Coronavirus: Ohioans 50 and older eligible for vaccine starting Thursday

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine received their second doses of the coronavirus vaccine at Kettering Health Network’s Jamestown office on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Photo courtesy Gov. Mike DeWine's office.
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Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine received their second doses of the coronavirus vaccine at Kettering Health Network’s Jamestown office on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Photo courtesy Gov. Mike DeWine's office.

Ohioans with type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease and those 50 and older will be eligible starting Thursday to receive the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

As of Monday morning, vaccine providers across the state still had vaccine appointments available and were asking him to expand eligibility to fill clinics, DeWine said during a scheduled media briefing on the status of the coronavirus pandemic.

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As of Monday, just under 2 million people have started the coronavirus vaccine in Ohio and 1,134,801 have completed the vaccine, according to Ohio Department of Health data.

ODH Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff explained a new CDC guideline that fully vaccinated people can gather with each other without a mask, but said it’s still important to wear a mask while in public.

People who are vaccinated also are advised to wear a mask while they are with others who have not been completely vaccinated.

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For five consecutive days, Ohio has reported fewer than 2,000 daily cases of coronavirus, according to the state heath department.

In the last 10 days, the state recorded fewer than 2,000 daily cases nine times.

Ohio is averaging 1,831 cases a day over the last three weeks. Throughout the pandemic, the state has recorded 979,725 total cases.

The state reported 84 hospitalizations and 16 ICU admissions on Monday, bringing its total to 50,695 and 7,223 respectively.

Monday marked the fourth straight day Ohio had fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. The state reported 830 hospitalizations across the state, the second lowest number reported in 2021.

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Last week, DeWine announced that all public health orders would be lifted if the state can get under 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks in Ohio.

As of Tuesday, Ohio averaged 179.6 cases per 100,000, according to the state health department.

On Monday, there were two counties with fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people in Ohio: Holmes and Vinton. Fifteen counties are reporting fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people, meaning they no longer meet the CDC’s guidelines for a high transmission rate. Five of those counties — Preble, Darke, Mercer, Shelby and Auglaize — are in the Miami Valley region.