DeWine: Next few weeks toughest yet; but Ohioans’ Thanksgiving contact reduced by 60-70%

By Tom Barr -

COLUMBUS — After Ohio vaccinated its first nursing home residents and staff on Friday, many other nursing homes are beginning to vaccinate this week as well.

Also, the Ohio National Guard received a waiver that allows them to help in the administration of COVID-19 vaccine.

“These next several weeks will be the toughest yet, and we can’t afford to overwhelm our hospitals with a flood of new COVID-19 cases from the holidays,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine at Monday’s briefing. “If you are an employer whose employees can work from home, now is the time.”

He announced 6,548 new cases in Ohio. “Sadly, we had 75 deaths reported since yesterday [Sunday],” he said. “This past Saturday, we eclipsed 8,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 301 new hospitalizations and 37 new ICU admissions were also reported in the last 24 hours.”

DeWine discussed New York Times data showing that people in Ohio greatly reduced their travel and contacts with others over Thanksgiving and that, compared to last year, there was a 60-70% reduction in the number of contacts people had over the holiday.

“Some did hold traditional Thanksgiving gatherings, which resulted in some COVID-19 spread, but those appear to be exceptions,” said DeWine. “Most Ohioans did well limiting gatherings.

“It’s critical that we keep up the work we started during Thanksgiving for the next several weeks to prevent another surge in January. If we can get through Christmas and New Year’s without a significant surge, we will be much better positioned to start 2021 against this virus.”

DeWine also reminded, “Ohio healthcare providers are taking steps to keep you safe during visits. Remember — well-visits, vaccinations, vision and dental check-ups, and preventive care can help keep us healthy while we fight the battle against COVID-19.” of Ohio

By Tom Barr