COLUMBUS — When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will come off, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told Ohioans Thursday afternoon on the one-year anniversary of when “our battle against COVID-19 began.”
On Wednesday, Ohio stood at 179 per 100,000.
Cases per 100,000 people for a two-week period is a standard measure used since early in the pandemic, DeWine added.
“Our path back is by each of us getting vaccinated when we can, and by each of us wearing masks in public,” he said. “While no one will be forced to take the vaccine, the more of us who are vaccinated, the more complete our victory, and the more confidently we can put this behind us.
“The end of our fight is now in view, but we must continue pressing forward in these final days. We must not relent.”
DeWine said Ohioans have had a tough year.
“Many have lost a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a spouse, and some have even lost a child. Yet we did what Ohioans always do — we rallied together. We sacrificed. We worked hard to protect the most vulnerable.”
The governor also said that Ohio has been a true leader in getting kids back in school.
“We have vaccinated over 200,000 educators in just four weeks in February. And today, nearly 95% of our kids are back in school for in person learning,” he said.
Additionally, the Ohio National Guard, healthcare staff and volunteers are vaccinating people at low-income senior housing locations, churches and community health centers.
“We have vaccinated over 1.8 million Ohioans. Ohio has over 1,200 vaccination locations, where all Ohioans can get a vaccine close to home,” DeWine said.
“The vaccine is the most efficient, effective, and powerful weapon. Our vaccination plan has been to prioritize Ohioans most likely to die if they get the virus: older Ohioans, those with severe developmental disabilities, and those with serious, life-threatening medical condition.
“Ohioans are doing things right. And because of what Ohioans have done, we have made significant strides in getting our lives back to normal: The curfew has been lifted; we no longer have stay-at-home orders; and restaurants, bars and gyms are open.”