Ohio to begin vaccinating nursing home residents and staff on Friday | Messages

Ohio nursing homes have seen a devastating impact from the coronavirus, with the majority of deaths from COVID-19 reported in the state being from those in long-term care facilities. Gov. Mike DeWine’s residents and staff at those facilities will begin receiving the new COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday.

“We honestly can’t wait to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible,” DeWine said Thursday.

The state has partnered with four pharmacies to distribute the vaccine to nursing homes. Nursing homes have signed up with one of four providers: Walgreen’s, CVS, Absolute Health and PharmScript.

Ohio has been invited by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help expand its nursing home immunization program, DeWine said.

“We have a moral obligation to get this vaccine out as soon as possible,” DeWine said, adding that the goal in any nursing home is to vaccinate as many people as possible in each facility. For people unsure about getting the vaccine now, DeWine said the vaccine will be available later, but “I don’t know when that opportunity will be.”

Nursing homes that haven’t signed up with one of the four vaccine providers will also eventually receive the vaccine, DeWine said, but his administration is still working out those details.

Because of the risk that COVID-19 poses to nursing home residents, “this is an intervention that I really, really believe will save lives,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Medical Director of the Ohio Department of Health.

status remains red

The state’s public health alert card remains red. Only one county — Richland — is still purple, but DeWine advised people not to be fooled. Purple is used to indicate falls are peaked.

“When practically everything is red, the meaning of [the map] takes on less meaning,” DeWine said.

The governor encouraged people to look at what’s going on in their community’s hospitals and the coronavirus incidence by county. Every county in Ohio is currently reporting at least three times the incidence rate as defined by the CDC, which is more than 100 cases per 100,000 people.

“We have many that are much, much higher,” DeWine said. “The only good thing we can say is that the feared Thanksgiving wave isn’t what we expected.”

He again cited the state’s current 10pm-5am curfew and mask requirement as effective in “slowing this down.” But there’s nothing to get excited about when we look at those numbers,” he said.

A technical glitch compromised the state’s accurate count of COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Averaging the 5,409 cases reported Wednesday and the 11,412 new cases reported Thursday, the two-day tally is 8,411. The number of COVID-19 patients in Ohio’s hospitals and intensive care units remains a cause for concern.

do it for the kids

DeWine said the nationwide incidence shows that one in four patients in hospitals has COVID-19, as does one in three ICU patients.

“All of this affects the ability of schools to stay open,” he said.

The state reports that a growing number of districts are ending in-person tuition, with 45 percent of Ohio students now attending school remotely, 28 percent being tutored in person, and 26 percent receiving a hybrid plan.

The governor pointed to reports that thousands of students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are not enrolling and have essentially disappeared.

“If you don’t already have a reason to wear a mask, keep your distance, not eat with someone who doesn’t live in your own household… I’ll give you a good reason: We need our kids back to school,” he says .

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