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

As of March 24, a total of 1,004,670 (+1,848) cases have been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 52,472(+123) hospitalizations and 7,364 (+13) ICU admissions. A total of 2,948,323 Ohioans — 25.22% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process. 

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 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

Vaccination in Ohio is now open to those 40 and older, those meeting certain medical conditions and those who work in certain occupations. Beginning March 29, those 16 and older will become eligible, but DeWine has said providers can immediately make the vaccine available to those 16 and older if they are unable to fill their appointment schedules.

DeWine said that the state is adjusting visitation rules for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to require them in more instances. And Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the Department of Health, said the state is tracking 173 variant cases of COVID-19, up from 32 two weeks ago.

Last Thursday, DeWine provided an update on where the state stands in him being able to lift his pandemic health orders. He has set a benchmark of 50 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks for those orders to end. The rate stood at 143.8 cases. The week before, it was 155.5.

The state has an online portal for scheduling vaccinations, where users can search for providers by location or ZIP code. DeWine said the state is working with providers on making more appointment information available in the system, but that it is a “work in progress.”