Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio is expected to receive more than 448,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week. Of that total, more than 96,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered to around 200 new independent pharmacy providers as well as chain pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments.
Ohio now offers more than 1,200 provider locations. Ohioans can find vaccine provider locations at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Those who do not have access to the internet or are having trouble managing the online scheduling systems should call their local health department, the 211 helpline center, or the Area Agencies on Aging at 1-866-243-5678.
PHASE 1C AND PHASE 2 VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY
In response to this significant increase in the amount of vaccine coming into Ohio, Governor DeWine today outlined the individuals who are included in Phase 1C and Phase 2 of Ohio’s vaccination plan which will go into effect on March 4.
Phase 1C includes approximately 246,000 eligible Ohioans with certain occupations and with certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases.
Phase 1C: Medical Groups
Phase 1C: Occupations
Childcare Services – Approximately 40,400 Ohioans:
This phase does not include parent volunteers, board members, or owners/administrators that do not provide in-classroom supports.
Funeral Services – Approximately 3,600 Ohioans:
Law Enforcement and Corrections Officers – Approximately 76,000 Ohioans:
Examples of law enforcement occupations included in Phase 1C are police officers; sheriff’s deputies; Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers; other state or federal enforcement officers such as Ohio Department of Natural Resource enforcement staff, pharmacy board investigators, BCI agents, state fire marshal investigators, federal transportation security officers, and other federal law enforcement officers who do not have access to vaccination from federal sources.
Because the risk of more severe reactions and outcomes of COVID-19 increase with age, Phase 2 will open vaccinations based on age, beginning with Ohioans ages 60 and older. This group includes approximately 695,000 eligible Ohioans.
FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE & BIASED FUND ALLOCATION
Lt. Governor Jon Husted outlined provisions in the federal stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that if signed into law would disproportionally and negatively impact Ohio and its recovery.
This $1.9 trillion COVID Relief Bill provides significant additional relief funding for state and local governments, however, the as-passed version adopted by Congress distributes the $350 billion in coronavirus relief funding to state and local governments using a formula that incorporates state unemployment rates as of the fourth quarter of 2020, instead of using a solely population-based formula.
As a result, this benefits states with higher unemployment rates during that period.
Under the current proposal, because Ohio’s December 2020 unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, the state will miss out on over $800 million compared to if a more equitable population-based formula was used, as was used for the CARES Act.
Over the weekend, governors across the country, including Governor DeWine, released a joint statement opposing the new standard in the federal stimulus bill for how federal funds would be allocated to states:
The statement reiterates that “the new stimulus proposal allocates aid based on a state’s unemployed population rather than its actual population, which punishes states that took a measured approach to the pandemic and entered the crisis with healthy state budgets and strong economies.”
There are 33 states expected to lose funding under this proposal.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES
Kim Henderson, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, will be relocating to North Carolina in the spring. She will remain in the director role until Monday, March 8. Matt Damschroder, current director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), will move into an interim director role at that time. Henderson will become a senior advisor to him until her last day on April 30th.
A nationwide search will be launched for Director Henderson’s permanent replacement. Until that search concludes, Assistant DAS Director Matt Whatley will work as interim director at DAS.
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 968,874 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 17,346 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 50,382 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,148 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. -Posted 3.1, 4:15 pm