Ohio’s state of emergency, more health orders to end today, DeWine says

After more than a year, Ohio will no longer be in a state of emergency starting today, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday.

The governor declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic last March after three Ohioans tested positive for coronavirus.

DeWine reminded that a state of emergency has a very narrow definition in Ohio.

“This is kind of the last thing to be dealt with,” he said.

The state is also lifting more health orders related to nursing homes, including restrictions on visitation, starting Friday. The only requirement that will remain in place is testing unvaccinated staff at nursing homes and assisted living centers for the virus twice a week.

Starting Friday, any visitation restrictions will be up to those facilities and will not be imposed by the state, the governor said.

While cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decrease in Ohio, DeWine said that is being driven by vaccinated residents.

“We continue to lose people who are dying every single day in Ohio due to COVID,” he said, noting that people who are unvaccinated are still high-risk.

DeWine estimated Ohio is losing about 10 people a day due to the virus. The Ohio Department of Health updates death data twice a week. Numbers can fluctuate because other states do not regularly report death certificates to ODH.

More than 57% of Ohioans ages 18 and older and 54.76% of residents 12 and older have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, he said.

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