DeWine 5/17

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during a May 17 press conference. 

Following the update of Ohio’s mask mandate, which says that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, state investigators will cease inspecting retail businesses for mask compliance.

The amended health orders allow businesses to choose to require masks for employees and customers, which is in line with the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Masks are still recommended in healthcare settings, traveling on public transportation and when a business or employer chooses to require masks. Masks are also required in congregate settings and settings with large numbers of unvaccinated individuals, such as schools and daycare centers.

All health orders will be lifted June 2.

Ohio continues to see a drop in its COVID-19 case rate sending the state on its way to meeting Gov. Mike DeWine’s goal of 50 cases per 100,000 population.

The state's case rate fell from 119.9 on May 13 to 106.9 per 100,000 population on May 17.

DeWine said if the case rate continues to drop at the same pace, Ohio could reach 50 cases per 100,000 within the month. He credits the drop in case rate to the vaccine.

DeWine noted an increase in the percent of Ohioans getting vaccinated after the state announced its Vax-a-Million campaign, which was changed to an opt in program on May 17, and when vaccination opened for children ages 12 to 17.

The percent of Ohioans ages 30 to 74 getting vaccinated dropped by 24% week over week since April 23. After the announcement of the vaccine lottery, the state reported the highest day of shots administered in the last three weeks on May 14.

Ohio has had 1,091,623 total cases of COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health reported May 17.

The number of reported cases increased by 729 from May 15, well below the state's 21-day average of 1,234.

The ODH has changed how it releases COVID-19 deaths in the state after conducting a review of the process. Deaths will be verified by coded death certificate information received from the National Center for Health Statistics, which can take some time to receive, according to a note on the ODH website. Death information is not available daily and will be updated twice a week moving forward. 

Ohio residents account for a total of 19,528 COVID-19 deaths, the ODH reported May 14; the median age of those who has died is 80.

The individuals who have tested positive range in age of less than a year to 111 years old; the median age is 41.

The total number of tests conducted in Ohio is 12,881,940. The daily percent positivity of confirmed laboratory tests is 2.9%, with a seven-day moving average of 3.4%, according to May 15 data reported by performing labs via ODH's electronic laboratory reporting system. 

The ODH reports 58,049 cumulative hospitalizations, and 7,986 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 67.

There are currently 872 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus. Of those currently hospitalized, 256 are in the ICU, and 159 are on ventilators.

The ODH reports 1,046,730 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.

Cuyahoga County accounts for 113,298 of the cases, 6,841 hospitalizations and 2,134 deaths.

A total of 4,995,375 Ohioans (42.74% of the state's population) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 4,387,656 Ohioans (37.54%) completed the vaccination process as of May 17.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit

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