COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates Tuesday on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine distribution in Ohio, including that only about 40% of eligible nursing-home workers have been choosing to be vaccinated.
As of Jan. 5, a total of 735,003 (+7,580) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 9,247 (+104) deaths and 39,650 (+538) hospitalizations.
DeWine said that 61% of nursing homes in the state had been visited once for vaccinations as of Sunday. He said that number should approach 80% by the end of the week, and that second visits will begin Friday for the two-stage vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
But he expressed concern that about only 40% of nursing home staff have chosen to be vaccinated so far. DeWine is hopeful that more staff members will take part during the second visits, and that there will be a third visit to each nursing home to administer a second dose of the vaccine for those who did not participate during the first visit.
DeWine said about 75%-80% of nursing home residents are participating in vaccinations. He said the state decided to go to nursing homes early in the vaccination process to help protect the elderly, who have a higher mortality rate for COVID-19.
DeWine said the state is making its way through its 1A group of vaccine recipients, which includes those in nursing-home settings and front-line healthcare workers. He said the group includes about 1 million Ohioans.
In about two weeks, DeWine said the state will start to move on to its 1B group, which includes those 65 and older and school employees. DeWine has a set a goal of March 1 of schools being able to be open again to full-time in-person instruction.
Last week, DeWine extended a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Jan. 23.