COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio’s curfew, which was supposed to expire on Saturday, will be extended but how by how long is the question.
Gov. Mike DeWine says the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was a compromise instead of closing down bars and restaurants as experts had suggested.
“Next step would be to take it to 11 o’clock, but we are not there yet,” he said.
The governor says it isn’t the time of the curfew that’s important, rather, it’s the ability to cut down on contact time and COVID-19 spread.
Additional details have yet to be released.
On Thursday, DeWine announced a new partnership involving Abbott and eMed to bring rapid, reliable testing into homes.
Ohio will purchase at least 2 million at-home BinaxNow COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that can be self-administered and get results in about 15 minutes.
“Through an agreement with eMed to provide telehealth services, an individual who uses one of these tests can be guided by a proctor and will get the results in minutes, without having to visit a testing location,” he said.
In the meantime, Hamilton County remains purple – the highest level on Ohio’s COVID-19 spread map. It’s the only county at the level in the state. Clermont County was dropped from last week’s “purple watchlist”.
Ohio has recorded 849,704 cases of COVID-19 and 10,518 deaths, according to the department of health.
That’s a single-day increase of 7,271 cases and 109 deaths.
“As we have seen recently, our number of new cases seem to be flattening,” DeWine said. “We are still much higher than where we want to be, and still much higher than where we’ve been most of this pandemic.”
Next week, the state will open vaccinations for Ohioans 75 years and older.
Vaccinations will also begin the week of Jan. 25 for those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders who make them particularly vulnerable and who have a developmental or intellectual disability, the governor said.
“For those persons with an intellectual or developmental disability AND one of these conditions, their local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to them to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination,” he said.
The week of Feb. 15, people who have any of those conditions and do not have an intellectual or developmental disability will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.
On Feb. 1, vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up.
On Feb. 8, they are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up.
The Ohio Department of Health has launched a tool on vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov to help people find a place where the vaccine is available.
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