for its own benefit to enhance entry into cells, which is very different from the flu. The full importance of this unusual ability of SARS-CoV-2 is unclear and will need more research.”

In March, as COVID-19 was first sweeping the country, Yount and two members of his team were among the first researchers at Ohio State granted access to a specialized, high-security biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory on campus to study live strains of coronavirus. BSL-3 laboratories often work on microbes that can cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation, such as the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

The researchers underwent specialized training and wore two sets of gloves, along with disposable gowns and booties, and used air-purifying respirators while working inside the secure facility.

As the Ohio State team was studying “genuine” coronavirus, their collaborators at the NCI were examining SARS-CoV-2 Spike-pseudotyped virus, which is a surrogate virus system that uses the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein for entry into cells. This system can be studied in standard biology laboratories.

“Our team at the NCI, using pseudotyped virus, came to many of the same conclusions as the Ohio State group regarding effects of IFITMs on SARS-CoV-2. Combining our data into a joint publication strengthened our confidence in the conclusions,” said co-author Alex Compton, who studies HIV at the NCI’s Retroviral Replication Laboratory.

SARS-CoV-2 can enter cells two ways –through fusion with the surface of cells or through a process called endocytosis. The researchers discovered that IFITMs inhibit the portion of virus that enters cells through endocytosis, and, conversely, enhance entry of virus at the cell surface.

“In 12 years of studying IFITMs, we’ve never encountered a virus that can use IFITMs for its own benefit,” Yount said.

They further found an additional cellular factor that, when present, shifts the balance of IFITM activities toward enhancement of infection. This factor is present to different extents in different organs of the body, and has been suggested to increase with age.

“We’re continuing to research whether IFITMs might have distinct effects in different cell types,” Compton said.

The team also found that mouse IFITMs have an overall inhibitory effect similar to those seen for human IFITMs in many of their experiments. They hypothesize that mice lacking IFITMs might serve as a model for severe COVID-19 in which vaccines and therapeutics could be tested.  

This research is supported by funding from The Ohio State University Office of Research and the National Institutes of Health. 

Other researchers involved in this study include equal contributing co-first authors Adam Kenney of Ohio State and Scarlett Shi of NCI, as well as Kin Kui Lai of NCI, and Ohio State researchers Ashley Zani, Lizhi Zhang, Dmitri Kudryashov, Elena Kudryashova, Luanne Hall-Stoodley and Richard T. Robinson.

COVID-19 Update: Increasing Positivity Rate, New Retail Compliance Unit Dashboard

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS 

In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 8,921 new coronavirus cases, the fifth-highest case count reported in one day since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 400 more hospitalizations were reported, and an additional 82 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio.

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high with 5,142 patients currently hospitalized. Of those, 1,204 patients are in intensive care. 

Current Confirmed COVID-19 Patient Count


Dr. Andy Thomas, chief clinical officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, warned that Ohio is not yet seeing the impact of gatherings that took place over Thanksgiving because hospitalizations are a lagging indicator. Symptoms generally develop within 10 days of transmission, and hospitalizations typically occur a week after diagnosis.

"This is not the beginning of the end or even the end of the beginning," said Dr. Thomas. "Hospitals are in a very difficult spot here, and we're just now heading into the most challenging three months of the pandemic. ICU beds are an area of capacity where we have the biggest strain across the state, especially in rural areas."

"We are in crisis. Hospitals across Ohio are running out of beds, healthcare workers are burned out and stretched thin, and our hospitals are stressed to the extreme," said Dr. Nora Colburn, associate medical director for clinical epidemiology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Hospitals around the state are delaying non-emergency procedures which will impact routine healthcare. The bottom line is that non-COVID patients are being crowded out of the system and won't be able to get the care they need to stay healthy. We all must do our part to stop the spread of the virus."

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) showed sustained severe exposure and spread (Purple Level 4) in Lake, Lorain, Medina, Montgomery, Portage, Richland, Stark, and Summit counties. Cuyahoga, Fairfield, and Madison counties were moved to the Watch List.

Franklin County dropped from Purple Level 4 to Red Level 3, however, Dr. Thomas urged county residents to remain vigilant. 

"This does not mean that Franklin County is out of the woods," said Dr. Thomas. "We still have a rate of cases that is six-times higher than the definition of high incidence. That is not good. We are not on our way down yet." 

Ohio Public Health Advisory System


A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

OHIO POSITIVITY

According to this week's ODH travel advisory, this is the first week since April where Ohio’s positivity for COVID-19 has increased above 15 percent.

The travel advisory encourages all Ohioans to help to limit the spread and impact of this virus by staying home except for necessary trips for supplies. The advisory also urges Ohioans to consistently wear masks when around others and frequently wash their hands.

ODH requests that anyone who must travel to any other state with a positivity rate of 15 percent or more self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. ODH also asks any non-Ohioans entering the state from one of these areas to do the same.

Travel Advisory Map


RETAIL COMPLIANCE UNIT DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's Retail Compliance Unit Dashboard is now available online at coronavirus.ohio.gov

The new dashboard includes information on the number of retailers visited by agents, how many customers and employees were properly wearing masks, how many establishments had proper signage, and the number of warnings issued. The dashboard will be updated each Thursday.

The Retail Compliance Unit was created within the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation to help keep businesses open and safe for customers and employees. 

MASKS AND THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans that some individuals with disabilities may not be able to wear a mask.

"While it’s crucial that those of us who can wear face masks do wear face masks, we should all remember that when we see someone in public without a mask it may be someone with a disability who may not be able to wear one," said Governor DeWine. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 446,849 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 6,753 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 28,281 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,814 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 reveals shortages in rural health care

 

(Nov. 25) In spring 2020, we heard terrible stories of overburdened hospitals leading to preventable deaths in Italy. Soon after, these stories started to hit closer to home—New York City.

Now, as  COVID-19 surges to a new peak, these shortages have even reached rural areas, where hospital systems are already often under-resourced and understaffed.

Across the country, rural communities are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations. As of last week, in the region surrounding Platte County, Nebraska, there was only one available intensive care unit (ICU) bed. In late October, North Dakota had only 16 available ICU beds in the entire state, and South Dakota was not far behind. As a result, urban hospitals, themselves overburdened, are seeing rural patients who have been unable to find care in their own area.

Federal and state officials have made moves to increase hospital capacity, including streamlining medical licensing requirements and waiving telehealth regulations. These could help patients to seek care through routes that put less stress on overburdened hospitals.

In the long term, the pandemic has exposed that rural hospitals often lack resources and staffing. This should turn the attention of health care professionals and policymakers toward addressing those shortages. 

Getting more rural people insured, eliminating the Medicare sequester for rural hospitals permanently, and allowing those facilities to transition, when appropriate, to outpatient care can be a place to start. 

More creative solutions will be needed in the coming years to make sure rural communities have access to adequate health care.

- - -

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

COVID-19 Update: 5,060 Hospitalizations, New Indoor Air Quality Program

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

HOSPITALIZATIONS & ICU ADMISSIONS

Ohio's COVID-19 hospitalizations have hit an all-time high at 5,060 people hospitalized with the coronavirus across Ohio as compared to just under 1,700 COVID-19 patients on November 1. Of Ohio's currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, there are 1,180 individuals in intensive care units and 682 people are on ventilators. 

According to Dr. Andy Thomas, Chief Clinical Officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, one-third of ICU patients across Ohio have COVID and one-third of individuals on ventilators have COVID.

"COVID patients are going to start crowding out other people who need that level of care as these numbers continue to rise," said Dr. Thomas. "The reality is that hospitals are making difficult decisions about delaying care. It may be non-urgent care, but it's care that may cause someone to go to the ICU after surgery. A lot of hospitals are delaying those surgeries because they can't afford their ICUs to be overtaxed."

Dr. Thomas reported that rural areas are being hit particularly hard right now, and several hospitals are beginning to voice concerns about their ability to manage such a high number of intensive care patients. As the total number of COVID patients grows, smaller community hospitals will be unable to expand their intensive care capacity. 

For individuals who traveled over Thanksgiving, Dr. Thomas urged them to quarantine upon return to Ohio to break any possible chain of transmission. 

COVID-19 INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Governor DeWine today announced a new program to help improve indoor air quality and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 at senior living facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult day centers. 

The $28 million program was created using federal CARES Act funding to address indoor air quality through HVAC inspections, portable air filtration systems, new filtration systems, maintenance on current systems, and other interventions. Eligible recipients can receive up to $15,000.

“As we move into colder months and spend more time inside, proper ventilation and filtration are even more important to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine.

The program was approved by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors at a special meeting Wednesday. BWC will administer the program and applications are available at bwc.ohio.gov. Additional questions about the program should be emailed to [email protected].

STATE OF OHIO EMPLOYEES

Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ohio, Governor DeWine has delayed Ohio's plan to resume in-person work at state-owned facilities. A gradual, phased approach was expected to begin in January. Governor DeWine also encouraged other employers to allow employees to work at home to the extent possible.

ADDITIONAL GUESTS

During today's briefing, Governor DeWine was joined by four nurses who discussed their experiences treating patients with coronavirus. 

Stacey Morris, a COVID unit nurse manager at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, discussed the role nurses play when patients are admitted, as they fight for their lives, and, in the worst circumstances, when they must say goodbye to their loved ones. 

Carrie Watkins, assistant director for nursing at Genacross Lutheran Services in Holland, Ohio, discussed the surge in COVID cases that are experienced in nursing homes each time there is a surge in community spread. 

Dara Pence, ICU nurse manager at Ohio Health's Riverside Hospital in Columbus, discussed the unpredictability of the virus and the tragedies that she has witnessed due to COVID-19. 

Jamie Giere, a nurse and team leader for the COVID unit at Premier Health's Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy, Ohio, discussed the surge in patients over the past three weeks and her concerns that the public does not fully understand what is happening in Ohio's hospitals.

NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH

On this final day of National Adoption Month, Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to consider fostering or adopting a child. In Ohio, there are 3,000 children waiting for a family, including 11-year-old Alex, who is featured in the video below. 

National Adoption Month

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 421,063 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 6,429 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 26,864 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,682 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Record Number of Hospital Admissions 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—This afternoon, Governor DeWine was joined by leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association to discuss the status of hospital capacity and healthcare personnel needs in Ohio as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state.

Today, Ohio reported 282 new hospitalizations in the last 24 hours. Additionally, Ohio reported 11,885 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Due to an electronic lab reporting technology issue, information from multiple labs was not processed for two proceeding days and was consequently included in today's report. 

“On Thursday, Ohio hospitals had more than 3,800 COVID-19 patients, which was the highest patient count we had seen so far.  Today, we are reporting 4,358 COVID-19 hospitalized patients,” said Governor DeWine. “The virus is quickly spreading throughout our entire state and is dramatically impacting all of our healthcare zones and their ability to care for patients.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Governor DeWine worked with the Ohio Hospital Association to develop a comprehensive statewide public health system to ensure that all Ohioans have access to quality care during the pandemic. As part of this process, the state was divided into three healthcare zones. Leaders of each zone provided an update on hospital capacity in their regions. 

Zone 1

ZONE 1

Zone 1 has seen a consistent climb in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks. Additionally, Zone 1 is experiencing a sharp increase in caregivers becoming ill with COVID-19. 

“My biggest concern today is that within the Cleveland Clinic system, alone, we had 970 caregivers out due to coronavirus,” said Robert Wyllie, MD of the Cleveland Clinic. “These caregivers are not catching this in the hospital, but rather in the community.  As the community spread increases, so does the number of caregivers who are in quarantine from exposure or who are sick with coronavirus.”

Zone 2

ZONE 2

Two weeks ago, Zone 2 hit a milestone of 560 COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the region.

“On November 2, Zone 2 had 400 patients in our hospitals.  And not even three weeks later, on November 21, we surpassed over 900 patients,” said Andrew Thomas, MD, MBA, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Until we see cases peak and start to come down in a sustained way, Ohio will continue to see hospitalizations rise.”

Zone 3

ZONE 3

Additionally, Zone 3 has seen an increase in cases and hospitalizations throughout the region.  

“In late September, Zone 3 had 90 hospitalizations. This was at a time when we were opening businesses, and kids were going back to school,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP, and president and CEO of UC Health. “This really speaks to us because we know how to keep this virus at bay. But, unfortunately this virus is now everywhere.”

The increase in hospitalizations throughout the region has taken a toll on caregivers, as well. Several hospitals in Zone 3 have reported a nursing shortage.

RURAL HOSPITALS

Ronda Lehman, PharmD, MBA, FACHE and president of Mercy Health, also discussed the hospital capacity among many rural communities.

“The number of coronavirus patients who require hospitalizations are happening at a faster rate than we are discharging them," said  Lehman. "The ability to discharge patients safely with adequate care, such as providing oxygen or skilled nursing home placement, is also burdened like our hospital systems.”

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 363,304 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 6,020 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 24,705 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,454 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Critical Hospitalization Levels, New Childcare Dashboards

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CRITICAL HOSPITALIZATION LEVELS

As of today, there are 3,829 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ohio, with 943 of those individuals in the ICU. These are the highest patient counts Ohio has had during the pandemic and more than double the hospitalizations recorded during previous peaks.

While statewide testing has increased by 43 percent, positive cases have increased by nearly 300 percent in the past month. 

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed today that Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Purple Public Emergency with severe exposure and spread. All 88 counties remain at "high incidence" as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, no counties are rated below Level 2. 

"Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way as Franklin County, but make no mistake - almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue," said Governor DeWine.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Nov. 19


A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

SENATE BILL 311

Governor DeWine today announced his intention to veto Senate Bill 311 if passed by the Ohio General Assembly.  The bill, which is currently under consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives, would severely limit the ability of the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases now and in the future.  

"Imagine if a country hostile to the United States smuggles a biological agent into our state and unleashes it in Ohio - our state would need to respond quickly to quarantine the area to stop its spread. This bill would make Ohio slow to respond in a crisis and would put our citizens in severe danger," said Governor DeWine. "I've always listened to the advice of experts, and the experts are telling me this is a dangerous idea. Doctors, nurses, and scientists have all advised me that this bill would do great harm if it became law."

CHILDCARE DASHBOARDS

Two new COVID-19 dashboards tracking the number of cases at Ohio child care centers are now available. 

The first dashboard tracks the number of children and staff cases in individual centers. Because of the small size of home-based providers, many of which serve six or fewer children, positive COVID cases from children and adults in those facilities will be tracked by county on a separate dashboard.

RETAIL COMPLIANCE UPDATE:

Ohio's Retail Compliance Unit has visited more than 50 percent of Ohio counties in its first three days. Agents have observed over 90 percent compliance in social distancing and mask-wearing in retail establishments, a noticeable improvement.  

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 326,615 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,890 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 23 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,22 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Mercy temporarily stops hospital visitation, effective November 12

Canton, Ohio: At Mercy Medical Center, we continue to see increases in COVID-19 cases, and their need for hospitalization is at an all-time high. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mercy Medical Center joins many other hospitals around the state to temporarily stop all hospital visitation, effective Thursday, Nov. 12. Mercy Medical Center will continue to allow one support person for our maternity patients, and that support person must be the same person throughout the stay. Surgical/procedural patients are allowed one visitor during this time period.

Exceptions to the visitation policy will be made on a case-by-case basis, such as end-of-life and critical patient situations.

COVID-19 Update: 21-Day Statewide Curfew

 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STATEWIDE CURFEW

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, November 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days. 

The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m. 

Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming.

"We're not shutting down, we're slowing down," said Governor DeWine. "The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control."

The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause. 

"This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy," said Lt. Governor Husted. "You have to care about both the economy and health - you can't just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption." 

Governor DeWine also encouraged Ohioans to do one thing each day that will decrease the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting the number of daily contacts.  

VACCINE PREPOSITIONING

Governor DeWine today provided details on Ohio's vaccine prepositioning plan. 

The Ohio Department of Health has identified 10 sites across the state that will receive the pre-positioned vaccine after a COVID-19 vaccine is given emergency-use authorization. Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issues its recommendation on how to use the vaccine, these sites will begin administering the vaccine immediately to those who choose to receive it and are identified as able to receive it in the first stage.

Ohio will first vaccinate those who are most at risk, including those who work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other congregate-care facilities, high-risk health care workers, and first responders.  

The ten pre-positioned sites were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. Other sites will begin receiving shipments of vaccine following final approval, potentially just days after the pre-positioned sites begin administering the vaccine.  

Governor DeWine once again encouraged citizens to remain vigilant in practicing safety measures until a vaccine is available.

Ohio vaccine pre-positioning locations

HOME AND HEALTHY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

As students at Ohio’s colleges and universities are preparing to head home for the holidays, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Ohio Hospital Association are launching a new campaign to encourage students to keep themselves and family members safe while they're at home. 

The "Home and Healthy for the Holidays" campaign will provide tips for students to follow before, during, and after holiday travel. The campaign will also share information for students on what they should do if they have no access to testing or if they receive a positive or negative test result. 

College students are encouraged to share how they plan to be safe during the holidays by posting to social media using the hashtags #HomeandHealthyfortheHolidays and #BackOnCampus21.

Safely celebrate the holiday season

NEW HOLIDAY GUIDE

Governor DeWine announced the release of a new holiday celebration guide from the Ohio Department of Health to help families celebrate safely during the 2020-2021 holiday season. 

The guide provides alternatives to large in-person celebrations for a variety of holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Orthodox New Year, and others. 

"This year’s holidays will look different as we make adjustments to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy, so we can celebrate together in the future," said Governor DeWine. "Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, please keep the celebration small, and wear as mask and stay socially distanced if you absolutely must celebrate with individuals outside of your household."

The holiday gathering guide is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 312,443 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,772 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 22,846 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,250 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: New Zip Code, Flu Dashboards, $30 Million to Assist Ohio Health Departments 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STATEWIDE HIGH INCIDENCE 

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that all 88 counties in Ohio remain at "high incidence" as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to today's updated Ohio Public Health Advisory System map, 68 counties are currently rated as having a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 56 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July. 

Both Franklin and Tuscarawas counties met six of seven advisory-system indicators and are approaching Purple Level 4. 

Ohio also had another record-breaking day for new cases reported in a 24-hour period, with 7,101 cases reported between yesterday and today. A total of 268 new hospitalizations were reported, as well as 35 more deaths.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Nov 12

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

NEW ZIP CODE DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine today announced the creation of a new zip code dashboard. Ohioans can now view data from their local communities and filter data by probable or confirmed case status, county, a specific zip code, or a specific time period.

Case counts will also be available on a downloadable, filterable chart sorted from the most cases to the least. To protect confidentiality, case counts for zip codes with fewer than five cases or less than 100 total residents will not be displayed.

The new zip code dashboard can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

NEW FLU DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine also announced a new flu dashboard that expands the statewide data that the Ohio Department of Health shares on seasonal flu activity each year.

The new dashboard shows flu trends over time with charts that indicate whether flu hospitalizations or cases of flu-like illness are on the rise or decline as compared to the previous week and compared to the five-year average data.

Hospitalization data is broken down by region, county, date, sex, age, race, and ethnicity. The data shows only positive flu PCR tests reported by public health laboratories and selected clinical laboratories that participate in the national flu monitoring system.

Additional data will be added moving forward, and the dashboard will be updated every Friday at 9 a.m.

The new flu dashboard can be found at flu.ohio.gov.

FUNDING FOR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Governor DeWine announced that the state is setting aside $30 million to assist the state’s 113 local health departments. Each department will receive $200,000 and will have the flexibility to determine how to best use the funds as they see fit to fight COVID-19. 

The remaining money will be used to hire contact tracers to support local health departments. Contact tracers will deploy where they are needed across the state to assist in identifying individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and prevent further spread.

GRANT ASSISTANCE STILL AVAILABLE

Lt. Governor Jon Husted today reminded Ohio small businesses that the application period for the Small Business Relief Grant and Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is now open.

The Small Business Relief Grant provides a $10,000 grant to small businesses with at least one but no more than 25 employees. The grant funding will help businesses pay for a variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure the grants are spread throughout the state, $500,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. When a county’s allocation is depleted, businesses in that county will be eligible to receive grants from the remaining funds in the overall grant program.

The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund provides $2,500 for those permit holders who haven’t been able to fully use their liquor permit. Businesses with an on-premise consumption permit through the Ohio Department of Commerce will be eligible to receive $2,500 per unique business location. Businesses need to have an active on-premise permit as of close of business on October 23, 2020.

More information can be found at BusinessHelp.Ohio.gov.

BRENT SPENCE BRIDGE

Governor DeWine today signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Hamilton County due to the catastrophic crash that heavily damaged the Brent Spence Bridge which connects Cincinnati and Kentucky. 

Although Kentucky leads all bridge maintenance, Governor DeWine authorized the Ohio Department of Transportation to assist with repairs so that the bridge can reopen as soon as possible.

The state of emergency declaration will allow Ohio to recover bridge repair expenses from the Federal Emergency Relief Program. 

GOVERNOR'S IMAGINATION LIBRARY

First Lady Fran DeWine announced today that the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program is now being offered to children in all of Ohio's 88 counties. 

Kids from birth to age five statewide are now eligible to receive a free book in the mail each month, no matter what county they live in.

When First Lady DeWine started this program with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, only a handful of counties offered the books and 13 percent of Ohio children were enrolled. 

Parents are encouraged to enroll their kids in this free literary program. To sign up, visit ohioimaginationlibrary.org Learn more about the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library in the video below. 

Governor's Imagination Library

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 267,356 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,623 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 21,290 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,122 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Governor DeWine Calls on Ohioans to Recommit to Safety Practices, Announces New Mask, Social Distancing Orders

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— In a statewide address to Ohioans Wednesday evening, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on citizens to recommit to their individual efforts to prevent coronavirus spread as Ohio moves through its most intense, widespread, and dangerous surge of cases to date.

Ohio is currently facing a record number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care admissions, with nearly 3,000 people in the hospital, including more than 700 people in the ICU. During the first week of November alone, 104 Ohioans infected with the coronavirus died.

“With this new wave of COVID-19, the onset of flu season, and an already-exhausted group of healthcare workers, there are serious concerns that there won’t be enough people to fully staff our healthcare facilities in the next few weeks,” said Governor DeWine. “If we don’t change this, Ohio won’t be able to provide appropriate care for COVID patients or for Ohioans who require other emergency care for things like accidents, strokes, and heart attacks. Hospitals will again be forced to postpone important, but less urgent, care.”

Although testing capacity in Ohio has nearly doubled, the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus has increased almost four times. At the end of September, Ohio averaged under 1,000 new cases per day; this week, Ohio hit a record high of more than 6,500 new cases reported in a single 24-hour period.

“As we wait for the vaccine, which could come as soon as December, we have so much to protect,” said Governor DeWine. “What each Ohioan does in his or her own life impacts every citizen and every place we desperately want and need to keep open– our schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and businesses.”

To reinforce the necessity of wearing masks and slowing virus spread, Governor DeWine announced two forthcoming orders:

Revised Mask Order

Although most people and businesses have properly followed COVID-19 safety guidelines issued in Ohio’s July 23, 2020, mask order, others are not following the order.

To protect frontline workers and customers, the Ohio Department of Health will reissue Ohio’s mask order and add the following provisions:

  • Each store will be required to post a sign outlining face-covering requirements at all public entrances to the store;
  • Each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks; and
  • A new Retail Compliance Unit, comprised of agents led by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, will inspect to ensure compliance. A first violation will result in a written warning and a second violation will result in closure of the store for up to 24 hours.

New Social Gathering Order

Ohio’s April order that limits public events and private gatherings of more than 10 people is still in effect, however, there has been rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals.

To address the tragedies that have resulted from such events, the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order that will place significant new restrictions on these social activities. Specifically, open congregate areas will no longer be permitted to open, and everyone will be required to be seated and masked unless they are actively consuming food or drinks.

Bars, restaurants, and fitness centers may remain open, but this will be reassessed one week from tomorrow for potential closure. 

“If the current trend continues and cases keep increasing, we will be forced to make these closures,” said Governor DeWine. “I am very well aware of the burden this will place on employees and owners, but these are places where it is difficult or impossible to maintain mask-wearing, which we know now is the chief way of slowing this virus.”

For Governor DeWine’s entire address, visit ohiochannel.org or read his prepared remarks at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

PRESS RELEASE FROM LOUISVILLE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

In order to limit the exposure to COVID 19, Louisville City Schools has transitioned Louisville High School students to remote learning beginning Thursday, November 12 through Friday, November 20.  Louisville High School currently has 7 positive cases of COVID and many students and staff members have been asked to quarantine or stay home due to contact tracing.  Students will return to the building on Monday, November 23. 

The district’s elementary and middle schools and RG Drage will remain open. “We do not take the decision to close Louisville High School lightly,” said Superintendent Michele Shaffer. “We are closing Louisville High School out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff and families. Students who were currently learning in-school will receive instruction online from their teachers who will be available during school hours for instruction and questions. Louisville High School families have received remote learning information and schedules and an “all call” will go out to families about meal pick up.

The district will continue to reevaluate the situation and communicate any additional details.

COVID-19 Update: Unprecedented Spike in Hospital Admissions

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— This afternoon, Governor DeWine was joined by incoming Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff and leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association to discuss the status of hospital capacity in Ohio as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge throughout the state.

There are currently over 2,500 hospitalizations statewide, up from 2,000 hospitalizations on Thursday. A total of 154 hospitalizations were reported in the last 24 hours alone.

"In Ohio, we are seeing an unprecedented spike in hospital utilization and it is impacting all areas of the state. While we are better prepared with personal protective equipment and physical capacity, what we are seeing now is an increasing demand on our staffing," said Dr. Vanderhoff. "If we don't control the spread of this virus, we won't be able to care for those who are acutely ill without postponing important, but less urgent, care. We anticipate that this kind of shift could happen in a matter of weeks if trends don't change."

“The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more dire for Ohio as hospitalizations have escalated 350 percent in the past 50 days to 2,533 COVID patients in Ohio hospitals today,” said Mike Abrams, president and CEO, Ohio Hospital Association. “Our hospitals are capable of managing capacity needs, but we must stem the spread now. This steep climb creates a severe strain on our caregivers who are braving the frontline of this pandemic. We can stop this spread, and we call on Ohioans to join hospitals and caregivers to take action now and do the right thing to slow the spread.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Governor DeWine worked with the Ohio Hospital Association to develop a comprehensive statewide public health system to ensure that all Ohioans have access to quality care during the pandemic. As part of this process, the state was divided into three healthcare zones. Leaders of each zone provided an update on hospital capacity in their regions. 

Healthcare Zone 1

ZONE 1

Of all hospitalizations in the state, more than 50 percent are in Zone 1, but there are currently enough hospital beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), medication, and ventilators. Total beds utilized and intensive care beds utilized in Zone 1 currently stands at 70 to 75 percent. This zone, however, is seeing many caregivers becoming ill with COVID-19. At the Cleveland Clinic alone, there are currently 300 caregivers out due to the coronavirus. 

"It's not because they're catching COVID in the hospital. What we're seeing is they're catching it in the community," said Robert Wyllie, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic. "What we're asking everyone to do is double down. Now is the time to wear a mask and socially distance - if not to protect your family and friends, do it to protect the caregivers who protect COVID patients and other hospitalized patients."

Healthcare Zone 2

ZONE 2

Last Monday, Zone 2 hit a milestone of 400 patients in the hospital, and by Friday, the number surpassed 500 patients. Today there are over 560 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Zone 2.

Because patients are normally admitted 7 to 14 days after symptoms arise, hospitals are expecting to see hospitalizations continue to increase for at least two weeks after COVID-19 cases peak which could impact non-COVID care.

"We need the citizens of Ohio do to the same things they did in the spring and summer - take seriously masking, distancing, washing hands, and especially avoiding large gatherings of people you don't live with where you can't control your environment and you can't protect yourself or loved ones from someone in that crowd who is asymptomatic positive," said Andrew Thomas, MD, MBA, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Healthcare Zone 3

ZONE 3

Zone 3 has had an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the beginning of October. There are over 670 patients hospitalized today, as compared to 300 patients at the peak of the previous surge in July. In the greater-Cincinnati area, the positivity rate had been approximately 3 percent but is now standing at approximately 8 percent. 

In Zone 3, the growth of hospitalizations is doubling every three weeks. Right now, Zone 3 can accommodate the current capacity of patients, but if the doubling of cases continues to accelerate, this zone could exhaust resources and may have to defer non-COVID care. 

"If we do what we did in the past - adhering to social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and not expanding your personal bubble, we can bring the spread of this virus under control," said Richard Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP, and president and CEO of UC Health.

RURAL HOSPITALS

Ronda Lehman, president of Mercy Health, Lima region, also discussed the hospital capacity in their hospital system, which encompasses many rural communities. There is currently adequate capacity of PPE, ventilators, and hospital beds, however, hospitalizations are increasing. On October 5, the hospital system had 17 COVID-19 patients, and today they are treating 75 patients who are COVID-19 positive.

"This is a stark challenge for us because this is in addition to the normal fall flu and critical illness admissions, and it's not sustainable," said Lehman. "This is not a metro problem, this is a statewide and countrywide problem. Those in small communities should recognize that their behaviors do have a substantial impact to their neighbors, their local hospitals, the people they worship with, the people they go to school with, and the people they care about in their circles."

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 254,974 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,524 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 20,651 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,047 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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