Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: State opening more vaccination clinics

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates Thursday on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Ohio.

As of March 25, a total of 1,006,171 (+1,501) cases have been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 52,539 (+67) hospitalizations and 7,369 (+5) ICU admissions. A total of 3,028,527 people — or 25.91% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process, up 80,711 from the day before.

Next week, as vaccination opens fully for anybody 16 and older, the state is expected to receive 571,000 doses of the three authorized vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, by far the greatest number, DeWine said.

With the increased supply, DeWine announced the state is adding 11 standing vaccination sites that will be open to anyone 16 and older. Many of the available doses will be the single-shot option from Johnson & Johnson.

Locations include the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center, which will receive 5,000 doses a week.

Other locations will be in Akron, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Dayton, Lima, Marietta, Maumee, Wilmington, Youngstown and Zanesville. And there will be four mobile clinics that will travel various regions. Scheduling a vaccination at one of these sites can be done through the state’s online portal.

The state’s vaccination program began in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. But DeWine said about 200 of them never signed up to receive the vaccine nor reported that they got it elsewhere. DeWine said those facilities will be listed online to further urge them to act.

DeWine provided an update on where the state stands in meeting the standard for him lifting his pandemic health orders. He has set a benchmark of 50 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks for those orders to end. This week, the rate stood at 146.9, slightly up last week from 143.8, as the decline in case numbers has started to slow.

On the latest map for the Public Health Advisory System, Franklin and its surrounding counties remained at level 3, or red. There are a total of 55 counties in Ohio at level 3, with the remaining 33 at levels 1 or 2.

The Department of Health is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week. The last total is 18,382.

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