COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As Franklin County moved into the purple zone on the state’s Public Health Advisory System, community health leaders urged vaccination.
Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health Commissioner of the City of Columbus, said that at the moment, 35% of Franklin county residents have received at least one vaccine, but only 22% have received two doses.
However, level purple doesn’t mean that schools should close and students go remote, Dr. Roberts said. “We know so much more today than we knew five months ago.”
The state system follows daily changes by percentages of change, not by volume, Dr. Roberts pointed out.
They are seeing over 200 cases today, and in March there were 150 cases per day. This could be due to spring break activity and recent travel, she said.
“Columbus increased in reported cases among all age groups, the largest from 20 – 49 years old,” Dr. Roberts said.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said that getting vaccinated would be the light at the end of the tunnel. “I need each and every one of you to be that light and get vaccinated,” he said. He urged people to wear masks, keep six feet apart, avoid large gatherings, and wash their hands.
Chief Medical Officer for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Rustin B. Morse said that COVID-19 continues to be an adult disease, but the impact on children through the cancellation of school, sports, and social contact has been devastating.
“Despite turning purple, we have to keep the schools open,” he said. “Teachers are a priority and now students over 16 can get the vaccine.” He also added that soon they will be vaccinating people aged 12 and up.