Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:
• On Friday, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, and Ohio Lottery Commission Director Pat McDonald provided an update on the Ohio Vax-2-School program, announcing that the prize money has been doubled to a total of $2 million in scholarships.
Ohioans aged 12-25 can enter online at www.ohiovax2school.com or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) to win one of 150 $10,000 scholarships, or one of five $100,000 grand prize scholarships. The scholarships, awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans, can be used at the Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or career program of the winner’s choice. The Ohio Department of Health is using a portion of its Coronavirus Relief Funds to fund this innovative public outreach campaign and initiative.
In addition, the state hopes to expand the age group to include younger Ohioans.
“We are hearing promising news following the clinical trial and safety data submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Pfizer for their COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds,” said Vanderhoff. “In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine being authorized for children as young as 5 in the near future, we have decided to broaden the Ohio Vax-2-School program to include this age group, should they become eligible for vaccines.”
Ohio Vax-2-School is an opt-in program, meaning that you must enter to be eligible for the prize drawings. Any Ohioan in the eligible age group, currently 12-25, with possible expansion from 5-25, can choose to enter, and are encouraged to enter only after having received at least one dose of the vaccine. Individuals who entered, but did not win, Ohio’s Vax-A-Million drawings are eligible, but they must enter the Ohio Vax-2-School program, as entries do not carry over from Ohio Vax-a-Million.
There is no required time frame for which past vaccinations must have occurred.
“We had great success with Vax-a-Million, and we’re excited to assist the Department of Health again with this new initiative to help encourage younger Ohioans to get vaccinated,” McDonald said.
“We are hopeful that the $2 million in scholarship prizes will provide an incentive, much like Vax-a-Million did, to help speed up the vaccination timeline for Ohioans,” explained Vanderhoff. “As you will recall, in the first week after Ohio Vax-A-Million was announced, there was a 44% increase compared to the base in vaccination rates for those 16 and older, and a 15% boost the following week. For all ages, there was a 106% increase compared to the base in the first week, and a 53% increase the second week.”
A deadline to enter and drawing dates have not yet been announced.
• There were 199 new COVID cases reported last week by the Fulton County Health Department. That is down from 230 new cases the previous week.
As of Friday, there were 246 active cases in the county, which is down from 259 the previous Friday.
The week also saw 13 new hospitalizations and one new death.
Fulton County’s case rate fell to 785.7 per 100,000 over the previous two weeks but is still higher than the state as a whole. Overall for Ohio, the rate was 616.7.
• Fulton County has had 5,628 overall cases as of Sunday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. There have been 87 deaths reported in the county.
In Lucas County, there have been 53,092 total cases with 877 deaths, according to the health department.
• In Fulton County, 46.59% of residents have started the COVID-19 vaccine as of Sunday.
• COVID-19 vaccine is available Mondays at the Fulton County Health Department from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcomed.
It is also available at the Rite Aid locations in Archbold, Swanton, and Wauseon, the Swanton Kroger, and Wauseon Walmart.
• The CDC released guidance advising communities with substantial and high risk of transmission to be more diligent at controlling the spread of this disease. Fulton County is currently at high risk of community transmission.
More information on the CDC categories of community transmission risk can be found at covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.
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