Coronavirus Update: Increase in Cases, College Vaccine Clinics & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — In Columbus, 208 cases of COVID-19 were reported as of Wednesday, March 31. As of Thursday, April, 83,853 total cases and 1,016 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Columbus and Worthington.
In Franklin County at large, 308 cases were reported as of Wednesday.
Countywide, 126,132 total cases and 1,525 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
In Ohio, 2,475 cases were reported on Thursday.
Statewide, 1,020,041 total cases and 18,609 deaths have been confirmed or are probable since the start of the pandemic, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health. 968,057 Ohioans have been presumed recovered.
According to the Ohio Vaccination Dashboard, 3,476,566 Ohioans (29.74% of the total population) have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine. 366,062 Franklin County residents (27.8% of the county population) have received at least one valid dose.
Those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment here or call 1-833-427-5634 for help with scheduling.
Ohio Sees Cases, Hospitalizations Increase — A Thursday press conference saw Ohio Governor Mike DeWine make note of the state’s increase in cases, hospitalizations, and variant activity.
Cases increased from 1,570 new cases last week compared to almost 2,500 new cases on Wednesday. Hospitalizations saw an increase from 851 a week ago to 978 on Wednesday. Variant counts have jumped from 173 two weeks ago to 620 on Thursday, said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer at the Ohio Department of Health.
Officials noted the northwest part of the state is seeing more of the increase in cases and variant activity, which could be attributed to recent COVID hotspots in Michigan.
The governor also noted although vaccine doses are currently being allocated across the state by population, areas with greater demand or case spikes may begin receiving a surge in doses.
Vaccine Clinics to be Offered to College Students, Businesses — Beginning next week, Ohio will start working to vaccinate all college students who want the vaccine, to get students vaccinated before they head back home for summer break.
By offering vaccinations on public and private campuses, said the governor, the state believes more college students — among an age demographic of significant carriers — will opt to get the vaccine with their fellow students. Students on college campuses will be offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with the goal of reaching all of Ohio’s colleges before the school year ends in May.
Ohio will also use a similar strategy and work with businesses, labor unions and other organizations to offer vaccinations to employees at their jobs starting the week of April 12.
Ohio Won’t Require ‘Vaccine Passports’ — Gov. DeWine said during the press conference that there are no plans for the state to require residents to have a “vaccine passport,” or proof of immunization. He said businesses could decide if they want to require one.
Relatedly, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of 45 attorneys general in raising concerns about the sale of fraudulent CDC vaccination cards online.
Celeste Center Releases Schedule — Columbus’ mass vaccination center at the Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds has released a schedule of what vaccine will be available through the week. Starting April 1, the Pfizer vaccine will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one available to 16 and 17-year-olds.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.