Coronavirus in Ohio Monday update: DeWine opening vaccine to those 50 and older starting Thursday

Coronavirus in Ohio

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided updates Monday on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Ohio, including expanding who is eligible for the vaccines. You can watch him in the player above.

As of March 8, a total of 979,725 (+1,254) cases have been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 50,965 (+84) hospitalizations and 7,223 (+16) ICU admissions. A total of 1,997,268 Ohioans — 17.09% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process. 

Starting Thursday, DeWine said vaccine will be made available to those 50 and older, as well as those with type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease. Just last week, vaccine became available for those from ages 60 to 64 for the first time.

Also last week, Ohio opened vaccination up to those with certain medical conditions or in certain occupations:

  • People with ALS
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • People with type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Those employed in child-care services
  • Those employed in the funeral services industry
  • Law enforcement and corrections officers

DeWine announced that a state portal for scheduling vaccinations launched Monday. Users can search for vaccine locations by city, county or ZIP code and find links to make appointments. DeWine said the portal will help the state in tracking vaccination efforts in addition to trying to simplify the process for residents.

A total of 17,502 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported to date. In a recent change, the Department of Health is updating the total only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week. The last update was on Friday.

DeWine has said he will lift all state health orders related to the pandemic once the state achieves a rate of 50 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period. To do so, the number of new cases per day will need to average 417 for 14 days.

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