DeWine: Vaccinated Ohioans no longer need to quarantine if exposed to COVID

‘The power of the vaccine allows us to do this,’ governor says.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Ohioans who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus no longer have to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus.

Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the health orders removing restrictions, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday evening.

“The power of the vaccine allows us to do this,” DeWine said. “Fully vaccinated Ohioans, including high school students, will be able to participate in sports and other activities, even if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.”

However, some adults, including those working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, will still need to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to COVID, regardless of vaccination status, DeWine said during his afternoon press briefing on the status of the coronavirus.

The change in the state’s quarantine policy came as Ohioans continue to get vaccinated. More than 4.6 million Ohioans have had at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 3.6 million have finished the vaccine.

While Ohio is seeing interest wane in getting vaccinated, DeWine said the state is in “good shape.”

“Some of this was inevitable as we now have 40% of the population who has been vaccinated,” he said.

Ohio has nearly 2,000 vaccine providers and many now offer walk-in clinics.

Ohio on Tuesday reported its second-highest number of daily COVID hospitalizations in the last three weeks with 179. Its highest number of hospitalizations in recent weeks is 181 on April 15.

During that same time period, the state averaged 116 hospitalizations a day, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

DeWine noted that hospitalizations tend to be a lagging indicator, and hopefully will begin to decrease in the coming days.

Since the pandemic began, Ohio has reported 55,992 total hospitalizations.

As of Tuesday, 1,237 COVID patients were hospitalized across the state, a decrease from 1,300 reported on April 14.

Sixteen ICU admissions were recorded in the last day in Ohio for a total of 7,749 since the pandemic began.

After plateauing, cases appear to be decreasing in the state again, DeWine said. Ohio reported 1,560 daily cases, which is nearly 300 fewer cases than the state’s 21-day average of 1,832.

Throughout the pandemic, Ohio has recorded 1,067,262 cases, according to ODH data.

The state health department on Monday began publishing COVID test positivity rates on a county level. The positivity rate is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are positive and is a good indicator of the virus prevalence in a community.

Clark and Greene counties were tied at 6.2% and Montgomery County was at 5.2%. All three were in the upper half of the state’s rankings.

Butler, Champaign, Warren, Miami, Darke and Preble counties all were in the lower half of the state’s rankings at 4.4%, 4.3%, 4.2%, 4.1%, 3.9% and 3.2% respectively.

Lawrence County had the highest positivity rate in Ohio at 10.4%.

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