Ohio seeing increased COVID-19 activity, DeWine says

Gov. DeWine gives update on state’s coronavirus response

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state is seeing an increase in COVID-19 activity.

Nationally, this picture has been more dramatic in two hot spots – Michigan and the NYC/NJ area.

“While all parts of the state appear to be impacted by rising cases and more variants, many of our highest case counts and almost half of our variant detections are in our northern Zone 1 counties,” Vanderhoff said. “So, while COVID-19 is certainly not limited to any particular part of the state, we are seeing more activity, including more variant activity, on our northern border with Michigan.”

For the past two Thursdays, statewide averages were just under 150 cases per 100,000 population. The two-week case rate has risen to 167.1 cases per 100,000 as of April 1.

“New cases have been relatively flat through the month of March, but we are seeing the numbers go back up,” DeWine said.

Starting next week, Ohio will vaccinate any of the state’s college students who want it, regardless of hometown, with Johnson & Johnson.

They will have clinics on campus.

“Although young people are less likely to get sick from COVID, the evidence shows that young people are significant carriers - so, this is also a strategic move to vaccinate students before they scatter throughout the state and country when classes end in May,” DeWine said.

Starting April 12, the governor says vaccine providers can take up to 25% of their weekly allotment into any workplace to vaccinate employees.

“To increase vaccine uptake, Ohio will also begin working with businesses, labor unions, and other organizations to offer vaccinations to employees at their work locations. We think this will increase the percentage of those who choose to be vaccinated,” the governor said.

This week, Ohioans 16 and older became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

FDA emergency use authorization only allows those ages 16 and 17 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The state of Ohio is also offering two pop-up mass vaccination clinics in Columbus and Cincinnati beginning on March 18, and 15 long-term mass vaccination clinics will open regionally across Ohio in the coming weeks.

The Ohio Department of Health has started scheduling vaccine appointments through a central scheduling tool.

The tool can be used to figure out if you are eligible to receive the vaccine, schedule an appointment, and receive updates and reminders.

If you have questions about the coronavirus, or if you need help scheduling a vaccine appointment, call the COVID hotline at 833-427-5634.

According to the ODH, there are 1,020,041 cases and 18,609 deaths.

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