COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
As of May 5, a total of 1,078,734 (+1,450) cases had been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 56,991 (+145) hospitalizations and 7,874 (+18) ICU admissions. A total of 4,757,887 Ohioans — 40.70% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process. That is an increase of 21,465 from the previous day.
The Department of Health reported 60 deaths Tuesday, bringing the state total to 19,344. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.
Governor Mike DeWine opened Monday’s briefing by announcing that fully vaccinated employees in nursing homes and assisted care facilities will no longer need to be tested for the virus.
DeWine also announced the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Aging have put together a playbook to try and get homebound Ohioans vaccinated.
ODH is reporting a decline in the number of people who have started the vaccination process, over the last four weeks. Dr. Mysheika Roberts, the Columbus Public Health commissioner, told NBC4 that she and other public health officials are concerned about the decline. She adds that she and her team are looking at different and creative ways to get the community vaccinated.
“We’re partnering with churches,” she said. “We’re getting out in the community. We’re looking at anything and everything, and I’m talking to the business community as well to see how they can help us get our community vaccinated.”
Last week, DeWine announced a change to the state’s quarantine guidelines, saying that those who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine if exposed to a person who has COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their final dose.
In reviewing the state’s COVID-19 data, DeWine said he is hopeful that a recent increase in cases has plateaued and is beginning to decline.
The state’s rate of cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks was reported last Thursday at 155.6. DeWine had set a benchmark of 50 for lifting the pandemic health orders in the state. He has signaled that a replacement benchmark may be in the works.
Vaccination is open to those 16 and older.