COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates Thursday on COVID-19 and vaccine distribution in Ohio.
As of Jan. 28, a total of 883,716 (+5,432) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 11,006 (+75) deaths and 45,786 (+256) hospitalizations.
Ohio’s curfew is shifting to 11 p.m. starting Thursday after being at 10 p.m. since it began in November. DeWine said declining hospitalization numbers are allowing him to push the curfew back for a two-week evaluation.
Under a plan that DeWine detailed, if the number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations is below 3,000 for seven straight days, then the curfew would be moved back to midnight for two weeks. If hospitalizations go below 2,500 for seven straight days, the curfew would end.
Hospitalizations have been below 3,000 for the past three days, and they have declined every day since Jan. 18. The soonest that the curfew could be changed would be Feb. 10.
DeWine provided further details on how vaccinations will be conducted for school personnel starting next week. He said every public school district in the state except one has agreed to be part of the program, which includes having schools reopened for the option of full in-person learning by March 1. Private and parochial schools are part of the program, too.
About 55,000 doses of vaccine will be allocated each week in February for school vaccinations. DeWine said the program is designed for most personnel in a county to be vaccinated over a seven-day period.
The districts and schools that will start vaccinations next week have been announced, and they include Franklin, Delaware and Athens counties — about 500 schools statewide. DeWine said a schedule for the rest of the month will be announced Friday.
DeWine said about 46% of the state’s schools are using full in-person learning, 16% are fully remote and 37% are using a blended model.
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 is 74 years old, making him eligible for the vaccine next week. He said Thursday he was uncertain when his vaccination might take place.