Coronavirus: Ohio passes 8,000 total deaths

Ohio reported 64 deaths Saturday, surpassing more than 8,000 deaths since the coronavirus began, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Cases increased by 8,567, bringing the total to 614,429. Over the last 21 days, Ohio is averaging 9,892 cases a day.

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Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier this week that the state’s post-Thanksgiving bump in coronavirus cases appears to less severe than what officials initially predicted.

However, even without a surge in cases, he noted that Ohio is still reporting too many cases each day and hospitals and ICUs are seeing too many COVID-19 patients.

The state reported 410 hospitalizations Friday, just above the 21-day average of 395. There have been 34,553 hospitalizations and 5,483 ICU admissions recorded in Ohio throughout the pandemic, according to ODH.

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Hospitalizations dropped for the fourth straight day, with 4,797 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals Saturday. There are 1,124 in the ICU and 797 patients on ventilators.

In southwest Ohio, there were 1,230 coronavirus patients in hospitals. The region has continually seen around 1,200 COVID-19 patients in hospitals for 13 of the last 14 days.

Coronavirus patients make up17.27% of southwest Ohio’s hospital beds with 29.44% (2,097 beds) available, according to ODH. There were 252 COVID-19 patients in the region’s ICUs Saturday, accounting for 21.8% beds. The area has 254 (21.97%) of ICU beds open,

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Ohio started coronavirus vaccinations at hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities after the state received its first shipment of 98,475 Pfizer vaccines on Monday.

Ohio State University Medical Center and UC Health were the first two hospitals in the state to receive vaccines Monday and began vaccination health care workers the same day.

Doses arrived at seven other hospitals Tuesday, including Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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Vaccinations began at nursing homes and long-term care facilities on Friday as part of the federal Pharmacy Long-Term Care Partnership program.

“It’s an incredible day in Ohio’s history,” DeWine said Friday. “The rolling out of these vaccines mark a turning point in this pandemic.”

Through the program, congregate care facilities can sign up for vaccinations through either Walgreens, CVS, PharmScript or Absolute Pharmacy. Staff and residents were able to volunteer to receive the vaccine.

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Facilities that did not sign up for the program will be vaccinated through local health departments, which are expected to receive their first batches of the vaccine next week.

Initially Ohio was expected to receive 123,000 Pfizer vaccines on Tuesday and 148,000 on Wednesday, but now is scheduled to get 70,200 doses on both days, according to ODH.

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