COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided updates Tuesday on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Ohio.
As of Jan. 26, a total of 872,918 (+4,262) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 10,856 (+88) deaths and 45,276 (+295) hospitalizations.
DeWine laid out the steps for how the state’s curfew could end.
DeWine said that if there are seven straight days where hospitalizations go below 3,500, the state will move to an 11 p.m. curfew and it will stay in effect for at least two weeks. If there are seven straight days below 3,000, the curfew will become midnight for at least two weeks. And if there are seven straight days below 2,500, the curfew will end.
There have been six straight days with hospitalizations below 3,500, meaning the curfew could be changed to 11 p.m. starting Thursday. The curfew currently runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
DeWine said that he has secured the release of 77,000 extra doses of vaccine that the federal government had planned to release to the state in March. DeWine said the doses were part of those earmarked for use in congregate-care settings. With that set of vaccinations nearly completed, DeWine asked for unused doses to be released for use in Ohioans 65 and older.
Vaccinations are currently open to Ohioans 75 and older, with those 70 and older becoming eligible Monday, and those 65 and older on Feb. 8.
DeWine also updated vaccination plans for school-district personnel, with the goal of districts being able to reopen their schools to full in-person learning by March 1.
That round of vaccinations was scheduled to begin Monday, but DeWine said the first doses will actually be administered Thursday in the Cincinnati area. DeWine said vaccinations will be staggered during February, and that those districts starting next week have been notified. He said all districts should know their start date by the end of the week.
Vaccinations will be provided by local health departments, a pharmacy partner or an urgent care facility depending on the district, DeWine said.