COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided updates on COVID-19 in Ohio on Monday, when an important change was announced to Ohio’s vaccine lottery.
As of May 17, the Department of Health reported a total of 1,091,623 (+729) cases since the pandemic began, leading to 58,049 (+72) hospitalizations and 7,986 (+7) ICU admissions. A total of 4,995,375 Ohioans — 42.74% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process.
Before DeWine spoke, state health director Stephanie McCloud and state lottery director Pat McDonald announced new details on how the Ohio vaccine lottery will work. Residents who have been vaccinated or at least started vaccination will have to opt in for the drawings. They can do so starting Tuesday at www.ohiovaxamillion.com or by calling the state Department of Health at 833-4ASK-ODH.
Winners will be announced over five weeks starting Wednesday, May 26, with two prizes available each week: $1 million for an adult 18 or older, and a scholarship to a state university for those 12 through 17.
DeWine went over upcoming changes to the state’s health order regarding mask-wearing to bring it in line with new CDC recommendations. He said, generally, masks are no longer recommended for those who are vaccinated, but they are still recommended for those who are not vaccinated in addition to six feet of distancing.
Masks remain recommended in congregate-care centers, nursing homes and other healthcare settings, on public transportation such as planes and buses, and in schools and daycares. Businesses are allowed to set their own rules for masks.
But most of the pandemic health orders are set to expire on June 2, and DeWine said that, for instance, schools will be able to set their own rules for mask-wearing after that time.
The Department of Health reported 87 deaths Friday, bringing the state total to 19,528. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.