Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:
• Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that Ohio’s centralized scheduling website has been created, and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is now working with vaccine providers to enroll them in the system. The website will serve as a singular location for Ohioans to confirm that they are eligible to be vaccinated, identify nearby providers, and schedule their vaccine appointment.
Ohio and approximately 40 other states chose not to use the centralized system that the federal government intended to develop. Instead, Ohio chose to build its own centralized scheduling system. Despite the significant build time and configuration, the system was built within Ohio’s intended time frame.
ODH will work directly with vaccine providers to integrate their current systems into the statewide system and assist them in working through current wait lists to potentially integrate these commitments into the centralized system. Providers will be expected to use this system as Ohio looks to the future, and guidance will be provided in the near future regarding deadlines.
“Once most participating providers have signed up, the next phase will be to make the site live to those seeking to be vaccinated,” DeWine said. “Our goal is for Ohioans to have a positive customer experience when we launch the site to make appointments.”
Outside partners, including the Area Agencies on Aging, will be available to help Ohioans who do not have access to the internet with appointment scheduling.
• The Fulton County Health Department reported two new deaths but only three new cases on Tuesday. Combined with the 21 cases reported on Monday, there have now been 3,699 cases overall.
There are no updates from the county on weekends, so the Monday number includes Saturday and Sunday figures.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in the county now stands at 62.
There were no hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Fulton County reported Tuesday, according to the Health Department. There have been 200 so far in the county.
Among the cases through Tuesday, there were 2,020 females and 1,665 males. The median age for confirmed cases is 45.
Lucas County had 34,122 cases and 745 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 3,609 cases and 101 deaths, Williams County 2,969 cases and 77 deaths, and Henry County 2,393 cases and 60 deaths.
There have been 943,291 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there have been 48,739 hospitalizations and 6,949 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease, as of Tuesday’s update.
There are 14,000 confirmed deaths statewide, with 2,453 more probable COVID-19 deaths, through Tuesday.
• DeWine on Tuesday announced that due to severe weather across Ohio and the country, both Pfizer and Moderna have advised that direct vaccine shipments to providers may be delayed one to two days. The Ohio Department of Health has contacted all providers that are expecting direct shipments to notify them of these potential delays.
Many providers continued with their scheduled vaccination appointments, but some canceled appointments due to snow emergencies. These providers are contacting patients by phone call, email, or by posting on social media.
• As part of Ohio’s continuing efforts to ensure equity in Ohio’s vaccination program, ODH is holding virtual town hall meetings focused on specific minority communities. These virtual meetings will involve local medical professionals and community leaders who will guide these conversations to discuss the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The town halls will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. More details are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov/townhall.
• Share your local COVID-19 related information at firstname.lastname@example.org.