As vaccines are delivered, Ohioans hospitalized at record rates

Ohio changes mask policy back, again requires anyone returning to work to wear one
Posted at 2:31 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 20:50:13-05

As vaccines continue to be delivered and administered throughout the state, Governor Mike DeWine is providing another update on COVID-19 in Ohio.

One day after UC Health and OSU Wexner Center received their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, eight other hospitals in Ohio received deliveries on Tuesday:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Hospital, Franklin County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

The initial doses will be given to frontline hospital workers who come into contact with COVID-19 positive patients daily in the hopes of protecting them from the deadly virus. Nursing shortages have been reported across the state as hospital staff members have been quarantined, fell ill or experienced burnout as the pandemic continues on.

This week's vaccine deliveries will be just the start of what will be a large-scale rollout spanning the next month and into the New Year, as DeWine outlined the numbers of doses estimated to be delivered to Ohio from both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, which is expected to be approved in the coming week.

In total, this week, Dewine said the state received 98,475 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, all delivered to the 10 hospitals positioned throughout the state.

Next week, DeWine estimates Ohio should receive another 123,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 201,900 doses of the Moderna vaccines, providing a combined total of more than 420,000 vaccines in the state before Christmas.

During the week of New Year's, he said, the state expects an additional 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine received by healthcare workers this week demands a second dose due in January, however, so it's likely the New Year's Week shipment of Pfizer vaccines will go to the same frontline workers in hospitals who have received a vaccine this week.

However, despite the light flickering at the end of a long quarantine tunnel, Ohio's infection rates are still high and the state saw its second highest day of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday. There were 8,755 new cases reported, 103 deaths in 24 hours and 614 new hospitalizations.

"We must continue to try to do everything we can to prevent overwhelming the hospitals," said DeWine. "The data today tells us that Ohioans are being hospitalized at record numbers."

He added that, currently, in Ohio hospitals, there are more COVID-19 patients just in ICUs across the state than there were total hospitalizations for COVID during the previous peak over the summer.

Every county in the state is still considered a "high incidence rate," meaning there is a high probability of community spread in those counties. Five counties in the state are considered "purple," indicating severe exposure and spread and health officials recommend only leaving home for supplies and services in those counties.

You can watch the full address below: