COVID-19 vaccine will soon be open to all 16 and older

Staff Report

Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:

• Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that on March 29 the COVID-19 vaccine will be open to anyone 16 years and older.

While at a mass vaccination site in Cleveland Tuesday, DeWine announced expanded vaccine eligibility in Ohio beginning on March 19 with phases 1E and 2C. Phase 1E includes those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and obesity.

Phase 2C extends eligibility to Ohioans who are 40 and older. Between these two eligible groups, 1.6 million more Ohioans will have access to the vaccine.

Beginning on March 29, eligibility will expand to all Ohioans ages 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved by the FDA for vaccinating those ages 16 and 17, but citizens 18 and older may receive the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The FDA has not approved the vaccination of children ages 15 or younger.

• The Fulton County Health Department reported 6 new cases on Tuesday. Combined with the 10 cases reported on Monday, there have now been 3,875 cases overall.

There are no updates from the county on weekends, so the Monday number includes Saturday and Sunday figures.

There have been 207 people hospitalized so far in the county. There have been 63 total deaths since March 2020.

Among the cases through Tuesday, there were 2,111 females and 1,751 males. The median age for confirmed cases is 45.

Lucas County had 36,507 cases and 740 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 3,794 cases and 93 deaths, Williams County 3,059 cases and 69 deaths, and Henry County 2,514 cases and 63 deaths.

There have been 992,223 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there have been 51,756 hospitalizations and 7,287 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease, as of Tuesday’s update.

There have been 17,992 deaths of Ohioans reported through Tuesday.

• DeWine announced Monday that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud has issued an addendum that updates quarantine guidance for student athletes and participants in extracurricular activities who may have been incidentally exposed to COVID-19 in a classroom setting.

For spring sports and extracurricular activities, students will not be required to quarantine because they have an incidental exposure to COVID-19 in a classroom under the school-based exposure guidance unless symptoms develop. Students will now be permitted to participate in organized sporting and extracurricular activities as long as they remain symptom-free and follow applicable safety precautions.

However, students who are exposed in other settings outside of the classroom will be required to continue following existing CDC quarantine guidance.

• The Wauseon and Delta public libraries are now distributing free at-home COVID-19 test kits. The tests are provided at no cost by the State of Ohio .

The tests are self-administered and can provide test results in as little as 15 minutes. The BinaxNOW COVID-19 at-home nasal swab test has been authorized by FDA under the Emergency Use Authorization for the detection of the proteins from SARS-CO-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens.

To use a test kit, you must have access to the Internet and either a smart phone/tablet with a camera or a computer/laptop with a webcam.

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Staff Report