Ohio is launching an ongoing program to continue getting COVID-19 vaccines into nursing homes and assisted living facilities for those who missed the first opportunity to get the vaccine.
The program will allow new residents and employees to obtain the vaccine, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Feb. 18 news conference. The program will also be open to current residents and employees who opted out of receiving the vaccine at first and who now want to get one.
DeWine said additional guidance regarding nursing home visitations will be announced next week.
Repeated directive given to providers
The governor urged providers to be vigilant about documenting the proper data about the patient they are vaccinating so the state identify who is receiving the vaccine.
“It is a way that we can see if we are missing people or missing groups,” he said.
Masks, social distance key to fight COVID-19 variant
As COVID-19 cases trend downward, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, warned about becoming overconfident when combating the virus or the more contagious variant.
“It's very important that we don't declare victory too quickly,” he said. “Vaccines are working very well, but our national vaccination effort needs more time. We have to keep up our work of preventing spread through masking and distancing.”
The virus is expected to continue to change until the population can reach herd immunity. Vanderhoff said the quickest way to get to herd immunity is through the vaccine but more time is needed.
Some vaccine shipments delayed
The state received over 29,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 28,000 second doses on Feb. 17 after some shipments were delayed due to the winter weather.
“That’s not bad considering the situation,” DeWine said.
The governor said shipments continue to be delayed. Because providers have canceled appointments, DeWine urged Ohioans to check road conditions and the status of their appointment before leaving.
Ohio has had 947,389 total cases of COVID-19 and 16,611 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported Feb. 18.
The number of reported cases increased by 2,282 from Feb. 17.
The state remains below the 21-day average of reported cases of 3,032.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age of less than a year to 111 years old; the median age is 42.
The total number of individuals who have been tested in Ohio is 9,691,429. The daily percent positivity of confirmed laboratory tests is 5.5%, with a seven-day moving average of 5%, according to data from Feb. 16.
The number of reported deaths in Ohio increased by 98 from Feb. 17. The median age of those who have died is 80.
The ODH reports 49,061 cumulative hospitalizations, and 7,002 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 68.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in the last 24 hours is 173, with 28 ICU admissions. There are currently 1,516 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus – 422 are in the ICU, and 283 are on ventilators.
The ODH reports 876,697 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Cuyahoga County accounts for 93,399 of the cases, 5,748 hospitalizations and 1,656 deaths.
A total of 1,369,627 Ohioans have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 539,023 Ohioans completed both doses as of Feb. 18.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.