DeWine says Ohio hopes to begin COVID-19 vaccine distribution in December

DeWine says Ohio hopes to begin COVID-19 vaccine distribution in December
Coronavirus Pandemic: What you need to know Thursday

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a news briefing this afternoon to address the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following announcements were made:

  • Gov. Mike DeWine said he hopes Ohio can begin distributing the coronavirus vaccine in December. He said the vaccine will come in batches.
  • The first batch is expected to be 30,000 doses, DeWine said. “We hope that this comes very quickly in batches after that.” Some of them will be sent to locations directly by the federal government and others will be distributed by the state.
  • DeWine said he knows it will take a while for the vaccine to be distributed to Ohioans, so the state has been working to set aside money to fund testing into 2021.
  • DeWine said his administration has not made a final decision on restaurants and bar restrictions after mentioning the possibility of those coming in a special statewide address Wednesday. He said he will be relying on hospital data to guide those decisions.
  • DeWine said he hopes Ohioans will be more cautious about mask wearing and being aware of the virus' presence in the state.
  • The state’s positive coronavirus cases have increased almost four times the rate of the state’s testing increase.
  • DeWine said the state will begin sharing case counts by zip code on the state’s website.
  • The state is launching a Flu Dashboard to track the data for flu as the season begins. In the Miami Valley there have been 2 flu-related hospitalizations this season.
  • $30 million is being set aside to assist the state’s 113 local health departments. Each one will receive $200,000 and will have the flexibility to determine how to best use the funding. The remaining money will be used to hire contact tracers to support local health departments. Those tracers would be able to deploy wherever they are needed across the state to assist in identifying individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and prevent further spread.
  • Any orders the state will issue will be done in consultation with the state’s legal team, DeWine said. This comes as some businesses have challenged previous health orders in court.

Other items to know today in the coronavirus pandemic:

Latest data reported by Ohio Department of Heath:

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 274,457 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 5,658 deaths, and 21,558 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 194,658 are presumed to have recovered from the virus.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

There have been 5,051,539 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A total of 24,263 health care workers have tested positive which is about 9 percent of the cases.