Covid-19 updates, news 3-25-21

Mar 24, 2021 | Featured | 0 comments

Ohio expanding vaccine eligibility to 16-year-olds

Covid-19 vaccine eligibility will be expanded to all Ohioans ages 16 and older, beginning on Monday, March 29. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization only allows those who are ages 16 and 17 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The Ohio Department of Health expanded vaccine eligibility in Ohio on Friday, March 19, for phases 1E and 2C. Phase 1E includes those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and obesity. Phase 2C extends eligibility to Ohioans who are 40 and older.

Between these two eligible groups, 1.6 million more Ohioans will have access to the vaccine.

Thousands of additional appointments for Ohio’s mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center were available for registration recently. Because many underserved communities rely on community partners to deliver health care information and services, Ohio has set aside a portion of available Wolstein Center appointments to be booked through the work of community partners.

These partners help ensure equitable access to the vaccine by targeting underserved communities to fill the reserved appointment times. Unbooked and canceled community partner appointments will be released to the public.

“We want to ensure that every Ohioan who wants to be vaccinated – no matter where they live – has the opportunity to get the vaccine. Our community partners are crucial in our efforts to make that happen,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “More than 1.3 million Ohioans have been fully vaccinated so far, and every day we’re getting closer to emerging from this pandemic.”

To book an appointment at the Wolstein Center Mass Vaccination Clinic or to find appointment information on the more than 1,300 local providers offering the vaccine statewide, visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohioans can also schedule mass vaccination clinic appointments by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Ottawa County still ‘Red,’ but others dropping

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows declining rates of Covid-19 exposure and spread in 10 counties. Ottawa County is still “Red,” at Alert Level 3.

Dropping from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 were Ashtabula, Carroll, Fayette, Jackson, Morrow, and Tuscarawas counties. Dropping from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 were Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, and Vinton.

Nursing homes around Ohio report just 70 new cases

Ohio’s long-term care facilities reported just 70 new Covid-19 cases last week, 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 Gov. DeWine.

A total of 93% 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.

Indoor Air Quality Assistance Programs is expanding

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, the $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:

  • Intermediate care facilities;
  • Hospices;
  • Senior centers;
  • Adult care facilities;
  • Waiver settings (group homes); and
  • Substance use treatment centers.

More information, including the application, can be found at BWC.ohio.gov.

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