Coronavirus in Ohio Monday update: Vax-a-million draws 2.7 million entries

Coronavirus in Ohio

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided updates on Ohio’s fight against COVID-19 on Monday, two days before the first Vax-a-million winners will be revealed.

As of May 23, the Department of Health reported a total of 1,097,866 (+566) cases since the pandemic began, leading to 58,678 (+88) hospitalizations and 8,062 (+8) ICU admissions. A total of 5,179,064 — or 44.3% of the population — have at least started the vaccination process, an increase of 9,075 from the previous day.

DeWine said registration closed for the first Vax-a-million drawing with 2,758,470 adult entries and 104,386 student entries. Two winners will be announced Wednesday, with an adult receiving $1 million and a student age 12-17 receiving a full scholarship to a state university.

Registration remains open for the four remaining drawings at ohiovaxamillion.com or by calling the Department of Health at 833-4-ASK-ODH. Winners will be announced over the next five Wednesdays.

The biggest increase in vaccinations after the lottery announcement was in Athens County, DeWine said. Also in the top 10 counties was Ross, which includes Chillicothe.

Those 18 and 19 years old responded the most to receiving the vaccine since the announcement, and DeWine said the Vax-a-million website has drawn about 74 million pageviews since it launched Wednesday.

DeWine said a metric showing the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks continues to drop and now stands at 89.8.

DeWine had originally designated 50 as the benchmark for lifting the state’s pandemic health orders before deciding to end most of them instead on June 2. The state is on track to reach 50 around June 2.

DeWine clarified what will happen with schools once the health orders end.

He said schools districts will be able to set their own guidelines for masking and social distancing. The state is recommending that children isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 and that unvaccinated children who were exposed should quarantine. Vaccinated children will not need to quarantine.

DeWine said this will not be a health order but rather follows the standard practice for infection control. No COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for those younger than 12.

The Department of Health reported 81 deaths Friday, bringing the state total to 19,709. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.

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