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Coronavirus In Ohio: January 1–March 14, 2021

Columbus Blue Jackets fans outside Nationwide Arena on March 2, 2021, their first home game with spectators in over a year.
Darrin McDonald
/
WOSU
Columbus Blue Jackets fans outside Nationwide Arena on March 2, 2021, their first home game with spectators in over a year.

WOSU is providing updates about the coronavirus and COVID-19 in Ohio. Find the most recent news and information below.

Ohio by the numbers, according to the Ohio Department of Health:

  • 17,871 COVID-19 deaths among Ohio residents
  • 989,191 cases of COVID-19, 145,902 of those probable 
  • 51,551 people hospitalized, 7,268 in ICU
  • 10,485,278 total tests administered

All of WOSU’s coverage of the coronavirus outbreak can be found here.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.

Has your job been impacted by the coronavirus? You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Visit unemployment.ohio.gov to learn more and apply.

Find information on the coronavirus vaccine, if you're eligible, and where to receive it here.

Latest Updates

Sunday, March 14

2:04 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 893 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, as well as 35 hospitalizations and two ICU admissions. 

Saturday, March 13

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,558 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, as well as 78 hospitalizations and five ICU admissions. 

Friday, March 12

1:46 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,806 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, as well as 115 hospitalizations and six ICU admissions. The state also added 209 deaths to its tally since Tuesday, bringing the pandemic's death toll to 17,871.

  • As of today, Ohio has given the coronavirus vaccine to 2,241,145 residents, or 19.2% of the state’s population. Of those, 1,294,451 residents (11%) are now fully vaccinated. 

8:53 a.m. A spokesman for Gov. Mike DeWine says that Ohio is on track to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, as President Biden projected in a primetime address Thursday night.

8:00 a.m. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports that at least 21,000 of the 120,000 unemployment claims filed in the last week are suspected of fraud.

Thursday, March 11

2:02 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • Lt Gov. Jon Husted got his COVID-19 vaccine live during the broadcast. He is over 50 years old and now qualifies as part of that age group.
  • DeWine said that new federal guidelines dictate that all nursing homes should allow responsible indoor visits regardless of vaccination status of resident or visitor. Some exceptions apply.
  • DeWine said the statewide case rate is 155 cases per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. In December, that number was up to 845.
  • County fairs should be able to occur this year with some crowd limitations, DeWine said. Festivals, parades, proms and other events should also be able to take place.
  • For spring school sports, students are no longer required to quarantine because they've had incidental exposure to COVID in the classroom, DeWine said.
  • DeWine announced an initiative that will make rapid tests available in federally qualified health centers, local health departments, public libraries, and schools.
  • DeWine promised to veto a Republican bill approved by the Ohio legislature that would limit states of emergency and allow lawmakers to revoke any public health order. DeWine said it's unconstitutional and violates the separation of powers.

1:40 p.m. Ohio reports 1,448 new COVID-19 cases in the last day.

1:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports a total of 6,790 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes since last March, up 188 deaths from the week before. That represents 38% of all the COVID-19 deaths in the state.

9:27 a.m. The Cincinnati Public School Board has voted 4-3 to allow families to choose between sending students to classes five days a week, or continue with fully-remote learning fort he remainder of the school year. Phasing into the plan could begin by March 31.

9:00 a.m. Beginning today, all Ohioans ages 50 and over are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The state has also expanded eligibility to patients with Type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease.

Wednesday, March 10

5:11 p.m. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes and long-term care facilities, has issued new guidance on visitations in nursing homes. CMS says that facilities "should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident."

  • Visitation would be limited for residents in quarantine, with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. The other exception is for unvaccinated residents if the county positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of facility residents are fully vaccinated.
  • As before, CMS says that "compassionate care" visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of vaccination status, county positivity rate or in the case of an outbreak.

4:25 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer issue travel advisories for visitors coming into Ohio from states with positivity rates over 15%. The department still urges Ohioans to review CDC guidance when considering travel.

3:58 p.m. The Ohio Senate has signed off on changes to SB22, sending it to the desk of Gov. Mike DeWine. He has vowed to veto the bill, and it's unclear if the legislature has enough support to override a veto.

2:56 p.m. The Ohio House has passed SB22, a bill to limit states of emergency and allow the legislature to overturn any of the governor's public health orders. It now goes to the Ohio Senate, which is expected to concur with the bill's changes.

2:18 p.m. The U.S. House has voted to pass a $1.9 trillion coronvirus relief bill, with all but one Democrat voting in favor and all Republicans voting against. The measure, which President Biden plans to sign, contains $11.2 billion for Ohio, half of which will go directly to the state and half of which is designated for cities and counties.

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,868 new COVID-19 case in the last day, along with 114 hospitalizations and five ICU admissions.

12:25 p.m. Mass vaccination clinics around Ohio will start opening next Thursday, the DeWine administration has announced.

  • The Columbus site, located at St. John Arena on the Ohio State campus, will have its first run starting March 18-21 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. It has the capacity of administering 12,500 first doses and 12,500 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • The Cincinnati site will be located at Cintas Center, and runs from March 18-20 from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. It has approximately 10,000 first and 10,000 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Tuesday, March 9

1:46 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,893 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 132 hospitalizations and 17 ICU admissions. The state also added 160 deaths to its database since last Friday.

9:45 a.m. Ohio State University has paused all football activities and closed the Woody Hayes Athletic Center offices for one week after an increase of positive COVID-19 tests Monday. Spring drills are scheduled to begin on March 19.

9:15 a.m. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has reached an agreement with the 500-member teachers union to return to the classroom on Wednesday. The union, which voted last week to stick with remote learning, said it wanted better safety protocols in place.

8:30 a.m. Today marks exactly one year since Ohio confirmed its first three coronavirus cases and declared a state of emergency. Ohio has since reported almost 980,000 cases and over 17,500 deaths. The state is marking the day by flying all U.S. and Ohio flags at half-mast.

Monday,  March 8

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that starting Thursday, vaccines will be available to new groups of Ohioans. Phase 1D includes those with type 2 diabetes and end stage renal disease. Phase 2B will include those who are 50 years old and older.
  • The state has launched a new central vaccine scheduling tool at GetTheShot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

1:50 p.m. The Ohio Department of  Health reported 1,254 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 84 hospitalizations and 16 ICU admissions.

11:21 a.m. Ohio has launched its state website to help people check if they're eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and schedule an appointment at a local provider. The centralized system was created to address complaints about accessibility – previously, Ohio's providers all ran their own scheduling systems independently, and eligible recipients would often have to visit multiple websites to find and book a shot.

11:08 a.m. Gov.  Mike DeWine has ordered that all U.S. and Ohio flags on public buildings and grounds be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, March 9, in recognition of the one-year of the first recorded COVID-19 case in Ohio.

11:03 a.m. Olentangy Schools in Lewis Center has closed Berlin High School and a number of other buildings, and canceled after-school activities, because of a substitute shortage from staff receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

8:08 a.m. Cleveland Indians third baseman José Ramírez and slugger Franmil Reyes have been isolated from their teammates at spring training after breaking COVID-19 protocols. According to manager Terry Francona, Reyes went to get a haircut after the team's exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, before he and Ramírez went out to dinner but ate indoors.

Sunday, March 7

1:56 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 735 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 33 hospitalizations and two ICU admissions. 

Saturday, March 6

2:58 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,506 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 66 hospitalizations and 21 ICU admissions. 

Friday, March 5

2:36 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,750 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 87 hospitalizations and three ICU admissions. The state also added 752 more deaths to its total, including 428 Ohio residents who died out-of-state.

  • As of Friday, Ohio has given the coronavirus vaccine to 1,871,969 residents (16% of the state’s population). Of those, 1,025,941 (8.78%) are now fully vaccinated.

2:06 p.m. Ohio will open 15 state-sponsored mass vaccination clinics across the state, Gov. Mike DeWine announced today at an event in Cleveland, where more than 6,000 people per day are expected to be vaccinated at Cleveland State University starting March 17.

  • The clinics will be located in Lima, Maumee, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Marietta, Wilmington, and Zanesville. They will be managed by state agencies and the Ohio National Guard, with support from FEMA.
  • Four mobile mass vaccination clinics also will also make rounds, based out of: Ada to serve areas of northwestern and west-central Ohio; Athens for southeastern Ohio; Mansfield for north-central Ohio; and Stubenville for east-central Ohio.

1:01 p.m. Citing safety concerns, the Cleveland Teachers Union voted last night to continue with remote learning on Monday, March 8, instead of returning to classrooms. The school district responded that it was committed to starting a hybrid learning model as planned.

  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted criticized the CTU's vote in a tweet, charging that "if you weren't going to go back to work then you shouldn't have taken the vaccine."

8:38 a.m. Rep. Larry Householder, who faces federal racketeering charges for an alleged $61 million nuclear bailout bribery scheme, has introduced his own pair of bills to trim public health officials’ powers during the pandemic. The bills aim to limit both state and local health departments from issuing emergency orders like the ones that have been issued since the pandemic began a year ago.

Thursday, March 4

6:01 p.m. In a statewide primetime address, Gov. Mike DeWine declared that he will lift all COVID-19 public health orders when Ohio hits the benchmark of 50 new cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period. Currently, Ohio is reporting 179 cases per 100,000 people, although that number has fallen precipitously since December.

3:48 p.m. Ohio State president Kristina Johnson says that the on-campus student positivity rate has doubled in the past week, to 1.02%. In response, students in university housing will be required to undergo two COVID-19 tests each week beginning next Monday, March 8.

2:05 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,875  new COVID-19 cases in the last day, while its website continues to encounter technical issues. The state has not updated death totals in several days.

1:53 p.m. The University of Cincinnati, Miami and Xavier all say they intend to be on campus this fall, following suit with Ohio State University in announcing tentative plans to resume in-person classes, reopen dormitories and offer on-campus activities.

8:42 a.m. Ohio has now moved to its next phases of coronavirus vaccine eligibility. Beginning today, child care providers and pre-K educators, funeral service workers, and law enforcement and corrections officers, are able to receive the vaccine under Phase 1C.

  • The state also expanded eligibility to individuals with diabetes, ALS, who received bone marrow transplants, or who are pregnant, as well as to all residents over the age of 60.

Wednesday, March 3

1:59 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 2,022 new COVID-19 cases in the last day.

1:36 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's office says he has no immediate plans to lift the statewide mask mandate, despite recent decisions to do so in Texas and other states and calls from fellow Republicans like U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel. DeWine's office says the order, which took effect last July, will likely remain in place until the state reaches a "critical mass" of people who have been vaccinated.

7:48 a.m. The Columbus Clippers are among the Triple A baseball teams having their season delayed by at least a month because of coronavirus. Multiple media outlets report the delay follows adjustments to Major League Baseball's spring training schedule.

  • The Clippers and other AAA teams were slated to open the season April 6. The delay means they will likely start around the same time as other levels of the minor league system.

Tuesday, March 2

4:15 p.m. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says it plans to hold the induction ceremony for its new class on Oct. 30 in Cleveland — before a live audience. The ceremony will be held in the Rocket Mortage Fieldhouse, home to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Currently, Ohio permits indoor events at 25% capacity.

4:07 p.m. The first Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the country was administered this afternoon to 86-year-old Barbara Schmalenberger at Ohio State University, CNN reports. Schmalenberger was vaccinated at a mass clinic at the Schottenstein Center, and said she didn't feel anything from the shot.

3:25 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health director Stephanie McCloud has signed two new public health orders, updating the state's restrictions on limiting mass gatherings and sports and entertainment venues. Both orders took effect at 12:01 p.m. this afternoon.

  • The current mass gatherings order still prohibits "all public and private gatherings of greater than 10 people occurring outside a single residence"
  • Wedding receptions, funerals, proms and banquet facilities are required to comply with health orders on restaurants and dine-in services, and are no longer limited to fewer than 300 people
  • Under the updated order on sports and entertainment venues, indoor venues are limited to 25% of their fixed seated capacity, while outdoor venues are limited to 30% of capacity.

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,709 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, along with 121 hospitalizations and 12 ICU admissions. But the state is changing how it reports coronavirus deaths – it will no longer report "probable" deaths, and will update the confirmed total twice a week.

11:10 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine is one of nearly two dozen mostly-Republican governors who have signed a letter to Congress asking for changes in how the COVID stimulus bill allocates money for states.

  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in Monday’s press briefing says the House version of the proposal would cost Ohio around $800 million in federal relief because of the way states are ranked by unemployment numbers and not by population.

Monday, March 1

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that about 200,000 school staff have been vaccinated so far as part of the state's effort to get k-12 students back in the classroom. In January, about 50% of students were in districts with no in-person classes while today it is less than 10%.
  • Ohio is getting 448,390 doses of vaccine this week, the most it's ever received.
  • The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will go to 200 independent pharmacies, local health departments, hospitals and pharmacy chains. The first shipment will have 96,100 doses.
  • On Thursday, vaccine distribution is expanding to group 1C, which includes those with type 1 diabetes, pregnant women, bone marrow transplant recipients, and those with ALS.
  • Also, Ohioans who work in child care services, law enforcement, fire departments, and funeral services are eligible for the vaccine, along with anyone 60 years old or over.

1:44 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,452 new COVID-19 cases and 49 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 103 hospitalizations and 14 ICU admissions.

11:47 a.m. Sen. Rob Portman says he opposes the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill advocated by President Joe Biden, which passed the U.S. House with no Republican support on Saturday.

8:13 a.m. The FDA on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, making it the third vaccine available in the U.S. A major CDC panel voted the next day to endorse the vaccine for people ages 18 and above.

  • The one-shot vaccine has been found to be 66% effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and 85% effective in preventing severe or critical cases.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine has said that Ohio will get about 90,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the first week once it becomes available – meaning the state could get a total of 400,000 doses in the coming days.

Sunday, February 28

2:02 p.m.  The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,268 new COVID-19 cases and 60 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 82 hospitalizations and four ICU admissions. The state also topped the 10 million test mark with 10,030,523.

Saturday, February 27

2:23 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,774 new COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 79 hospitalizations and 11 ICU admissions.

10:00 a.m. The U.S. House this morning approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package supported by President Joe Biden. The measure, which now heads to the Senate, includes $1,400 in direct payments to eligible individuals and couples, an expansion of unemployment benefits and an increase to the child tax credit, as well as funds for businesses and local governments.

Friday, February 26

1:54 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,976 new COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 167 hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions.

10:55 a.m. State officials say fraud continues to plague the unemployment system. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said that more than 100,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, far above the roughly 20,000-40,000 seen in recent weeks, and at least 29,000 have been flagged for fraud so far.

9:30 a.m. The University of Akron will bring students back to campus this fall, where a majority of classes will take place in-person. Students will be able to request housing without a roommate, and the university has waived its residential requirement for freshman. 

  • Kent State University president Todd Diacon also said this week that students will most likely be back to in-person classes more than virtual-lessons this fall. Administrators also hope to start vaccinating students and professors in the coming months.

Thursday, February 25

2:07 p.m. Gov DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that all doses requested by schools through the state’s vaccination program have been allocated. Some school staff have received second doses. Almost all schools will return to in-person or hybrid instruction next week.
  • DeWine reported that COVID hospitalizations are down, especially for those over 80. In December, this group made up more than 25% of COVID hospitalizations. This month, that number has dropped to about 18%.
  • Ohio is seeing a decline in COVID cases among nursing home residents. DeWine said that Ohio had 369 new nursing home cases this past week. That number was 2,832 during one week in December.
  • DeWine said that the COVID-19 vaccine supply in Ohio is growing and next week 310,000 first shots will be delivered. Vaccines will soon be available at select Meijers, Walmarts, and independent pharmacies.
  • When the Johnson & Johnson vaccines is available, Ohio will get 91,000 doses in the first week.
  • DeWine announced that sports and entertainment facilities will be able to open at 25% capacity for indoor and 30% capacity for outdoor events. Masks and six foot physical distancing must be observed.
  • Starting March 1, most restrictions on visitations at behavioral health hospitals will be lifted.
  • Ohio's Veteran homes can now start accepting new residents.

1:00 p.m. Ohio State University announced it is planning a "reactivation" of its campuses this fall, contingent on approval from state and local health authorities. Although the school hasn't released many details, the vision includes a return to in-person teaching and classes, students in residence halls, staff back on campus, events, and fans in attendance at football and other athletic games.

Wednesday, February 24

1:54 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,842 new COVID-19 cases and 77 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 137 hospitalizations and 10 ICU admissions.

Tuesday, February 23

3:22 p.m. Akron Public Schools is moving up its reopening schedule by one week, following a series of warnings from Gov. Mike DeWine. The school board Monday voted for K-2 students to return to in-person learning by March 8, with all other students returning March 15. The district says it won't finish administering both vaccine doses until March 6.

1:53 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 2,775 new COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 159 hospitalizations and 29 ICU admissions.

1:47 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine have received the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Kettering Health Network offices in Jamestown. The governor and first lady got their first round of shots earlier this month.

11:21 a.m. In honor of the over 14,000 Ohians who have died of COVID-19, part of the 500,000 coronavirus deaths nationwide, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that flags of the United States and state of Ohio be flown at half-mast at all public buildings and grounds until sunset on February 26, 2021.

Monday, February 22

4:53 p.m. The United States has passed the milestone of 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. President Joe Biden has ordered flags on federal properties be flown at half-staff for five days, and is requesting Americans to take a moment of silence at sundown.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that some vaccine shipments were delayed due to winter weather last week. He's asked providers to extend their hours to accomodate canceled appointments.
  • DeWine said COVID cases in nursing homes are down. There were 343 new cases in nursing homes last week while back in December, there were 2,832 new cases in a week.
  • Nursing home visitiations are following federal rules – normal visits are only allowed if there's been no COVID cases for two weeks and the county positivity rate is less than 10% – but "compasionate care" visits are allowed. DeWine said he is sending a letter to nursing homes to restate the federal rules for visits and to encourage them to allow compassionate care visits. Families can access the visitation dashboard here.
  • If families believe they are not being allowed to visit nursing homes or assisted living facilities under these rules, as is their right, they can call the state's ombudsman at 800-282-1206.
  • DeWine said that hospitalizations continue to trend downward.
  • The next group of people who are eligible to get vacinated will by age – 60, then 55, then 50 – but it is not yet known when that will occur.
  • Starting tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Ohio Department of Health will host a series of town hall meetings on vaccine safety. More infomation is available here.
  • Ohio's professional sports teams could allow up to 30% of fans in stadiums this spring under a forthcoming pandemic-related plan, DeWine says.

9:14 a.m. An Ohio doughnut shop says it had to call police because people gathered for an event with a state lawmaker over the weekend weren’t abiding by pandemic guidelines.

  • Holtman’s Donut Shop in West Chester Township said on Facebook that people gathered for a “coffee chat” with state Rep. Jennifer Gross didn’t exercise social distancing, and other customers threatened to call the health department. Two officers arrived and told attendees they had to leave, but they contended they were following guidelines.

8:30 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health is hosting a series of COVID-19 vaccine town halls for several specific communities over the next two weeks. The state says the town halls are designed to separate fact from fiction about the COVID-19 vaccines. They will be livestreamed on The Ohio Department of Health’s Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as on the Ohio Channel.

  • Monday, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. – African-American Ohioans
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. – Hispanic/Latino Ohioans
  • Monday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. – Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
  • Tuesday, March 2, 6:30 p.m. – Rural Ohioans

Sunday, February 21

2:02 p.m. Ohio reports 1,461 new COVID-19 cases and 67 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 55 hospitalizations and five ICU admissions.

  • The state says as of Sunday, about 1.4 million vaccines have been started in the state, representing just over 12% of Ohio’s population. A total of just over 650,00 people have received both shots.

Saturday, February 20

2:02 p.m. Ohio reports 2,611 new COVID-19 cases and 56 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 104 hospitalizations and nine ICU admissions.

Friday, February 19

5:02 p.m. YouTube says it removed legislative testimony from the Ohio House, made in support of a GOP-backed effort to limit public health orders, because it contained COVID-19 misinformation.

  • The Google-owned platform says it removed content uploaded to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel for violating the company’s terms of services. The video showed an attorney for a citizen group testifying with a number of debunked or baseless claims, including that no Ohioans under the age of 19 have died from COVID-19, which state data has long shown to be false.

1:50 p.m. Ohio reports 2,306 new COVID-19 cases and 82 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 152 hospitalizations and 12 ICU admissions.

11:18 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported an additional 1,294 coronavirus deaths in the last week, of which 1,150 are among the recently-added unreported deaths from the end of 2020. That brings the total number of nursing home deaths to 7,245, which is 51% of the state's confirmed coronavirus deaths.

Thursday, February 18

2:00 p.m. Gov. DeWine's press conference.

  • In the last 24 hours, Ohio has reported 2,282 new COVID-19 cases, 98 more deaths, 173 hospitalizations and 28 ICU admissions.
  • Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy said that the Maintenance Vaccination Program for Assisted Living and Nursing Homes will allow new residents and staff to be vaccinated.
  • Those with certain chronic conditions – includng but not limited to sickle cell anemia, cystic phibrosis, and Down syndrome – are now available to get the vaccine. View complete list here.

Wednesday, February 17

4:44 p.m. The Ohio Senate has approved a bill that would limit public health orders to 30 days and allow the legislature to rescind orders by a simple majority. Gov. Mike DeWine has said he will veto the bill.

1:58 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,816 new COVID-19 cases and 60 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 149 more hospitalizations and 25 ICU admissions

9:08 a.m. Cincinnati's annual St. Patrick's Day parade has been canceled for a second consecutive year due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced. Next year's parade is scheduled for March 12, 2022.

Tuesday, February 16

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronanvirus press conference.

  • ODOT director Jack Marchbanks is urging Ohio residents to avoid inessential travel while state crews continue to clear ice and snow from roads
  • DeWine says Ohioans with coronavirus vaccine appointments should make sure the roads are clear and that their appointments were not canceled. The weather has caused a slowdown in vaccine shipments scheduled to arrive today, and likely will continue through the rest of the week.
  • Ohio's centralized vaccination scheduling website will allow residents to confirm they're eligible and book an appointment at a provider near them. The system is now functional, but the state is still working to integrate providers into the database. DeWine said the site won't go live until it has a "critical mass" of providers available.
  • DeWine said all but one public school accepted the state's offer to provide vaccines if they returned to some in-person learning by March 1. DeWine said less than 15% of students are now in fully-remote schools, down from 47% at the start of January.
  • DeWine called out school districts in Akron, Youngstown and Cleveland, as well as Cincinnati's Walnut Hills High School, to get back to classrooms as soon as possible. The governor blasted the districts on Friday for accepting the coronavirus vaccine but delaying their returns past March 1.
  • DeWine said he would veto another bill from the Ohio legislature that would restrict his ability to issue public health orders, calling it unconstitutional and warning about the possibilities of coronavirus variants.
  • Ohio will maintain vaccine eligibility at 65 years and older, plus previously announced groups like school staff and nursing home residents and employees, for several more weeks. DeWine said he's not ready to set a date for the next phase of the vaccine rollout.
  • DeWine said that Columbus City Schools is breaking its vaccine agreement because grades 6-12 have no return date for in-person learning.

1:46 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 2,026 new COVID-19 cases and 59 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 104 hospitalizations and 10 ICU admissions.

  • Hospitalizations remain on the decline. As of Tuesday, there are 1,566 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals, including 466 in the ICU and 303 on ventilators.
  • Ohio has given the vaccine to 1,324,206 residents, or 11.33% of the state's population. Of those, 494,754 (4.23%) have completed both doses.

10:25 a.m. Akron school leaders say they are moving forward with to bring students back to class beginning March 15, despite criticism from Gov. Mike DeWine about failing to meet his March 1 requirement for obtaining coronavirus vaccines. Akron leaders say they’ve had 2,000 special needs students in school once or twice a week since February 1.

7:00 a.m. The overnight snow storm has led to several coronavirus vaccine and test cancellations today. Franklin County Public Health and OhioHealth both canceled vaccine clinics.

Monday, February 15

1:43 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,915 new COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 79 hospitalizations and six ICU admissions.

Sunday, February 14

1:58 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,809 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in the last day. The state also logged 64 hospitalizations and eigth ICU admissions.

Saturday, February 13

1:48 p.m.  The Ohio Department of Health reports 2,799 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in the last day. The state also added 1,204 deaths to its tally, of which 1,125 were unreported from November-December. Ohio logged 81 hospitalizations and eight ICU admissions in the last day.

Friday, February 12

8:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine publicly rebuked school officials in Akron, Cincinnati and Cleveland for backtracking on commitments they’d made to offer in-person learning by March 1. He says that's unacceptable after the districts were among those prioritized for coronavirus vaccines because of their reopening promises.

  • Akron students aren't slated to return until mid-March, and that Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills High School was sticking with remote learning over concerns about keeping students socially distanced.
  • DeWine says if they're not getting kids back in classrooms, vaccinations should be redirected from educators to older populations at greater risk.
  • Ohio teacher unions pushed back on DeWine's threat, saying that there are a number of factors that go into returning to classrooms beyond vaccination.

3:26 p.m. Stonewall Columbus announced that the 2021 Columbus Pride parade, the second-largest such event in the Midwest, will held virtually this summer due to concerns over uneven vaccine distribution and emerging COVID-19 variants. In a social media post Friday, Stonewall announced it would broadcast a "virtual PRIDE March" on June 19 and other events throughout the month.

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,305 new COVID-19 cases in the last day. The state also added 2,559 deaths to its tally, of which 2,500 were unreported from November-December. Ohio logged 142 hospitalizations and nine ICU admissions in the last day.

  • Ohio’s hospitalization numbers continue to fall. As of Friday, there are 1,799 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals, including 482 in ICUs and 307 on ventilators.
  • Ohio has now given the coronavirus vaccine to 1,199,593 residents, or 10.26% of the state's population. Of that, 408,103 people (3.49%) have received both doses.

1:35 p.m. Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, Mount Carmel Health System and OhioHealth are easing restrictions on visitors as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations decline, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

11:34 a.m. The Ohio prisons director says the correctional system remains above capacity despite dramatic reductions in the number of inmates during the pandemic.

  • Annette Chambers-Smith, head of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, told the House Finance Committee on Thursday that Ohio is currently housing 43,472 inmates, down from 49,080 at the beginning of the pandemic. The current population is still 118% of capacity.

Thursday, February 11

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that the number of cases in nursing homes have dropped dramatically. He said this shows the strategy to vaccinate nursing home residents is working.
  • Ohio's 11 p.m. curfew, which expired at noon, is no now longer in effect after hospitalization numbers have remained low. DeWine said the curfew may return if cases rise again.
  • DeWine said 214,525 vaccine doses came in to the state this week. Kroger and RiteAid are expanding their vaccine clinic operations. Also 17 more independent pharmacies will soon offer the vaccine.
  • DeWine said that the death numbers are way up because of a data reconciliation problem. About 650 deaths from previous months were added today.
  • People with certain conditions they were born with or diagnosed with in childhood are eligible for vaccination next week.

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 2,806 new COVID-19 cases and 721 deaths in the last day. The high number of includes 650 deaths that went unreported in November and December.  The state also logged 189 hospitalizations and 19 ICU admissions. 

10:43 a.m. For the second year in a row, the Columbus Arts Festival has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Columbus Arts Council announced the news Thursday, saying there is "too much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic" to hold the annual June event.

  • Next year's Columbus Arts Festival is scheduled for June 10-12, 2022, and will be held in the Arena District instead of the Scioto Peninsula.
  • The Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest was also canceled this morning by the city Department of Recreation and Parks. Next year's festival is scheduled for July 22-24, 2022.

10:33 a.m. The Columbus Blue Jackets have won approval from the city health department to allow 10% of Nationwide Arena's capacity – 1,953 fans – to attend home games. The team said the city will submit a variance request to the Ohio Department of Health, which has restricted mass gatherings but allowed some exemptions for spectators at football and basketball games.

9:50 a.m. The latest numbers from Ohio's nursing homes show a downward trend in COVID-19 deaths and cases, following several weeks of targeted vaccination efforts. Ohio nursing homes reported 1,176 new COVID-19 cases among residents and 852 among staffers in the last week, as well as 154 total deaths – both down from the weeks before.

9:10 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to lift the state's overnight curfew today, after the number of COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals remained below 2,500 for more than seven consecutive days. The 11 p.m. curfew is set to expire at noon.

8:30 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health says as many as 4,000 COVID-19 deaths may have been underreported through the state’s system, due to "process issues." Those deaths will now be added to the state’s tally of deaths during the coming week.

Wednesday, February 10

1:41 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 3,281 new COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 227 hospitalizations and 20 ICU admissions.

  • Ohio's coronavirus hospitalizations continue trending downwards, meeting Gov. Mike DeWine's requirements for ending the statewide 11 p.m. curfew. There are 1,922 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals today, including 508 in the ICU and 330 on ventilators.
  • Ohio has given the COVID-19 vaccine to 1,106,417 residents so far, or 9.47% of the state’s population. Of those, 348,247 (2.98%) have received both doses.

Tuesday, February 9

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives coronavirus press conference:

  • DeWine said that as of this week, over 500 schools' staff have been vaccinated. That number should increase to 1,300 by the end of the week. 
  • DeWine showed data showing that more and more school districts are moving back to in-person learning. On January 7, there were 219 schools operating fully by remote learning. On February 4, only 34 schools are fully remote.
  • The governor's proposed budget includes an $1.1 billion investment in "Student Wellness and Success Programs" and the wrap-around services they provide. DeWine stressed that individual school districts will help decide the best way to allocate that funding to best help students get back on track after the disruption of the pandemic.
  • DeWine announced $100 million in federal funding will be available for low-income residents who need assistance with rent and utlility bills. Funds will be available through local community action agencies.

11:16 a.m. A new study from Case Western Reserve University finds that dementia patients are twice as likely to contract COVID-19 and are at significantly higher risk for severe outcomes and death.

8:45 a.m. A Stark County elementary school closed on Monday after several staff members had reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Fairless Elementary in Navarre announced the cancelation in a Facebook post early Monday, saying they did not have enough staff to operate safely after many employees received the vaccine on Saturday, but the post was deleted later that day.

Monday, February 8

1:42 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 1,926 new COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths in the last day. It's the lowest number of daily coronavirus cases since October, and the first time since then that cases have dropped below 2,000. The state also reported 134 hospitalizations and 11 ICU admissions.

  • There are currently 2,012 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across Ohio, a slight uptick after a week of declines. That includes 521 people in the ICU and 351 on ventilators.

8:52 a.m. Ohioans ages 65 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the latest age group to be included in "Phase 1B" of the state's vaccine distribution plan. Although Ohio is expected to get larger shipments of the vaccine soon, the state will hold eligibility where it is for now.

Sunday, February 7

1:55 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 2,138 new COVID-19 cases. Sunday's total marks the lowest amount of new cases since October 26 of last year, when there were 2,113 new cases reported. The state also reported seven new deaths, 61 hospitalizations and four ICU admissions in the last day.

Saturday, February 6

2:02 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,549 new COVID-19 cases and 81 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 139 hospitalizations and 11 ICU admissions in the last day.

  • Ohio passed a milestone today of administering the first coronavirus vaccine dose to more than 1 million people. 

Friday, February 5

2:11 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,683 new COVID-19 cases and 62 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 228 hospitalizations and 21 ICU admissions in the last day.

9:16 a.m. Columbus Metropolitan Library announced that most of its locations will be reopened for limited services starting Monday, Feb. 8. That means patrons can enter the building to browse shelves, use computers, pick up hold items, and use the printers.

Thursday, February 4

2:18 p.m. Ohio reports 172 new coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in the past week – down from the week before. Since the pandemic began, Ohio reports 5,797 deaths in nursing homes, accounting for 57% of the state's confirmed deaths.

2:04 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus update:

  • A corrections officer of the Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Gloria Boyer, died this morning from complications of COVID-19. She is the 10th prison staffer to die from COVID-19.
  • DeWine says that Pfizer reports it may be able to up its vaccine distribution to states by 40%, and possibly double at the end of March. Currently the company is shipping 73,000 doses to Ohio every week. Moderna has already increased its weekly doses to 105,600 by next week.
  • DeWine says when Ohio will be able to vaccinate people under 65, and those who are not teachers, health care workers or first responders, will depend on vaccine supply. The state will stick to its current Phase 1B for several weeks while it attempts to fill out that group.
  • DeWine says that race data for coronavirus vaccine recipients is going unreported.
  • If hospitalizations continue to decrease, DeWine says that the state may be able to repeal its 11 p.m. nightly curfew next Thursday.
  • Ohio has asked former Rep. Pat Tiberi, president of the Ohio Business Roundtable, to help identify talent that will work on improving the state's unemployment application process. The state is putting together a public/private partnership to help improve the call center, claims process and fraud detection, with experts coming from Fifth Third Bank, Nationwide, Western and Southern Financial Group, Encova Insurance and Key Bank.

1:43 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,120 new COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 237 hospitalizations and 34 ICU admissions in the last day.

  • Overall COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped again to 2,252. There are currently 569 patients in ICUs across Ohio and 395 on ventilators.
  • As of Thursday, Ohio has given the coronavirus vaccine to 935,383 residents, or 8% of the state's population. Of that, 238,732 residents (2%) have completed both rounds of vaccination.

8:00 a.m. Ohio Senate president Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says that capacity limits will be set in committee rooms, with additional chairs removed, after a hearing Wednesday that saw dozens of mostly-maskless people piling into a hearing with no physical distancing.

  • State Sen. Cecil Tomas (D-Cincinnati) says he left the hearing because it was unsafe, and he refused to put his daughter – who he says has a "severely compromised immune system" – at risk.
  • Nearly 200 people were offering testimony on a Republican-backed bill that would allow a panel of lawmakers to reject health orders from the governor, and limit states of emergency to 30 days.
  • Neither chamber of the Ohio legislature has required members or guests to wear masks, with the Ohio House again rejecting an attempt by Democrats to put a mandate in place.

Wednesday, February 3

2:58 p.m. Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day says he's planning for a somewhat normal string of spring practices starting next month, and culminating in the return of the spring game on April 17.

1:47 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,991 new COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 214 hospitalizations and 36 ICU admissions.

  • As of Wednesday, Ohio has administered the coronavirus vaccine to 908,096 residents, or 7.77% of the state's population.

Tuesday, February 2

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said nursing home residents in five facilities were vaccinated yesterday by Walgreens and received a vaccine that was not kept at the correct temperature. They should suffer no ill effects, but those residents will need to be vaccinated again.
  • The effected facilities are Ashtabula County Residential Services Corp's "The Maples" in Kingsville, Ashtabula Towers in Ashtabula, Heather Hill Care Communities in Chardon, Six Chimneys in East Cleveland and Willow Park Convalescent Home in Cleveland.
  • Those 70 and older, teachers, school staff involved with in-person learning, and others in Phase 1B are all currently eligible for the vaccine this week.
  • DeWine said hospitalizations are continuing to drop in the state.
  • There are 920 skilled nursing facilities in Ohio, DeWine said, and the first dose of the vaccine has been administered in 100% of these facilities. 89% of those facilities have received the second dose. In the 645 assisted living facilities, first doses reached 86% and second doses reached 48%.
  • DeWine said local health departments are prioritizing underserved populations with targeted education efforts and opportunities for vaccination. The state is coordinating pilot pop-up vaccination sites in at-risk communities. Sixty Federally Qualified Health Centers that serve highly vulnerable neighborhoods are receiving the vaccine this week.

1:44 p.m. Ohio has surpassed 900,000 total COVID-19 cases. The state reported 3,657 new cases and 106 deaths in the last day, along with 221 hospitalizations and 21 ICU admissions.

11:01 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine have both received the first shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Kettering Health Network Rural Health Center in Jamestown. 

8:04 a.m. While the second day of hybrid schooling in Columbus was canceled because of snow, Cincinnati students are returning to the classroom this morning after a judge rejected a lawsuit from the teachers union arguing that in-person learning was too dangerous without widespread coronavirus vaccination.

Monday, February 1

3:45 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine introduced a $1 billion state budget proposal with the goal of helping local governments and businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The budget includes $100 million in grants for bars and restaurants, $150 million for the Small Business Relief Grant program, $50 million for the lodging industry and $40 million for indoor entertainment venues.

  • The state budget director says finances are beginning to stabilize after the pandemic-caused economic downturn. DeWine says his budget wouldn't touch the state's $3 billion Rainy Day Fund.

2:00 p.m. Ohio reports 3,287 new COVID-19 cases and 55 new deaths over the last 24 hours.

Sunday, January 31 

2:18 p.m.  The Ohio Department of Health reports 3,011 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, and 54 more deaths. The state also recorded 80 more hospitalizations and 8 ICU admissions.

Saturday, January 30

3:00 p.m.   The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,191 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, and 51 more deaths. The state also recorded 183 more hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions.

Thursday, January 28

2:00 p.m. Gov. DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine reiterating the announcement that starting tonight, Ohio's curfew is moved from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Vaccination of K-12 school employees including teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians has partially started and will rollout further over the next few weeks. DeWine said that every public school in the state has agreed to go back to class in person by March 1 except one.
  • School staff will be contacted directly about the details of vaccine distribution.
  • Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said those seeking help with mental health issues can contact the Ohio Care Line: 1-800-720-9616.

Wednesday, January 27

1:57 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 5,366 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, and 75 more deaths. The state also recorded 254 more hospitalizations and 21 ICU admissions.

  • Ohio's current hospitalization numbers have fallen slightly to 2,944, with 735 coronavirus patients in the ICU and 482 on ventilators. Gov. DeWine said Tuesday that the statewide curfew would move back to 11 p.m. if Ohio hit seven consecutive days of hospitalizations below 3,500 – a benchmark Ohio has now met.
  • As of Wednesday, 682,705 Ohioans have received the COVID-19 vaccine – just 5.84% of the state population.

10:41 a.m. Just 3.5 million passengers flew through the John Glenn and Rickenbacker airports in Columbus in 2020, down 61% from the 8.9 million who flew in 2019.

  • The Columbus Regional Airport Authority says it's more optimistic about the outlook for 2021, but data from January 1-18 shows traffic is still about a third of pre-pandemic levels, with 3,921 daily passengers on average.

Tuesday, January 26

2:00 p.m. Gov Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus press conference.

  • This week, those who are 75 and older can start getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Those with developmental disabilities and other chronic conditions can also get the vaccine.
  • DeWine said Ohio has been averaging about 146,000 doses delivered every week. As Phase 1A is completed, more doses will be available for those in Phase 1B.
  • Because many nursing home staff are choosing not to get vaccinated, DeWine said that doses that were banked for that group can be freed up for others. This could mean as much as 77,000 more doses in the next couple weeks.
  • DeWine said Ohio is second-highest in the nation for the number of people vaccinated in nursing homes. The state has 953 nursing homes.
  • DeWine said vaccinations for K-12 school staff will start Thursday. He said the goal is to get the first shot to all personnel in participating schools in February.  
  • DeWine announced a plan to ease the curfew based on the continued decrease in COVID hospitalization numbers. If there are seven consecutive days with hospital utilization below 3,500, then the curfrew will move from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. for a two week period. When the hospital utilization number goes below 2,500 for seven days, the curfew will end.
  • Starting February 8, the state will start bringing vaccines into low-income senior housing.

1:45 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 4,262 new COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 295 hospitalizations and 40 ICU admissions.

10:22 a.m. Ohio ranks last among states in administering a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data as of January 22. Only about 0.38% of Ohio’s population has received both doses of the vaccine, placing the state last among all 50 states.

  • At the same time, Ohio is No. 2 in the country for the number of nursing home residents and staff members who have received second doses.

Monday, January 25 

1:44 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports an increase of 4,334 new COVID-19 cases and 57 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 198 hospitalizations and 39 ICU admissions.

9:44 a.m. Ohioans ages 75 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as are residents with severe cognitive or developmental disorders.

8:30 a.m. Gov. Mike Dewine on Friday ordered $390 million across-the-board budget cuts for the rest of the fiscal year, ending in June, reflecting the ongoing economic impact of the coronavirus on the state budget. At the same time, DeWine authorized about $260 million of extra money for the departments of education and higher education, after making significant cuts last year.

Sunday, January 24

2:10 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,481 new COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 98 more hospitalizations and 14 ICU admissions. 

Saturday, January 23

3:20 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 5,859 new COVID-19 cases and 81 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 166 more hospitalizations and 22 ICU admissions.

Friday, January 22

5:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has officially extended Ohio's 10 p.m. curfew until January 30, 2021.

1:50 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,278 new COVID-19 cases and 81 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 204 more hospitalizations and 20 ICU admissions.

Thursday, January 21

2:04 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine honored Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Bradley Huffman, who recently died of COVID-19.
  • DeWine announced a $50 million partnership with Abbott and eMed to introduce rapid, at home testing. The state will purchase 2 million BinaxNow rapid antigen tests that can be self-administered, and eMed will offer telehealth services so a guide can help with testing procedure. Tests will be distributed by local health departments.
  • Looking at statistics, DeWine said that out of any 200 Ohioans, at least one has tested positive for COVID during the past two weeks. He added that 1 out of 4 patients in ICUs are there because of COVID-19.
  • The statewide 10 p.m. curfew that is set to expire soon will be renewed because the risks are still too high.
  • DeWine said he was "infuriated" when he learned about one vaccine provider that mishandled  hundreds of vaccine doses.

10:24 a.m. The number of Ohioans applying for jobless benefits jumped again last week, with 42,975 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ending January 16. The state department of job and family services said 265,467 Ohioans filed continuing claims, down slightly.
 

Wednesday, January 20

3:09 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health has suspended SpecialtyRX, a vaccine provider in Columbus, for potentially mishandling 890 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The doses were intended to vaccinate residents at eight long-term care facilities before the new year, but had failed to "appropriately monitor temperatures in their refrigerator and freezer."

1:45 p.m. Ohio reports 6,378 new COVID-19 cases and 73 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 404 more hospitalizations and 39 ICU admissions.

  • As of Tuesday, 456,131 Ohioans have received the COVID-19 vaccine – 3.9% of the state's population

Tuesday, January 19

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • DeWine said that today marks the beginning of Phase 1B of the vaccine roll out. Several Ohioans who are 80 or older got shots live on the air.
  • More information on where to get vaccinated is available at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
  • DeWine said he hopes the vaccine distribution will increase in pace  when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is ready. It is expected in March and this vaccine only requires one shot instead of two.
  • Nest week, Ohio will open up vaccine eligibility to people with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders as well as a developmental or intellectual disability. Date shows people in this category are at greater risk.
  • During the week of February 15, people who have severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders but do not have an intellectual or developmental disability will be eligible  the vaccine.
  • DeWine said 96% of public school districts have committed to returning to in-person instruction in some form by March 1. To vaccinate staff and teachers, school districts will choose either a retail pharmacy partner or an existing local partnership to administer the vaccines. These should begin on February 1.
  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the Ohio Department of Health chief medical officer, said that new strains of COVID-19 are in Ohio and are more contagious. He said that this is expected and that the vaccine appears to be effective against them.
  • The CDC announced that there will be a one-day delay of the Moderna vaccines to 155 Ohio locations. 

1:53 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,989 new COVID-19 cases and 55 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 254 more hospitalizations and 20 ICU admissions.

11:54 a.m. Ohio is rolling out the next phase in its coronavirus vaccination plan, with Phase 1B offering the vaccine to an estimated 2.2 million residents in stages over the coming weeks. Ohioans at least 80 years of age are eligible for the shot immediately.

8:20 a.m. Kent State University started its spring semester Tuesday with mostly remote classes, with a small numer of in-person courses that can't be offered online. More in-person instruction will begin February 1. The University of Akron and Ohio State both started their spring semesters last week, with all classes being held remotely for the first two weeks.

6:00 a.m. Ohio State this morning opened a mass coronavirus vaccine clinic in the Schottenstein Center. Although the supply of vaccines remains low, Ohio State doctors say they plan to run the clinic 12 hours a day during the week and eight hours on Saturday.

Monday, January 18

2:17 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 4,312 new COVID-19 cases and 81 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 162 hospitalizations and 16 ICU admissions.  

Saturday, January 16

2:17 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 7,065 new COVID-19 cases and 78 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 241 hospitalizations and 17 ICU admissions.  

Friday, January 15

1:54 p.m. Ohio has surpassed the benchmark of 10,000 deaths from COVID-19. The state on Friday reported 67 more coronavirus deaths and 7,149 new cases over the last 24 hours, as well as 316 hospitalizations and 39 ICU admissions.

11:22 a.m. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that Ohioans filed 37,309 initial jobless claims for the week ending January 9 – a 26% jump over last week, and the highest number of weekly claims in a month.

  • Ohioans filed 278,026 continued jobless claims last week, slightly above the figure for the week before.

8:00 a.m. Ohio has released its tool to look up locations to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Thursday, January 14

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives a press conference.

  • The Ohio Department of Health reports 7,654 new COVID-19 cases and 109 more deaths. The state also saw 340 more hospitalizations and 37 ICU admissions.
  • As of today, 361,603 vaccines have been distributed.
  • DeWine said that the state's pharmacy partners are almost complete in visiting all the nursing homes in Ohio for the fist shot of the vaccine. About half of all COVID deaths occur in nursing home facilities.
  • Local health departments will be announcing where to get vaccines when they are available. Each individual provider will do its own scheduling. More information will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov on Friday morning.
  • DeWine said that new cases per capital have increased since last week, but the portion of ICU patients with COVID has gone down slightly.  
  • Hamilton County is now "purple," the highest level of alert on the state's Public Health Advisory System.

8:49 a.m. The Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled for the second straight year. On Wednesday, the committee voted unanimously to scrap the annual downtown event in March, citing the continued coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, January 13

3:52 p.m. Columbus City Schools, Ohio's largest school district, says it will start returning to a hybrid learning model beginning February 1, with students in grades pre-K-3 attending class at school two days per week and at home the other three.

  • Students with identified complex needs in pre-K through 12 will also transition to a hybrid model on February 1, along with students in career and technical education programs at the downtown high school and Fort Hayes Career Center.
  • The next week, on February 8, all students in grades 4-5 will join the hybrid model, while students in 6-12 will remain remote for the forseeable future.

1:45 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 6,701 new COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 288 hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions.

  • As of Tuesday, Ohio has administered the coronavirus vaccine to 321,506 people – 2.75% of the state's population.

11:17 a.m. Cleveland has administered fewer than 30% of the 6,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses it has received since late December, according to Mayor Frank Jackson. The mayor said the slow rollout is because "there is no infrastructure for this."

Tuesday, January 12

3:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • So far 321,516 Ohioans have received the first dose of a vaccine.
  • 85% of nursing homes in the state have been visited by pharmacy providers and have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Visits for second doses have begun.
  • In the state's two veterans homes, 92%  of residents  and 60% of staff in the Sandusky location have been vaccinated and 92% of residents and 42% of staff in the Georgetown location.
  • DeWine said the state is telling hospitals to finish up vaccinating its staff by Sunday. On Monday, they will need to move on to older Ohioans 80 years old and older. If they don't, the state will ask for the vaccine back.
  • On Thursday, the Health Department will post info at coronavirus.ohio.gov indicating what providers are being allocated vaccinations for the next week. Residents will be able to search by zip code and by county.
  • DeWine said the Trump Administration announced it will change policy and free up more of the vaccine that have been held back.

1:43 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports an increase of 7,891 new COVID-19 cases and 100 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 486 more hospitalizations and 49 ICU admissions.

  • As of yesterday, 304,976 Ohioans had received the COVID-19 vaccine – 2.61% of the state's population.
  • There are currently 4,010 coronavirus patients in Ohio hospitals, down from recent weeks, with 986 patients in the ICU and 638 on ventilators.

11:33 a.m. Akron Public School District voted Monday to reopen school buildings in March, with teachers and staff receiving COVID-19 vaccines under the state's distribution plan. Ohio says it will provide vaccines to schools that impelement at least a hybrid format by March 1.

11:25 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday vetoed legislation that would have lifted COVID-19 restrictions at county fairs. GOP lawmakers argued that a majority of county fairs have lost revenue as a result of DeWine’s order banning most activities, that fair officials should be allowed to make their own decisions.

Monday, January 11

1:45 p.m. Ohio reported 7,892 new COVID-19 cases and 75 deaths in the last day. The state health department also logged 219 hospitalizations and 28 ICU admissions.

9:56 a.m. Following the new coronavirus relief measure passed by Congress, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced that many unemployment compensation recipients will start receiving an additional $300 weekly bonus checks through March 13, 2021.

  • Self-employed workers and independent contractors eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will also be able to resume filing claims.

Sunday, January 10

1:53 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 8,374 new COVID-19 cases and 28 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 101 hospitalizations and 12 ICU admissions.

Saturday, January 9

1:56 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 6,088 new COVID-19 cases and 55 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 270 hospitalizations and 22 ICU admissions.

Friday, January 8

4:30 p.m. The Arnold Sports Festival will be postponed from its usual March date, possibly until fall 2021. The Arnold, one of Columbus' largest events, was also one of the first major events in the country last year to be impacted by the then-new COVID-19 pandemic.

1:50 p.m. Ohio reports an increase of 9,535 new COVID-19 cases and 82 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 318 hospitalizations and 34 ICU admissions.

  • As of Thursday, Ohio has administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 221,302 people – or 1.89% of the state population.

8:45 a.m. The Cleveland Browns are in the playoffs yet they still haven't practiced for them. For the second straight day, the team’s headquarters and training facility were closed Thursday due to a COVID-19 flare-up.

  • Coach Kevin Stefanski remains unable to attend  Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh, and quarterback Baker Mayfield said he hasn't thrown a football since last Sunday.

Thursday, January 7

5:05 p.m. Alabama coach Nick Saban acknowledged there were discussions about the possibility of moving the national championship game with Ohio State back because of COVID-19 issues. Ohio State had spoken with CFP officials about possible concerns of player availability, but the game remains scheduled for Monday.

2:04 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • The Ohio Department of Health reports 10,251 new COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths since yesterday.
  • DeWine said 221,208 Ohioans have received the first dose of the vaccine.
  • The next phase of the vaccine rollout will start on January 19, when the vaccination will be available to those 80 years old and older. DeWine said this is because they are the most vulnerable. This group inlcudes about 420,000 people.
  • DeWine said that the plan is to lower the eligibility by 5 years every week there after, as long as supplies come in as expected. On the week of January 25, vaccinations will be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders.
  • DeWine announced a day-by-day plan on how providers and local Emergency Management Agencies can prepare to distribute the vaccine and alert the public to options for receiving it.
  • The plan is to start vaccinating school staff during the week of February 1. The state is asking schools to send in the number of staff members who will choose to take the vaccine and indicate if they have a provider.

11:54 a.m. The number of Ohio nursing home residents who have died with COVID-19 has topped 5,000, with more than 200 such deaths in the last week. Deaths at long-term care facilities account for 54% of all known COVID-19 deaths in Ohio.

Wednesday, January 6

10:00 p.m. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is recovering from COVID-19, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Yost, 64, is the first statewide officeholder in Ohio known to have contracted the coronavirus, but his office says he stayed home and feels well now.

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 7,814 new COVID-19 cases and 121 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 454 hospitalizations and 43 ICU admissions.

9:15 a.m. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the Buckeyes still plan to play for the college football championship next Monday, following reports that the game could be postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the team.

7:30 a.m. Despite concerns that many nursing home staff are declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio will not mandate that workers take it. Instead, he said the state will announce a certification program showing how many people in each facility have been vaccinated.

Tuesday, January 5

5:15 p.m. In a press release, the the Ohio Department of Health announced it would issue a directive requiring that vaccine providers develop plans for redistributing surplus doses. Gov. Mike Dewine said a long-term care facility recently overestimated how many doses its residents and staff would need, after more workers than expected declined to take it, which led to seven vials containing 35 vaccine doses expiring.

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference.

  • As of Sunday, 61% of nursing homes have made the first dose of a vaccine available to residents and staff. DeWine said that only about 40% of staff is choosing participate. About 75% to 80% of residents are participating.  
  • Ursel McElroy, director of Ohio Department of Aging, said that there are ongoing programs to educate nursing home staff on safety because staff refusal or delay hurts efforts to eradicate the virus.
  • In the vaccine rollout, phase 1A is about one million people and comprises healthcare workers, nursing home staff and residents, and EMS workers among others.
  • Phase 1B includes over two million people and comprises of those 65 and older, those with congental or developmental disorders, and the staff at k-12 schools. DeWine said he hopes this phase will start in two weeks.
  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff of the Ohio Health Dept. said that hospitalizations across the state have jumped. Ohio now has three times the hospitalizations it had on Nov. 1 and almost seven times the number from Oct. 1. He said some patients may be diverted to neighboring hospitals when neccesary.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said businesses with liquor permits are eligible for the Restaurant and Bar Assistance Fund and a $2,500 assistance payment.

2:02 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 7,580 new COVID-19 cases and 104 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 538 hospitalizations and 44 ICU admissions.

11:11 a.m. Cleveland Browns have announced that head coach Kevin Stefanski, two other coaching staff members and two players have tested positive for COVID-19. The team has once again closed its facility while it conducts contact tracing. The Browns are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend in its first appearance in the NFL playoffs since 2002.

Monday, January 4

1:48 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 5,942 new COVID-19 cases and 67 more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 314 hospitalizations and 45 ICU admissions.

9:12 a.m. Incoming Ohio Senate president Matt Huffman will have to take the oath of office from home after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Huffman has mild symptoms and plans to be back at the Statehouse next week.

9:04 a.m. A federal appeals court last week gave the go-ahead for Christian schools in an Lucas County to hold in-person classes during the pandemic. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday granted an injunction to Christian schools in the Toledo area who say their rights to religious expression have been violated by local health department's order closing schools until January 11. 

8:40 a.m. On CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Gov. Mike Dewine said that 61% of the state's nursing home residents had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, just 160,000 Ohioans have received the vaccine so far, less than 1.5% of the state's population.

Sunday, January 3

1:52 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported 6,808 new COVID-19 cases and 59 deaths in the last day. The state also logged 165 hospitalizations and 23 ICU admissions.

Saturday, January 2

2:36 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 14,293 new COVID-19 cases and 55 deaths in the last 48 hours. The state also saw 299 more hospitalizations and 40 ICU admissions over the same time period. Ohio did not report new numbers on Friday due to the New Year's holiday. 

Friday, January 1

1:58 p.m. Ohio did not report numbers on Friday, due to the New Year's holiday. Saturday's numbers will reflect both January 1 and 2.

Read Previous Updates From November 2-December 31, 2020