Fully vaccinated staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be exempt from required COVID-19 routine testing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced May 3.
The updated health order will continue to have employees who are not fully vaccinated be tested twice per week.
“We do know when staff is not vaccinated that does increase the odds of the virus getting into the nursing home,” DeWine said.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
After seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in April, the state is showing signs of a downward trend.
“We’re edging downward in the number of cases, which is very good news,” DeWine said.
The statewide average is at 147.9 cases per 100,000 population. DeWine has made it a goal for the state to reach an average of 50 cases per 100,000.
The Ohio Department of Aging and ODH have developed a homebound vaccination playbook for organizations working to get homebound individuals access to the vaccine.
The program utilizes existing rapid response teams to help deliver vaccines to where they are needed.
Homebound individuals who want a vaccine can contact the area agency on aging at 1-866-243-5678.
Ohio has had 1,075,999 total cases of COVID-19, the Ohio Department of Health reported May 3.
The number of reported cases increased by 995 from May 2, staying below the state's 21-day average of 1,648.
The ODH has changed how it releases COVID-19 deaths in the state after conducting a review of the process. Deaths will be verified by coded death certificate information received from the National Center for Health Statistics, which can take some time to receive, according to a note on the ODH website. Death information is not available daily and will be updated twice a week moving forward.
Ohio residents account for a total of 19,284 COVID-19 deaths, the ODH reported April 30; the median age of those who has died is 80.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age of less than a year to 111 years old; the median age is 41.
The total number of tests conducted in Ohio is 12,511,837. The daily percent positivity of confirmed laboratory tests is 3.4%, with a seven-day moving average of 3.8%, according to May 1 data reported by performing labs via ODH's electronic laboratory reporting system.
The ODH reports 56,642 cumulative hospitalizations, and 7,836 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 67.
There are currently 1,140 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus. Of those currently hospitalized, 322 are in the ICU, and 201 are on ventilators.
The ODH reports 1,024,164 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Franklin County accounts for 125,028 of the cases, 3,787 hospitalizations and 1,385 deaths.
A total of 4,720,786 Ohioans (40.39% of the state's population) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 3,865,403 Ohioans (33.07%) completed the vaccination process as of May 3.
U.S. health officials lifted an 11-day pause on COVID-19 vaccinations using Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot late April 23, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot. Gov. Mike DeWine announced later that night that vaccine providers in Ohio can resume use of the J&J vaccine.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.