CLEVELAND — Any fully vaccinated Ohioan will no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced at his briefing from the mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.
The site has administered over 237,000 first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine in just six weeks.
“By changing our health order, students 16 and 17 years old who are vaccinated will be able to participate in sports and other activities, even when they have been exposed to someone with COVID,” he said.
“This change will also apply to all adults, except those who are in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other congregate care settings outlined in the order. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities should continue to quarantine following CDC guidance.”
There are now over 1,900 vaccination locations in Ohio, and about 40 percent of the state’s population has been vaccinated, DeWine said.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
And those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations, too.
The new guidance represents another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in U.S.
For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of one another.
“Today, I hope, is a day when we can take another step back to the normalcy of before,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what you can’t do. Today, I am going to tell you some of the things you can do, if you are fully vaccinated.”
The change comes as more than half of U.S. adults — or about 140 million people — have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.
Ohio reports that Clinton County has had a total of 3,654 cases of COVID-19, with the death toll remaining at 60; 3,488 Clinton Countians are listed as presumed recovered.
The total reported cases of nearby counties followed by the number of deaths include:
Fayette County: 2,796; 48
Highland County: 3,501; 61
Brown County: 3,890; 56
Greene County: 14,882; 243
Warren County: 24,086; 295.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.