While government and health officials race to vaccine as many Ohioans as possible, last week officials pointed out a surge in the overall COVID cases in the state. According to the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff of the Ohio Department of Health says the seven-day case average was more than 1,800 this week compared to 1,500 last week. And last Wednesday, that number spiked to nearly 2,500 new cases. “Ohio remains in a race with a virus that is more contagious and is right back on our heels,” Vanderhoff told the bureau. While many of the spikes are in Northern Ohio, some rural counties are also seeing an uptick.
Local healthcare professionals are racing to get as many needles in the arms of Adams County residents as possible. According to data released on Friday by the state of Ohio, there have been 4,823 vaccines started in Adams County or 17.3% of the population. A total of 3,357 residents have completed the vaccine, or 12%.
Governor Mike DeWine has promised that the statewide mask mandate would end when there are 50 cases per 100,000 Ohioans over a two-week period. Now the statewide case rate is now more than three times that.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, more television ads are going on air, and a spot on rural radio stations is in the works and vaccine allocations will be adjusted where uptake is slow to areas where shots remain in demand, Governor Mike DeWine said last week. DeWine said that most leery Ohioans of the vaccine are most influenced by friends, families, and the recommendation of their personal physicians. “Beating this virus or knocking it down is really going to depend on the willingness of Ohioans to get vaccinated,” said DeWine.
With the state legislature overriding DeWine’s veto on SB 22 last week, many of DeWine’s health orders are in jeopardy. State lawmakers will begin to peel back DeWine’s mandates most likely in late June when the new law takes effect.