COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic including: vaccination effort and three new public service announcements.
VACCINATIONS AND VIRUS SPREAD:
As of Wednesday, 38% of Ohioans have received at least one coronavirus vaccination shot. Although cases have plateaued, virus variants are more contagious among those who have not been vaccinated.
“Just because the numbers are getting better and more people are getting vaccinated, the virus is now more dangerous than it was a few months ago for those who haven’t been vaccinated,” Governor DeWine said.
“Unvaccinated Ohioans lack the same protection against this virus as those who are vaccinated,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health. “The virus is now in more contagious forms that put younger people at much greater risk, including the risk of ending up in the hospital. Essentially, the new variants have evolved to stick much more easily to our cells, so it takes less of the virus and less exposure to make one sick. Add to that the fact that more older Ohioans have been vaccinated, and it adds up to mean that if you’re young and unvaccinated, what may not have been much of a concern to you this fall should be a concern now.”
Dr. Vanderhoff also warned that Ohioans should not count on herd immunity until more people are vaccinated.
The vaccine is now more widely available and there is no shortage. Ohioans can visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to look for open appointments or call 833-4-ASK-ODH to book an appointment over the phone. DeWine said Ohio’s mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland is also now booking appointments for next week. First doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered.
Governor DeWine introduced three new public service announcements today that encourage Ohioans to get vaccinated.
UNEMPLOYEMENT SYSTEM UPDATES:
In an effort to continually improve Ohioans’ experiences with the Ohio Unemployment Office, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Interim Director Matt Damschroder shared several action updates.
The ODJFS team has been working with the Public-Private Partnership (P3 Team) to make improvements to the call center, which now has an average call handle time of less than 10 minutes (the lowest since the pandemic started). There is also real progress on the claims backlog, the press release said.
In addition, new tools have been implemented to enhance fraud detection including additional identity verification requirements and new IT measures, such as Experian and LexisNexis technology, to verify the identity of unemployment applications.
CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION:
- In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov.
- Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov
- Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics
- All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov
- More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine
A video of Wednesday’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page. For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.