Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
STATEWIDE CASE RATE
Governor DeWine announced that Ohio’s statewide case rate stands at 143.8 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. When Ohio reaches 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted.
OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM
New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows declining rates of COVID-19 exposure and spread in ten counties.
Dropping from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2: Ashtabula, Carroll, Fayette, Jackson, Morrow, and Tuscarawas.
Dropping from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1: Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, and Vinton.
NURSING HOME UPDATE
This week, Ohio’s long-term care facilities reported just 70 new COVID-19 cases, compared to 157 new cases reported the previous week and 2,832 new cases reported at the peak of the pandemic in December.
“In addition to wearing masks, social distancing, and cleaning, there is no doubt of the significant impact vaccination is having on protecting nursing home residents and preventing severe illness and death among those most targeted by the virus,” said Governor DeWine.
A total of 93 percent of Ohio’s nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living facilities have signed up to get additional vaccine for new staff and new residents through Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program. Governor DeWine urged the 243 facilities in Ohio that have not requested additional vaccine for new staff and residents to alert the state to its process to offer the vaccine by filling out the survey at aging.ohio.gov/COVIDvaccine.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has expanded the eligibility of the COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program, which provides reimbursements to eligible applicants to help cover the costs of inspections, assessments, maintenance, and improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to control the spread of COVID-19. The program also provides reimbursement for secondary devices designed to destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses.
Launched in December, this $28 million federally-funded program targeted nursing homes, assisted living centers, and adult day centers that invested in HVAC improvements that weaken COVID-19’s spread. The expanded eligibility extends to:
More information, including the application, can be found at BWC.ohio.gov.
Governor DeWine announced special election dates for the 11th Congressional District to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Marcia Fudge.
The vacancy opened after the United States Senate confirmed now-Secretary Marcia Fudge on March 10 to serve as the head of the Department of Housing & Urban Development, and her subsequent resignation of her congressional seat. A Writ of Election may only be issued upon the resignation of a member of Congress.
The amount of time between the governor’s Writ of Election announcement and the Special Congressional Primary and General Elections are very similar compared to the previous two special elections.
Ohioans interested in registering to vote or signing up to be a poll worker should visit VoteOhio.gov for more information.
“When making these important decisions, fairness and accessibility to the elections process are paramount,” said Aaron Ockerman, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Election Officials. “Many issues must be considered, including the wishes of candidates, political parties, and election administrators. But above all, the voter must be at the core of any decision. The timeframe set forth by Governor DeWine weighs all those interests and ultimately puts forward the best solution for the voter.”
“It was wise of Governor DeWine to select election dates that work best for both voters and election officials alike,” said Jeff Hastings, Board Chairman, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. “From the perspective of an elections administrator, this really was the only and best option. We’ve had special elections before where dates were chosen that didn’t coincide with already established elections, and turnout was not only extremely poor, but it was costly to the taxpayers, too. Thanks to Governor DeWine, we’re going to be ready to provide Ohio voters with the quality election they deserve.”
NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Today, Governor DeWine unveiled two new public services announcements aimed at encouraging Ohioans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The first PSA features older Ohioans from throughout Ohio who discuss how they feel now that they’ve been vaccinated.
The second PSA features Anthony Munoz, retired Cincinnati Bengal and Pro Football Hall of Famer, who was recently vaccinated.
CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov
All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov
More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine
Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.