Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

DeWine reported 7,580 COVID cases (versus a 21-day average of 7412), 104 deaths (against a 21-day average of 76), 538 hospitalizations (compared to a 21-day average of 322) and 44 ICU admissions (the 21-day average is 35).

According to the state COVID-19 Dashboard – which classifies cases by onset date, hospitalizations by admission date and deaths by the date a person passes – the highest number of deaths in one day was 89 (December 10) and the highest number of hospitalizations in a day was 390 (on November 30).

DeWine said there are a limited number of vaccine doses currently available in the U.S. and Ohio. Consequently, doses will be rationed in phases by priority status established by the government.

Ohio is tracking the number of vaccinations received on the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, which can be found here.

As of Sunday, over 60% of Ohio nursing homes have been visited by pharmacy organizations offering round one of the COVID vaccine. An estimated 75% – 80% of residents have opted for the shot, while 40% of workers agreed.

Those who refused the vaccine during the first round of visits can opt for their first dose on the second visit by pharmacy vaccine providers – a total of three stops is planned for each nursing home.

A new mandate is in the works from the Ohio Department of Health to address the issue of vaccine surplus. This comes on the heels of one long-term care facility ordering and not using seven vials of the COVID treatment – an estimated 35 doses – which went to spoilage.

The mandate will require that facilities craft and follow a vaccine redistribution plan.

Vanderhoff addressed the news that COVID has mutated.  He said that the mutated virus would eventually make its way to the Buckeye State. Vanderhoff said variant COVID is more contagious but not more deadly. However, he reiterated the need for vaccination, masking and distancing.

Husted announced a new round of technology credits for Ohio businesses. The Tech Cred program has been utilized by over 966 businesses that have received a total of 15,105 technology credits. Each credit is worth up to $2,000 and businesses can earn up to $30,000 per round. The program information can be found here.

As the 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew continues, coupled with customer restrictions for bars and restaurants, Ohio has allocated $38.7 million from federal CARES Act outlays to The Ohio Restaurant and Bar Assistance Fund. Each on-premise liquor permit qualifies for up to $2,500. The deadline to apply for the handout was extended from December 31 to January 31. Information can be found here.

Because Ohio Businesses paid excess premiums to Ohio Workers’ Compensation, the Bureau reduced premiums as of January 1. The premium decrease is the twelfth since 2005 and represents an average of 10% per business.  According to Husted, the reduction is a result of safer workplaces.

The full press conference can be viewed below.

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Jack Windsor is Managing Editor and an Investigative Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an Investigative Reporter at WMFD-TV. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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