Coronavirus: Ohio nursing home cases down, vaccinations up

COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program will provide inoculations for new residents, staff

Coronavirus hospitalizations for older Ohioans are down, as are the number of cases reported among nursing home residents.

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed nursing home cases and hospitalizations Thursday during his regularly scheduled media briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The downward trend in hospitalizations is particularly apparent for the 80+ age group, which was among the first groups to become eligible to receive the vaccine. In December those 80 and older made up more than 25% of the state’s COVID hospitalizations; so far this month, that number is about 18%, according to a release from the governor’s office.

Ohio also is reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases among nursing home residents. Ohio had 2,832 new cases in one week in December, compared to 369 new cases statewide in the past week.

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DeWine said as part of the new COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program, the state will vaccinate new nursing home residents, new staff hires and those who recently decided to receive the vaccine.

Other news DeWine shared on Thursday is that two Ohio veterans homes in Sandusky and Georgetown, where more than 90% of veterans accepted the vaccine, have resumed accepting new residents.

Also, beginning March 1, certain restrictions on visitors at state behavior health hospitals will be lifted.

“There will be certain safety measures in place to protect patients and staff, such as mask requirements, hand hygiene protocols and time limits,” DeWine said.

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