Coronavirus: Ohio adding more vaccine providers as state receives more doses

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Ohio to receive 310,000 vaccines next week

With more coronavirus vaccines coming into Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the state will add more vaccine providers and increase the number of doses sent to hospitals and health departments.

“Things are looking a lot better,” he said, noting that the state is scheduled to receive 310,000 vaccines next week. With K-12 schools finishing up vaccine clinics this week, more doses will available for older Ohioans and medically vulnerable residents.

Some Meijer and Walmart pharmacies will be among vaccine providers added in Ohio, as well as more independent pharmacies. As of Thursday, the state has approved 1,205 providers, according to the state health department.

Once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved, the governor said the state believes it will receive 90,000 vaccines the first week. The second and third week Ohio is expected to get fewer, but it is not clear how much.

As of Thursday, 1,530,823 people have received one dose of the COVID vaccine and 772,126 have completed the vaccine in Ohio.

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While not every school district will meet DeWine’s March 1 deadline to return to in-person learning, he said he’s pleased with the progress the state has made over the last few months.

As of Wednesday, only 10 public school districts in the state were completely remote. Nearly 600 are either completely in-person or are hybrid.

“I’m happy with where we are,” DeWine said. “I wish it were 100%, but it’s not.”

Vaccinations are continuing through the weekend for K-12 school staff after some clinics were delayed due to weather. Some districts have already received their second dose, with the remaining schools to finish their vaccinations in the coming weeks.

Sporting and entertainment events will be allowed to reopen at 25% indoor capacity or 30% outdoor capacity, DeWine announced.

Workers and customers will be required to wear face masks. Spectators will be seated in pods of six people or less with at least 6 feet of space between each pod.

More information will be coming soon about guidelines for proms, wedding receptions, banquet centers, fairs, festivals and parades.

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For the first time in weeks, Ohio saw a decrease in the number of red, or level 3, counties. Four counties moved down to orange, or level 2, for a total of eight. Mercer and Shelby counties were among those who went from red to orange.

They both also dropped under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition for high occurrence of coronavirus. Over the last two weeks, Mercer County has reported 92.3 cases per 100,000 residents and Shelby County has reported 84.4.

Ohio reported 2,409 daily cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing its total to 962,404, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Over the last 21 days, the state has recorded an average of 2,455 cases a day. Ohio hasn’t exceeded 3,000 daily cases since Feb. 12.

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The state reported 80 deaths related to the virus for a total of 17,125.

Hospitalizations increased by 163 and ICU admissions by 21, according to ODH. Ohio has recorded 49,951 hospitalizations and 7,104 ICU admissions during the pandemic.