COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

As of Jan. 6, a total of 742,817 (+7,814) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 9,368 (+121) deaths and 40,104 (+454) hospitalizations.

During his Tuesday briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, said that 61% of nursing homes in the state had been visited once for vaccinations as of Sunday. He said that number should approach 80% by the end of the week, and that second visits will begin Friday for the two-stage vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

But he expressed concern that about only 40% of nursing home staff have chosen to be vaccinated so far. DeWine is hopeful that more staff members will take part during the second visits, and that there will be a third visit to each nursing home to administer a second dose of the vaccine for those who did not participate during the first visit.

DeWine said about 75%-80% of nursing home residents are participating in vaccinations. He said the state decided to go to nursing homes early in the vaccination process to help protect the elderly, who have a higher mortality rate for COVID-19.

DeWine said the state is making its way through its 1A group of vaccine recipients, which includes those in nursing-home settings and front-line healthcare workers. He said the group includes about 1 million Ohioans.

In about two weeks, DeWine said the state will start to move on to its 1B group, which includes those 65 and older and school employees. DeWine has a set a goal of March 1 of schools being able to be open again to full-time in-person instruction.

Last week, DeWine extended a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Jan. 23.

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