COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from April 5, 2021.
On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a press briefing to update residents on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio.
Below, you will find a roundup of the biggest moments from the press conference, including the last coronavirus case numbers, how many Ohioans have received a COVID-19 vaccine and the worries regarding variants in Ohio.
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Ohio reported nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The number is another unwelcome uptick for the Buckeye State.
As of Wednesday, Ohio's seven-day average of 1,900 new daily cases is notably higher than the 1,484 seven-day average the state carried two weeks prior. It also puts Ohio further away from it DeWine's goal of averaging 50 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, at which point he has said he will drop all COVID-19-related health orders.
The state also continues to trend in the opposite way that officials were hoping for in regards to cases per 100,000, the state's average has now climbed to 183.7.
While Gov. DeWine did not bring up any new health orders, he did discuss possible updates for capacities at sporting events.
"We didn't make a huge deal out of it, it was in the order, was we increased the size of the [seating] pods from six to 10 and at the same time, for outdoor, we took away capacity," DeWine said. "But saying you take away capacity but you still have to have social distancing and you have pods of 10 instead of six -- the Reds, the Indians, the different minor league teams could tell you how that changes it.
"It changes it some. It could allow some more people in, but it's not going to dramatically change it because of the distancing requirements," DeWine said. "At least that's how the baseball teams have explained it to me."
New concerns for children
Gov. Mike DeWine also addressed Thursday a growing concern about how the virus is impacting children.
"COVID has historically affected older Ohioans more than children. But children aren’t immune to getting sick with COVID, and in some rare cases, they can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. This can be a serious complication for children," DeWine said.
There have been 166 cases of the syndrome in Ohio so far.
"This syndrome is unique because it is not associated with an active COVID infection," explained Dr. Dustin Fleck of Dayton Children's Hospital. "It usually develops 2-4 weeks after a child develops a symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID infection."
During his Thursday afternoon press conference, DeWine announced that one-third of Ohioans have now received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
DeWine says that the statistic is promising, but still not enough.
This upcoming Monday, vaccine providers may partner with other organizations, such as employers, labor unions and churches to hold closed-pod vaccination clinics with these organizations to immunize more Ohioans.
DeWine is also encouraging local health departments to work with high schools to vaccinate students aged 16-and-up. These teenagers must have a signed permission slip from a parent in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Finally, the state is well into the process of distributing vaccines to colleges around the state.
UK COVID-19 variant
During the press conference, Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said that he expects the U.K. B117 variant of COVID-19 to be the dominant strain circulating in Ohio in the coming weeks.
"As we progress into April, it’s clear that Ohio and the nation are enduring yet another wave of COVID-19, but as you noted, this time it’s being driven by the new variants of the original virus," Vanderhoff said. "In addition, evidence continues to mount that B117, along with other variants, is not only more contagious, it’s also more deadly."
In Ohio, the B117 and two variants first seen in California account for 95% of variant detections in the state, as of Wednesday. The B117 variant accounts for about a third of cases nationwide.
You can watch the full COVID-19 press briefing from Thursday, April 8, in the player below: