COVID variants causing Ohio case increases, college campus vaccine clinics start next week

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced plans to hold on-campus vaccine clinics for colleges to vaccinate students before they leave campus to return to their homes in other parts of the state and country

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DeWine’s briefing came as Dayton and other smaller mass vaccination sites across the state launched this week to vaccinate more Ohioans in a race against COVID variants, which are being attributed to the rising cases in the state.

The following announcements were made:

  • The Dayton Convention Center clinic has given 45,000 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Today, the clinic is doing 1,700 second doses and 1,200 single dose Johnson & Johnson shots.
  • Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “is in high demand by the citizens we serve.”
  • Montgomery County has been making 25 percent of the vaccines it receives are available to minority groups.
  • Montgomery County will begin using the state’s beginning Friday to schedule appointments for its mass vaccination clinics. If a person does not have internet access they can call 937-225-6217 to schedule.
  • DeWine said the state is now seeing an uptick in cases and an uptick in test positivity after leveling off last week. That mirrors the trends being seen nationally.
  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state is seeing a rise in the UK and California variants of the virus in the state. The state had 92 variant cases on March 12, 173 on March 19 and by today the state is at 620 variant cases.
  • Vanderhoff said the state is seeing the highest variant activity in the state’s northwestern zone that borders Michigan. Michigan and New York City are seeing some of the highest increases in cases in the country, he said.
  • The state is currently sitting at 167.1 cases per 100,000 residents statewide. Clark County is the highest individual county in the state with 317 cases per 100,000 residents. “We were heading in the right direction for a long time, but now they are starting to head back up,” DeWine said.
  • For health orders to be removed, the state must be at 50 cases per 100,000 or lower for two weeks. As of the last official release, Ohio was at 146.9 cases per 100,000.
  • DeWine said this is a race to get vaccinated as the variants spread and is urging everyone age 16 and older to get the vaccine.
  • Beginning next week, the state will work to get every college student vaccinated that wants to get vaccinated y holding vaccine clinics on college campuses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used to accomplish this goal. DeWine said doing it on campuses is efficient and the state believes that it will also get a larger percentage of that age group vaccinated. He also said the goal is to accomplish this before students leave campus to go to other locations throughout the state, due to science showing that the age group is a significant carrier of the virus.
  • The Governor said the state will be working with the colleges and universities to schedule on-campus vaccination clinics. DeWine said nearly every state, private university in Ohio will likely be participating in the program. The University of Dayton said its enrolled as a provider of COVID-19 vaccines from the state of Ohio and will disseminate information about providing vaccines they we have it available. Wright State is awaiting more information from the state before announcing any clinics, but believes it will be providing vaccine for students on campus.
  • Beginning on April 12, any vaccine provider will be able to take 25 percent of their weekly doses to use to provide vaccinations at businesses that would like to hold on-site vaccinations at businesses. If a vaccine provider wants to go beyond the 25 percent limit they will need approval from the Ohio Department of Health.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine said the state does not have any plans to institute a “vaccine passport” in the state.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted accused the Chinese government as doing a “probable cover-up” when it comes to the origin of the coronavirus. His statement comes as the Lt. Governor defended his tweet referring to the virus at the Wuhan Virus in a tweet. “So it appears it was the Wuhan Virus after all?” Husted tweeted last week while sharing a story where former CDC director Robert Redfield said he believed the virus stemmed from a lab in the Chinese city.