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Coronavirus Update: Columbus Repeals Mask Mandate, Ohio Reaches 50 Cases Per 100K Residents

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Coronavirus Update: Columbus Repeals Mask Mandate, Ohio Reaches 50 Cases Per 100K ResidentsPhoto by Polina Tankilevitch.
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Editor’s Note: As case trends continue downward and we return to somewhat normalcy, it stands to reason our weekly Coronavirus Updates come to a close. For more on what’s happening across the city as we approach post-COVID life, you can subscribe to Columbus Underground newsletters like Food & Drink, Mega Weekend and more. However, the pandemic is not over — please continue to be safe and mindful of current health precautions.

The Numbers

COVID-19 cases — In Columbus, 21 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday, June 7. As of Monday, 91,134 total cases and 1,099 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Columbus and Worthington.

In Franklin County at large, 29 cases were reported on Monday.

Countywide, 136,572 total cases and 1,650 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.

In Ohio, 426 cases were reported on Tuesday, June 8.

Statewide, 1,105,329 total cases and 20,021 deaths have been confirmed or are probable since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health. 1,072,071 Ohioans have been presumed recovered.

According to the Ohio Vaccination Dashboard, 5,398,252 Ohioans (46.18% of the total population) have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine. 648,401 Franklin County residents (49.24% of the county population) have received at least one valid dose. View vaccinations by age group here.

Those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment here or call 1-833-427-5634 for help with scheduling.

Council Votes to Repeal City Mask Mandate

Columbus City Council passed an ordinance Monday to align the city’s mask regulations with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health and local health official guidance.

The repeal will go into effect once approved by Mayor Andrew Ginther.

City council members and Columbus health officials still urged residents who have not been vaccinated to continue wearing masks in public settings. They also noted social distancing rules still apply “in all cases.”

“The pandemic is not over. If you are not vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible – and continue to wear a facial covering until you are fully vaccinated to protect yourself and others,” said Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

“Although we are excited about the progress we have made as a city and a nation, we must not lose sight that the pandemic is not over,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “Roughly, 43% of Columbus is vaccinated. We are still encouraging unvaccinated residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing until COVID-19 is eradicated.”

State Reports Fewer Than 50 COVID-19 Cases Per 100K Residents

On Saturday, June 5, the state reached fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents — the original benchmark the governor set in March for lifting COVID-19 related health orders — just three days after those orders were officially rescinded.

The two-week statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents was 49.5 from May 22 to June 4. Case rates have been as high as more than 900 cases per 100,000 residents last December. The last time the state reached fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents was last June.

The governor attributed cases, hospitalizations and deaths being down to Ohioans getting vaccinated.

Vaccinations are working. That’s why cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are down,” said Governor DeWine. “But that doesn’t mean we can let our foot off the gas. If you’re not vaccinated against COVID-19, continue to wear a mask in public and Ohioans that are able to get vaccinated should.”

Johnson & Johnson Vaccines to Expire, DeWine Urges Unvaccinated to Act

On Monday, Governor DeWine announced that 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were set to expire, and urged vaccine providers to distribute them as quickly as possible.

He also urged unvaccinated Ohioans waiting to get the vaccine to do so.

“I urge you to take action now. There are many opportunities throughout the state to get a vaccine,” said the governor. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one of those options. It is safe and effective and only requires one shot. In just two weeks, you could be protected from this virus.”

In a release to media, the Governor’s Office notes there are currently no legal options for sending the vaccine elsewhere, including other states and other countries.

“Getting vaccinated is the quickest way out of the pandemic and the fastest way for us to return to the lives we remember,” he said.

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

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