COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine said on Thursday that he is still putting together the plan for distributing the coronavirus vaccine in Ohio, and that those details will come on Friday.
As of Dec. 3, a total of 446,849 (+8,921) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 6,753 (+82) deaths and 28.281 (+396) hospitalizations.
On Monday, DeWine had said he would have the vaccine plan by Thursday, but it is still being worked out.
Franklin County dropped from purple to red on the latest state public health advisory map, also released Thursday. It had been purple, the highest alert level, for two weeks. Eight counties are now purple: Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Stark, Richland and Montgomery.
In Central Ohio, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison and Union counties are all red, or level three. Eight counties in the state are at level 2, or orange, and no counties are at level 1.
DeWine said the advisory map has become less important in comparison with hospital utilization, and he brought on some of his medical advisers to speak about that.
Dr. Andy Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, an adviser to DeWine, expressed concerned over the impact of COVID-19 patients on ICU beds in Ohio’s hospitals. Thomas said it is difficult for hospitals to add ICU beds, and as the number of COVID-19 patients continues to climb, it will have an effect on other ICU patients and then that effect will spread throughout the state’s hospital system.
Thomas said he will be watching over the next several days to see how many new cases of COVID-19 are diagnosed. He said he is expecting an increase after families got together for Thanksgiving and that it may be another week before that impact is felt on intensive care units.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the state Department of Health, stressed the importance of slowing the spread of the virus until the vaccines arrive. Ohio’s positivity rate is at 15%, its highest since April.
“Ohio is in a tornado,” Vanderhoff said.
The state continues to post a message on the coronavirus dashboard stating that data is incomplete with thousands of reports pending review due to a surge in testing across the state.