Ohio officials consider vaccine target to end health orders

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The DeWine administration is considering adding a new metric that would end all health care contracts in Ohio if a certain percentage of residents were vaccinated, the governor said Monday afternoon.

What you need to know

  • The COVID-19 case rate dropped to 147.9 on Tuesday
  • Governor DeWine said he was considering a new metric to end health care orders
  • Outdoor activities are much safer than indoor activities, DeWine said

Governor Mike DeWine said during a press conference that discussions “are ongoing” and the exact target for vaccination rates has not been set, he said.

“We haven’t come up with any yet; “Here is the specific number that all health orders are posted to.” We’re still talking about it and still looking at it, ”DeWine said.

On Monday, the case rate in Ohio was 147.9 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks, a decrease since the last update on Thursday when the rate was 155.6. Health directives would be lifted if that number falls below 50, but DeWine said Monday he would continue to consult medical advisors to add a vaccination target as an alternative way to get out of health restrictions, including the state’s mask mandate.

The governor said he thinks it will become clear that the two numbers – the case rate and vaccination rate – are closely correlated and predict a further decline in cases as more Ohioans are fully vaccinated.

Officials are considering a vaccination target to repeal Ohio’s health orders. (AP Photo: Thomas Samson, File)

DeWine said it was unclear how many more vaccinations would be required to achieve herd immunity.

“What makes this difficult is that we don’t know how many people now have immunity. We know how many of them are vaccinated,” he said. “But we don’t know how many people have had the virus and certainly have some immunity.”

The governor initially said he was interested in a vaccination target for ending health contracts on April 21 in response to Kentucky’s plan to lift restrictions when 2.5 million residents are vaccinated.

Among other states that have since announced similar plans, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is gradually lifting health instructions based on vaccination goals – the first being return to personal work when 55% of all eligible residents are vaccinated. All Michigan health orders will be suspended when 70% of all eligible adults are vaccinated.

DeWine said his administration will follow science, which now means realizing that outdoor activities are much safer than indoor activities.

“I will continue to consult the medical advisors. We will certainly be with Dr. [Bruce] Vanderhoff, but as for other changes, there may be other changes, ”he said when asked if Ohioans can expect loose restrictions on outdoor activities.

The governor also weighed in on Monday to share his reaction to the crowd at the NFL Draft in Cleveland. He noted that vaccination was required for one area of ​​the event, and he said outdoor gatherings wearing masks are not a high risk.

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