Governor provides update on vaccine plans


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Thursday provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced those in Phase 1B will be able to receive vaccinations beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Those 80 years of age and older will be prioritized first in this next phase, roughly totaling 420,000 Ohioans. Ohio is expected to receive 100,000 doses during the first week of distribution to Phase 1B.

“With up to 420,000 people 80 years and above, and only 100,000 doses available the first week, it will take several weeks to vaccinate those 80 years of age and older,” said Governor DeWine. “Phase 1B will take a few weeks, and a lot of coordination in distribution.”

Vaccines for Ohioans 80 years of age and older will be administered by physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, in-home health service providers, and some retail pharmacies. As of today, the Ohio Department of Health has approximately 1,700 providers registered to distribute vaccines.

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will be hosting a webinar for registered providers to discuss expectations, and instructions for distribution. Additional details will be shared with registered providers in the coming days.

Governor DeWine anticipates vaccinations will be available to Ohioans 75 years of age and older beginning Monday, Jan. 25. The following week, vaccinations will be available to those 65 years of age and older.

“As we include other age ranges, please know that does not mean vaccinations will be complete for the previous age range,” said Governor DeWine.

The week of Jan. 25 will also include vaccinations for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders. Additional details about distribution for this group will be forthcoming.

During the week of Feb. 1, Governor DeWine announced that vaccinations will be available for personnel in Ohio schools. The Ohio Department of Heath will send forms to Ohio superintendents to indicate their school plans to go back to in full in-person and hybrid learning by March 1, as well as indicate the number of staff they believe will choose to take the vaccination. Superintendents will also be asked if a community partner has been identified to help with the administering of the COVID-19 vaccines to school personnel.

Additional information about vaccinations can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

BROADBANDOHIO CONNECTIVITY GRANT

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant, which provided $50 million to schools to help them purchase equipment for students to access the internet, has been extended. This program helps schools to fund everything from hotspots, to Wi-Fi, to access points on school buses. The grant was funded using Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the CARES Act.

The deadline to spend these funds was originally Dec. 30, 2020, however, a second federal stimulus bill was signed at the of December, which extended the CRF expenditure deadline an additional year, until Dec. 31, 2021. As a result, this administration extended the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant to the same date, December 31, 2021.

School districts now have more time to spend these funds for services they provide to students to keep them online.

More information about the grant program can be found at ohio-k12.help.

AMENDED HEALTH ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Sixth Amended Director’s Order to Limit Access to Ohio’s Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions.

This revised order clarifies that in-person compassionate care visits are permitted in nursing homes and similar facilities. The new order does not change required precautions all visitors must take, including but not limited to, wearing of a facial covering and social distancing.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Information provided by the office of Governor Mike DeWine.