COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine was back at the podium at his home in Cedarville on Tuesday for his latest COVID-19 press conference.
Most of the briefing dealt with the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine. Before he rolled out updated plans for getting doses to those in Phase 1B, DeWine provided details of the current rollout to the state's nursing homes.
According to the governor, 85 percent of Ohio's nursing homes have been visited by a vaccine provider as part of Phase 1A. Vaccine providers have told the Ohio Department of Health that the number of residents and staff accepting the vaccine is increasing.
DeWine pointed out that 9% of the nursing home vaccinations in the country are being done in Ohio, with its over 900 facilities.
In Ohio's two nursing homes operated by the Ohio Department of Veteran Services, 92 percent of veterans have accepted the vaccine. Regarding staff, 60 percent have opted to receive the vaccine in the Sandusky home and 42 percent have chosen to be vaccinated in the Georgetown home.
Here were some of Tuesday's other noteworthy updates from DeWine:
PHASE 1B ROLLOUT BEGINS WITH SENIORS 80 AND OLDER
DeWine announced that hospitals that are vaccinating their frontline healthcare workers as part of Phase 1A must complete their vaccinations by Sunday, January 17.
Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of doses for those ages 80 and older next week. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.
Over the next three weeks, the same process will be used for those age groups in the following timetable:
- Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up
- Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up
- Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up
This Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health will launch a tool on coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist citizens looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines. The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local sources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability.
OHIO NATIONAL GUARD ACTIVATED AHEAD OF POSSIBLE RIOTS
DeWine has activated 580 National Guard members in preparation for what the FBI identified as massive armed protests planned to take place in Columbus and every state capital in the country leading up to Inauguration Day. The Republican governor authorized National Guardsmen from Jan. 14 to Jan. 21 to conduct training and be prepared in case called upon to police the armed riots authorities say are planned at the U.S. Capitol and the Ohio Statehouse.
According to DeWine, of the 580 members being activated, approximately 200 members of the national guard will travel to Washington, D.C. to assist with security measures for the presidential inauguration.
TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR BROWNS FANS
In preparation for Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff, DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff were asked about COVID-19 safeguards for Browns fans choosing to head to Kansas City to watch the game.
Those fans from Ohio going to Missouri are being advised to quarantine for two weeks upon their return from Kansas City.
"Here's the reality: We're on our own list and so are they (Missouri)," said DeWine, referring to the travel advisory for states with coronavirus positivity rates of 15% or higher. "So you need to be careful whether you're in Ohio or traveling out there."
You can watch Tuesday's entire briefing in the player below: