Nursing home staff that are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will now be exempt from twice weekly COVID testing.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced the upcoming new health order during his Monday afternoon press briefing on the status of the virus in the state.
Staff members who are not vaccinated will continue to be tested twice a week, he said.
Now 40.39% of Ohioans have received at least their first dose of the COVID vaccine and 33.07% who completed the second dose. More than 74% of seniors have received at least one dose.
“Older Ohioans are vaccinated, obviously, at a higher rate, but all of the numbers continue to creep up,” DeWine said.
Nursing homes were among the first to be offered vaccines and have seen some of the most dramatic declines in cases. Nationally, nursing homes have seen a 96% decline in new resident cases and a 91% decline in resident deaths between Dec. 20 and March 7, per the latest data.
Overall, fewer people in the region are testing positive for COVID-19 or going to the hospital because of the respiratory virus.
DeWine commended vaccine outreach innovations from Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County and the Clark County Combined Health District to bring vaccines to the community.
“The Dayton & Montgomery County health department is using a public transit bus to go into targeted communities to give the vaccine. No appointments are necessary and they promote their destination on social media every day,” he said. “The Clark County health department purchased a box truck for $1 in a federal auction to utilize as a mobile unit to take vaccines to neighborhoods.”
The state’s 21-day average dropped to 1,648 cases a day, after lingering around 1,700 to 1,800 cases in recent weeks.
“We are moving in the right direction in regard to cases,” DeWine said.
The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Ohio is 1,140 as of Monday, which is slightly up from the weekend when the lowest number was recorded in the last two weeks.
The biggest increase in cases was seen in ages 0-19, which went up by 15%. The only other age group to record an increase was 30-39 with a 4% increase while the other age groups have seen the new case rate decline as more people are vaccinated.
At the same time, the pace of new vaccinations in the state slowed. The latest data from the state reports 15,200 first doses given Friday compared to around 90,000 at its peak.
“If you have not been vaccinated, this is a high-risk gamble, a very high risk situation,” he said. In terms of sporting events, restaurants, shopping and other activities, DeWine said, “once you are vaccinated, you have great opportunity to live your life.”
Miami County Public Health is hosting three open COVID-19 vaccine clinics this week at the Troy Business Park at 880 Arthur Drive, Troy, with the Moderna vaccine for anyone age 18 or older.
Those interested in getting a vaccine can walk in during clinic hours or register for an appointment at miamicountyhealth.net/vaccine-registration or 937-573-3461.
The hours at the clinics this week will be 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Greene County is also moving COVID-19 vaccines clinics from the group vaccine site at the Russ Research Center to the department’s main office. The last clinic at Russ Research will be held Friday.
They will be moving clinic operations to the main office in Xenia located at 360 Wilson Drive, with COVID-19 vaccine clinics Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. until further notice beginning Wednesday.
Those who are scheduled for a first dose of vaccine on May 5 to 7 at the Russ Research Center will receive their second dose at the main office. For those who had second doses scheduled at the Russ Research Center after May 7, their appointments have been moved to the main office but they kept their original appointment time.
COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at the main office in Xenia on For questions, try 937-374-5600, www.gcph.info, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile vaccine clinic
Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County’s mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics, housed in special retrofitted RTA bus, will be making more stops this week.
- 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the City of Riverside Office, 5200 Springfield St., Riverside
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at T.J. Chumps, 7050 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
No appointment is necessary, and the vaccinations are free. People can chose either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or two-dose Pfizer vaccine. For more information call Public Health at (937) 225-6217, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or visit www.phdmc.org.
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