Gov. DeWine announces health orders to be lifted on June 2, $1 million drawings to begin May 26

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a statewide address Wednesday that the majority of health orders will be lifted on June 2. DeWine also announced two new vaccine incentive lottery drawings.

Ohioans 17 years and younger who are vaccinated can enter a drawing, with five people being drawn to win full, 4-year tuition to any of Ohio’s state universities. For Ohioans 18 years and older, a lottery drawing will be available with five vaccinated adults winning $1 million.

>>PREVIOUS REPORT: Gov. DeWine announces new benchmark to lift COVID-19 health orders

Health orders will be lifted June 2 except those for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All other businesses, facilities, and organizations will have the choice to continue health restrictions, like masks and social distancing, but it will be up to them rather than required.

DeWine explained that the reason he is waiting three weeks to remove state restrictions, is to give businesses time to decide whether to continue their own.

Children ages 12 to 15 will be able to begin getting the Pfizer vaccine today.

Wednesday’s address was the first one given statewide since March 4, when DeWine announced the plans for the state to eliminate the health orders. In that address, DeWine said all health orders will be removed when Ohio gets to 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks.

In Wednesday’s address, DeWine announced that Ohio’s number of cases per 100,000 were moving “rapidly” toward the set goal. Today, the number of cases per 100,000 was 123.

The following announcements were made during the statewide address:

  • There are 123 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.
  • Ohio’s cases per 100,000 over the past week are lower than all neighboring states.
  • The number of hospitalizations are down 75 percent since the vaccine became available.
  • 78 percent of Ohioans who are 65 or older have been vaccinated.
  • Children ages 12 to 15 will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow.
  • DeWine quoted Dr. Sherman Alter, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Dayton Children’s Hospital, on the importance of vaccinating children.
  • DeWine said it is “time to end the health orders.” Health orders will be lifted June 2.
  • DeWine said businesses will be in charge of their mask/health codes.
  • DeWine said the number of those vaccinated will determine how our winter will go.
  • DeWine asked businesses to consider offering incentives to get more Ohioans vaccinated.
  • DeWine announced a new incentive to get vaccinated. For those 17 and under, if vaccinated, they can enter a drawing. Winners will receive a full, four-year scholarship to any state university in Ohio.
  • Similar to those under 18, a five-week long drawing will begin for those who are over the age of 18 and vaccinated. Winners of this drawing will win $1,000,000.