COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine distribution on Thursday, including dates when older Ohioans and school personnel may expect to start receiving vaccinations.  

As of Jan. 7, a total of 753,068 (+10,251) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 9,462 (+94) deaths and 40,469 (+365) hospitalizations.

As vaccinations continue in nursing homes and among front-line healthcare workers, DeWine outlined plans for who will be eligible to receive shots next, and starting when.

DeWine said that vaccines will be made available starting Jan. 19 for Ohioans 80 and older who do not live in nursing homes. He said that group includes up to 450,000 residents, and the vaccinations may come from several sources, including physicians, hospitals and local health departments.

He said one week will be set aside for those Ohioans to receive vaccinations. Then on Jan. 25, vaccinations will be available for those 75 and older; on Feb. 1, those 70 and older; and on Feb. 8, those 65 and older. He said that plan may change depending on the size of vaccine shipments.

Starting Feb. 1, DeWine said vaccinations are scheduled to begin for school personnel, with the goal of having schools reopened to full-time instruction by March 1. DeWine said district superintendents will be contacted individually for staff-size information and to commit to a plan to reopen schools.

Schools have been using a variety of learning models as COVID-19 has caused staff shortages among teachers, bus drivers and others. Some are fully in-person, some fully remote, and others are using a hybrid model. DeWine wants families who would prefer their children to be taught fully in-person to have that option by March 1.

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