DeWine: Next 21 days are crucial; emphasizes Stay Safe Ohio Protocol


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



COLUMBUS — The next 21 days are crucial.

That was the message Thursday from Gov. Mike DeWine as Ohio reported 11,738 new cases of COVID-19 — the fourth-highest daily case count to date — with 111 deaths, 452 new hospitalizations and 31 new ICU Admissions.

“We simply cannot afford — on the very eve of a safe and effective vaccination — to further overwhelm our hospitals and healthcare providers with a holiday tsunami.” said DeWine. “As Ohioans, we need to each take personal responsibility for the next 21 days to keep the pandemic from spreading.

“These next several weeks will be the toughest yet. We’re heading into the biggest holiday season on our calendar, while riding the biggest wave of COVID-19 that we’ve had so far. What each of us does in the next 21 days will set us on the path — good or bad — for the next year.

DeWine, as well as physicians that appeared remotely during Thursday’s briefing, emphasized the Stay Safe Ohio Protocol which includes:

• Wear your mask

• Frequent handwashing/sanitizing

• Social distancing; keep interactions short and stay apart

• Stay at home, and work from home when able

• Don’t eat or drink with anyone outside of your household

• Limit travel

• Keep weddings and funerals safe

• Enjoy safe holiday activities

“We can protect each other,” DeWine added. “You and your families deserve to have some normalcy in your lives, and there are things that each one of us can do to help all of us live safely with the virus.”

About vaccines

In the early vaccination phase for the State of Ohio, supply will be limited. As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.

Learn more about Ohio’s phased approach at bit.ly/OhioVaccineFAQ and get answers to questions like: “Will there be enough vaccine for everyone in Ohio?”; “Who can get the vaccine first?”; “How will I know when I can get a vaccine?” and more.

Don’t forget flu shots

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week (#NIVW). It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Contact your healthcare provider or use the Vaccine Finder tool to find a flu vaccine provider today at http://vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine .

Jobless claims

Ohioans filed 36,327 initial jobless claims last week, according to statistics the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Thursday. This was 237,888 fewer than – or about 13% of – the peak earlier this year.

Ohioans filed 271,518 continued jobless claims last week, which was 504,784 fewer than – or about 35% of – the peak earlier this year.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/12/web1_vaccination-graphic.jpgState of Ohio

By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com