Category Archives: Health News

Adena to Offer COVID-19 Vaccinations Starting Jan. 20

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Jan. 17, 2021) – Adena Health System, along with other statewide partners, will being offering COVID-19 vaccinations to the public this week as part of the state’s Phase 1B vaccination program. At this time, Ohioans age 80 and older are the first group eligible.

The Health System is set to receive 300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine early this week in preparation to begin administration on Wednesday, January 20 at the PACCAR Medical Education Center located on the campus of Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe.

Adena’s vaccination administration will be by appointment only. The Health System has begun contacting its patients that meet the eligibility requirements to set appointments. Vaccination appointments can also be made by eligible non-Adena patients by calling Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at (740) 542-SAFE (7233). Those who cannot get an appointment can be placed on a wait list by visiting www.adena.org/COVIDvaccine. At this time, Adena is offering the vaccine at no cost.    

WHERE:         PACCAR Medical Education Center

446 Hospital Rd

Chillicothe, OH  45601

WHEN:            Wednesday, Jan 20, 12–5 p.m.

                        Thursday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                        Friday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Individuals with appointments to receive their vaccination through Adena are asked to bring photo identification and be prepared to wait approximately 15-30 minutes following their shot for monitoring. All vaccination recipients will be asked to schedule and receive their second of the two doses required from the same location at the appropriate time.

In the early stages of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, doses will be available in limited supply for specific critical populations as a part of phased approach. As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.

The Ohio Department of Health has launched a tool on coronavirus.ohio.gov where Ohioans can select their county or ZIP code to see a list of providers that received the vaccine. Community members are encouraged to check the state’s website for additional vaccine administration locations. In most counties, vaccines are being made available through area health systems, hospitals, county health districts, local pharmacies and other locations. Each provider manages its own schedules and appointments. Due to the limited supply of vaccines at this time, please do not make appointments at multiple locations.

Highland Co. COVID-19 Vaccination Process

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Highland County Health Department has released a combined list of COVID-19 providers in Highland County for the initial Phase 1B vaccination group.  Highland County has received a total of 300 doses for its 80 and older group. 

Highland County Residents 80 years old and older are eligible for vaccination the week of January 19th.

Highland County COVID-19 Vaccine Providers List

To register, contact these facilities directly. Vaccines are available by appointment only.

Corner Pharmacy, Greenfield – 937-981-2454

Highland County Health Department – 866-395-1588

Kroger Pharmacy in Hillsboro – (registration opens Saturday, January 16) 866-211-5320 www.kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccine 

All locations in Highland County have Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Before your Appointment

Speak with your healthcare provider if you have ever:

Had a severe allergic reaction to food, medicine, or vaccines

Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Have an autoimmune or immune compromised condition

Are currently taking anticoagulants

For your Appointment

Bring a copy of your Photo ID with Date of Birth

Bring your Insurance Card

Bring any pre-filled registration forms

Bring only one other adult with you

Wear short sleeves or loose-fitting clothing

Be prepared to wait 15 minutes after your vaccination.

Supplies are limited, and phone and other registration systems are likely to experience outages and delays while trying to keep up with registration demands.  Patience is appreciated. 

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1B Vaccinations, Nursing Home Vaccinations, County Data

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS 

Governor DeWine today highlighted the vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program, which is set to begin next week for those ages 80 and up.

Week of January 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.

Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up following the same process outlined above. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.

Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above. 

“When a new age range opens, that does not mean vaccinations will be complete for the previous age range,” said Governor DeWine. “Vaccinating Ohioans in Phase 1B will take a number of weeks given the limited doses available.”

Beginning tomorrow, Ohioans aged 80 and up can find additional information about providers administering vaccines by calling their local health department or visiting their local health department website.   

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will launch a tool tomorrow morning on coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist residents looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines.

The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local resources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability.

“Providers throughout the state are developing systems that work best for them in terms of scheduling and administering vaccinations,” said Governor DeWine. “As we continue to rollout additional vaccination groups, we will work with our local partners, and modify the process as needed.”

The Ohio Department of Health is in the process of developing a state vaccination scheduling system.  Additional information is forthcoming.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is imminently close to completing the administration of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines in skilled nursing facilities.  

“When we started distributing the vaccine in Ohio, one of our first goals was to vaccinate our most vulnerable in our nursing facilities,” said Governor DeWine. 

Ohio partnered with four pharmacies through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership in distribution of the vaccine to skilled nursing facilities. These facilities are a part of Phase 1A. 

Absolute has administered 100% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines as assigned.

As of yesterday, CVS has administered 97% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines at the 478 assigned facilities. It is anticipated CVS will finish the administration of doses this week.  

Pharm Script has completed 61 of 63 assigned facilities, and will complete the administration of doses today.  

Walgreens has completed 95% of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines at the 398 assigned facilities.  

Within the Federal Pharmacy Partnership, Ohio, with 3.6% of the U.S population, has administered more than 8% of the vaccines in this program nationwide.  This is above the anticipated pace of administering the vaccine. 

OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

 All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. 

88 Counties

Governor DeWine also discussed key measurements regarding incidence cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks, as well as regional COVID-19 ICU utilization. 

“We saw new cases per capita at the statewide level increase since last week, which indicates that COVID-19 continues to spread in both urban and rural communities throughout Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. 

Key Measures

GENERAL MOTORS COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

Lt. Governor Husted today announced the community investment from General Motors as part of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority recommendation. 

 The agreed investment of $12 million includes:

  • $5 million to Youngstown State University for workforce development in partnership with Gateway Community College, and funding for the YSU Energy Storage Innovation and Training Center.
  • $3 million to the Village of Lordstown for the design and construction of a new water tower.
  • $2.5 million to the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments for local infrastructure improvements.
  • $1.5 million to the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition to support community workforce development.

In September, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a recommendation by the Ohio Development Services Agency to terminate the Job Creation Retention Tax Credit agreements with General Motors following the company’s decision to close its Lordstown assembly facility.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 807,293 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,990 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 42,491 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,289 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Adena Allergists Address COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Pictured (L-R): Adena allergists and immunologists Dr. Rekha Raveendran and Dr. Dana Esham. Submitted photo

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Jan. 14, 2021) – For months, the approval of vaccines to stop the spread of the Coronavirus has been seen as a critical next step in the eventual return to normalcy. As approval of two vaccines thus far – produced by Pfizer and Moderna – has become reality and administration of initial doses has begun, it continues to be met with questions and uncertainty among some as they consider whether to take the vaccinations once they become generally available.

Whether their hesitance has been brought on by the uncharacteristic speed at which the vaccine was developed and approved, worries about potential side effects, misinformation circulating on social media or simply a desire to wait and see how others handle the vaccinations before agreeing to take the two-shot dosage, it has become apparent that clear communication regarding the vaccine is a must.

Adena board-certified allergists and immunologists Dr. Rekha Raveendran and Dr. Dana Esham – both having already taken the first dose of the Moderna vaccine and heartily encouraging others to do so when it becomes available to them — have been doing extensive research on the various COVID-19 vaccines. Recently, they took some time to address many of the questions surrounding the Moderna vaccine.

SPEED OF VACCINE DEVELOPMENT

While vaccines traditionally are years in the making, there have been several factors that have contributed to the shorter time frame with this virus, including the fact that earlier last year, scientists received the genetic makeup of COVID-19, which made vaccine development easier. This circumstance, coupled with the fact that mRNA vaccines have been in development over the past decade in response to other viral diseases, have also helped speed the process along, as did the amount of funding made available to push COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing forward.

HOW THE VACCINE WORKS

One of the common concerns Dr. Esham hears from patients is that it will have a negative impact on their genetic makeup, which is not the case. The vaccine utilizes a small piece of mRNA that is picked up by the cells in the body to create the spike protein contained on the outside of the COVID-19 virus. The body’s immune system then recognizes the spike protein as an intrusion and destroys the cell while creating antibodies against that protein. Those antibodies will then attack the virus immediately if exposed to it in real life before illness can set in.

Addressing another related concern the two physicians have heard, a person cannot contract COVID-19 through the vaccine because there is no active virus within the vaccine.

“When you get the vaccine, you are getting mRNA that encodes for just a piece of the virus (the spike protein),” Dr. Raveendran said. “By getting this information, your body can make very specific antibodies to the spike protein which can neutralize the virus and protect you should you come in contact with it.”

VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS

In clinical trials, Moderna’s vaccine was shown to be 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection seven weeks after trial participants received the second dose, with just five people out of 13,934 who received the actual vaccine contracting COVID-19 versus 90 out of the 13,883 participants who were given a placebo. In the trials, the vaccine was 100% effective in the 65-and-older demographic and 93.4% effective in the 18-to-64 demographic, as well as 100% effective against severe infections. The trials also revealed that it can be administered to immunocompromised patients, but its effectiveness may be diminished for them, as well as for any patients who take the first dose but fail to receive the second.

Dr. Esham said those who receive the first dose are, at best, 50 percent protected – making that second dose essential to reach that 94.5% effectiveness. Additionally, it may take 10 to 14 days after the first shot to reach even that 50 percent protection as the body reacts to the vaccine.

She added that even after taking the second dose, people still need to take public safety precautions such as mask wearing and social distancing until enough people take the vaccine to build up more of a herd immunity.

SIDE EFFECTS

While there have been no significant side effects or allergic reactions reported out of the Moderna trials, Dr. Esham and Dr. Raveendran have fielded questions about the few reported serious allergic reactions being investigated from the Pfizer vaccine – the ingredient polyethylene glycol (PEG) is being looked at as the most likely trigger for those reactions but further investigation is still being done into the cause of those reactions. Both vaccines contain the ingredient, but the allergists noted serious allergies to it are fairly rare and that PEG can be found in many everyday products including laxatives, lubricants, toothpaste, lotions and other items. As such, they indicated those who have PEG allergies may already be aware that they have a reaction to PEG and should consult with an allergist when considering whether to take the vaccine.

The most common side effects, however, are those similar to flu shots – some pain at the injection site following the first dose and headache, fatigue, chills and some aching joints reported by some trial participants from the second dose. Those side effects typically last anywhere from two to three days and are more common following the second dose.

VACCINATIONS WITH OTHER ALLERGIES, CONDITIONS

Dr. Esham shares the story of a patient with asthma and medication allergies who didn’t think she could take the vaccine. The fact she had those conditions – particularly for a virus with breathing difficulties as a major symptom – was exactly why she should take the vaccine, Dr. Esham said.

In fact, the doctors noted, those with common food, medication, insect or seasonal allergies are no more at risk of an allergic reaction to the vaccine than those without those conditions. Those with a known history of severe allergic reactions to PEG, however, will likely be advised to avoid the vaccine.

THE UNKNOWNS

While there’s no long-term data available as yet regarding the length of the vaccine’s protection, there is 90-day data from about three dozen people showing the titers showing protection are still there. As time passes, more data continues to be collected.

“The initial data did show that the vaccinated patients have better antibody response,” Dr. Esham said. “I think that’s an important distinction for people to know.”

While getting infections naturally can lead to immunity, this is not always the case. There have been reports of patients getting COVID-19 more than once, as well as patients not having evidence of neutralizing antibodies even after severe COVID-19 infections.

With vaccines, the goal is targeted immune response to a part of an infectious agent, in this case the spike protein. By being able to target a specific response to a specific part of the virus, the vaccine can provide a better and more specific antibody response in the majority of recipients.

The most recent unknown comes in the form of reports of a mutated strain of COVID-19 originally coming out of the United Kingdom and now being found in some states. Both doctors said it is too early to tell what impact that may have on the effectiveness of the vaccine, but that it shouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether to take the vaccine.

“I still think if it’s between getting the vaccine and not getting the vaccine, I would certainly get the vaccine,” Dr. Esham said. “If a new strain becomes an issue and they have to change the vaccine just like they do with the flu vaccine, then we do that.”

Dr. Raveendran added that, on occasion, the flu vaccine doesn’t always match up exactly with the predominant strain of the virus, but that it still provides enough protection to lessen the effects on those who contract the flu. The hope, she said, is that would be the same situation with any mutated strains of COVID-19.

Moderna recently released a statement expressing confidence its vaccine will be effective against variant strains of the virus, saying the company will continue with testing against those strains.

THE RECOMMENDATION: TAKE THE VACCINE

Both Dr. Esham and Dr. Raveendran enthusiastically encourage taking the vaccine, asking those making up their minds to consider the tragic deaths, long-term health issues, social distancing, economic impact and daily struggles we all continue to experience. They also stress that those who do take it cannot let their guard down in the near future and must continue practicing socially responsible behavior regarding the virus.

“I want people to be excited, because I think this is the first step to getting our lives back, but we need to take a cautious step because we’re not going to be back to normal life by June,” Dr. Esham said, noting the speed with which other companies get approval for their vaccines and increase the available supply across the country could impact timelines.

Both doctors say they welcome patients to reach out to them with any questions about the vaccine that may make their decision about taking it a bit easier.

For more about Adena Health System, visit us at adena.org, or follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter @adenamedical.

RCHD Starting Phase 1B of COVID-19 Vaccination

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(Chillicothe, OH) — The Ross County Health District (RCHD) is currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals who are eligible in Phase 1A of the state’s COVID- 19 Vaccination Program. This includes those working on the frontlines during the pandemic response, such as EMS personnel and healthcare workers who care for COVID patients. Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program will begin in Ross County on January 19, 2021.

The first tier of Phase 1B includes those 80+ years old of the general population (those not living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes). We have started a registration list and will begin scheduling individuals from that list soon. If you need to register, you can do so on our website.

There are 420,000 individuals in this age range in Ohio. Governor DeWine reported that Ohio is expected to receive 100,000 doses of vaccine per week. This means not everyone age 80+ will be able to get the vaccine in the first week. Our goal is to vaccinate all of those eligible for the vaccine who choose to receive it as quickly as possible. We are working with other providers in the area to distribute the vaccine efficiently, but the number of vaccines distributed to Ross County residents depends on the number of doses the State receives.

According to Governor DeWine, Ohioans 75 years of age and older and those with severe congenital or developmental disorders will be able to receive vaccine starting the week of January 25, 2021. Ohioans 70 years of age and older and all employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models will be able to receive vaccine starting the week of February 1, 2021. Ohioans 65 years of age and older will be able to receive vaccine starting the week of February 8, 2021.

Employees of K-12 schools will receive information on the vaccine and registration from their school administrators. We will open registration for those with severe congenital or developmental disorders closer to the week of January 25.

The list of Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders includes cerebral palsy; spina bifida; congenital heart disease; type 1 diabetes; inherited metabolic disorders; severe neurological disorders including epilepsy; severe genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Turner syndrome; severe lung disease, including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma; sickle cell anemia; and alpha and beta thalassemia.

Please be patient as this process will take time. The number of vaccinations RCHD can administer depends heavily on the amount of vaccine received by the State. When a new age range opens, that does not mean every person in previous ranges have been vaccinated as this is a two-dose vaccine. It simply means that vaccine availability to the State is increasing. Please email us at information@ rosscountyhealth.org if you have any questions or read about Ohio’s Phased Approach to COVID- 19 Vaccination here.

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1B Timeline

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHASE 1B TIMELINE

Governor DeWine today reemphasized the vaccine distribution timeline for Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program which is set to begin next week with those ages 80 and older.

This week: Today, the Ohio Department of Health will receive information from the federal government on Ohio’s vaccine allotment for the upcoming week. This information, including which providers will receive vaccines and how many, will be communicated to local health departments this evening. Each county health department, in partnership with their local emergency management agency and vaccine providers, will communicate vaccine distribution plans with the media and the public on Wednesday and Thursday. The process to vaccinate those in each county will vary depending on the provider. Some are expected to hold walk-up clinics, others may take appointments, etc.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health will launch a tool on coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist citizens looking for a provider that has been allotted vaccines. The tool will be searchable by zip code or county, but it will not be updated in real-time. It is critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local sources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability. 

Hospitals that are vaccinating their frontline healthcare workers as part of Phase 1A must complete these vaccinations by Sunday, January 17.

Week of January 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.

Week of January 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up following the same process outlined above. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.

Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above. 

Vaccine providers are not expected to vaccinate everyone in each age group in one week. As new age groups are authorized to receive vaccinations, previous age groups will continue receiving the vaccine. 

Senior citizens with questions on the vaccination process are urged to contact the Area Agencies on Aging at www.aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-866-243-5678.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

To date, 85 percent of Ohio’s nursing homes have been visited by a vaccine provider as part of Phase 1A. Vaccine providers anecdotally tell the Ohio Department of Health that the number of residents and staff accepting the vaccine is increasing. 

In Ohio’s two nursing homes operated by the Ohio Department of Veteran Services, 92 percent of veterans have accepted the vaccine. Regarding staff, 60 percent have opted to receive the vaccine in the Sandusky home and 42 percent have chosen to be vaccinated in the Georgetown home.

BROADBAND EXPANSION INVESTMENT

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that Southern Ohio Communication Services, Inc., in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and Pike County Economic & Community Development, plans to invest $3.8 million to provide high-speed Internet service over 64 miles to 1,300 residential and business customers in southern Ohio.  Southern Ohio Communications Service received a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant toward building and engineering costs. Learn more about the announcement here.

INDUSTRY SECTOR PARTNERSHIP AWARDS

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that 12 partnerships have been awarded for a total of $2.5 million for the Industry Sector Partnership Award Grant Program. The selected partnerships are located in various regions across Ohio and focus on multiple in-demand industry sectors, including healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, construction and transportation.

“These awards will jumpstart and expand workforce partnerships across Ohio that are helping more individuals earn the skills needed to successfully find employment,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “This is real-world skill development where educators and businesses work together to help people gain the skills they need to get hired for jobs that pay well and have a future. Enhancing meaningful partnerships between the business and education community is key to growing Ohio’s workforce and filling in-demand jobs at a time when many people are looking for opportunities, but not sure where to start.”

Learn more about the Industry Sector Partnership Grant by visiting Workforce.Ohio.gov/ISP

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 792,938 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,802 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 41,863 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,237 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: U.S. Capitol Breach, County Data, Phase 1B Vaccinations

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(Pictured above, Governor Mike DeWine prepares to deliver remarks to Ohio following the events of Wednesday at the Nation’s Capitol Building)

Watch Governor DeWine’s Thursday News Conference here January 7, 2021

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

U.S. CAPITOL BREACH

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted shared additional comments regarding yesterday’s events at the United States Capitol.

“Yesterday was a sad day. It was a dark day for this great republic. This was a direct attack on the U.S. Constitution, and everything we hold dear,” said Governor DeWine. “Yesterday’s actions were shameful, and all Americans need to denounce these acts. It is time we all accept the election results, and the will of the People. We need to come together as a People, and we need to work together.”

OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

 All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to look more closely at the chart below, which shows the number of positive cases per 1,000 residents. 

County Data

PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced those in Phase 1B will be able to receive vaccinations beginning on Tuesday, January 19. Those 80 years of age and older will be prioritized first in this next phase, roughly totaling 420,000 Ohioans. Ohio is expected to receive 100,000 doses during the first week of distribution to Phase 1B.

“With up to 420,000 people 80 years and above, and only 100,000 doses available the first week, it will take several weeks to vaccinate those 80 years of age and older,” said Governor DeWine. “Phase 1B will take a few weeks, and a lot of coordination in distribution.”

Vaccines for Ohioans 80 years of age and older will be administered by physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, in-home health service providers, and some retail pharmacies.  As of today, the Ohio Department of Health has approximately 1,700 providers registered to distribute vaccines. 

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Health will be hosting a webinar for registered providers to discuss expectations, and instructions for distribution. Additional details will be shared with registered providers in the coming days.

Governor DeWine anticipates vaccinations will be available to Ohioans 75 years of age and older beginning Monday, January 25. The following week, vaccinations will be available to those 65 years of age and older.

“As we include other age ranges, please know that does not mean vaccinations will be complete for the previous age range,” said Governor DeWine.  

The week of January 25 will also include vaccinations for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early onset medical disorders.  Additional details about distribution for this group will be forthcoming.

During the week of February 1, Governor DeWine announced that vaccinations will be available for personnel in Ohio schools.  The Ohio Department of Heath will send forms to Ohio superintendents to indicate their school plans to go back to in full in-person and hybrid learning by March 1, as well as indicate the number of staff they believe will choose to take the vaccination.  Superintendents will also be asked if a community partner has been identified to help with the administering of the COVID-19 vaccines to school personnel.

Additional information about vaccinations can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

BROADBANDOHIO CONNECTIVITY GRANT

Lt. Governor Husted today announced that the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant, which provided $50 million to schools to help them purchase equipment for students to access the internet, has been extended. This program helps schools to fund everything from hotspots, to Wi-Fi, to access points on school busses. The grant was funded using Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the CARES Act.

The deadline to spend these funds was originally December 30, 2020, however, a second federal stimulus bill was signed at the of December, which extended the CRF expenditure deadline an additional year, until December 31, 2021. As a result, this administration extended the deadline for the BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant to the same date, December 31, 2021.

School districts now have more time to spend these funds for services they provide to students to keep them online.

More information about the grant program can be found at ohio-k12.help.

AMENDED HEALTH ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Sixth Amended Director’s Order to Limit Access to Ohio’s Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions.

This revised order clarifies that in-person compassionate care visits are permitted in nursing homes and similar facilities. The new order does not change required precautions all visitors must take, including but not limited to, wearing of a facial covering and social distancing.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 753,068 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,462 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 40,469 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,092 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

COVID-19 Update: Chillicothe Health CAre Worker Vaccinated During DeWine News Conference

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Heartland of Chillicothe’s Kaylee Stultz receives her COVID-19 Vaccination during Governor DeWine’s News Conference Tuesday afternoon. Stultz is Heartland’s Infection Preventionist.

One of the nursing home health care workers receiving their COVID-19 vaccination during Governor DeWine’s News Conference Tuesday was Kaylee Stultz, Infection Preventionist for Heartland of Chillicothe.

Beforehand, DeWine asked Stultz why she was decided to be vaccinated. “As a health care worker” said Stultz, “I’ve seen how COVID-19 has just devastated our community. It’s affected so many people I personally know, but then as well as my patients. And I just felt the vaccine is just one step closer in the right direction. So, with that, I’m gonna get the vaccine to protect myself, my family, may patients and people of my community.”

Stultz told Litter Media by phone Tuesday “When the Governor asked me how I felt and I told him ‘It was painless’, I don’t think he believed me.”

Watch Stultz receive her vaccination during the Governor’s News Conference

COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Phases,

Nursing Home Vaccinations, Virus Variant,

Vaccine Redistribution

COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATION PHASES

Governor DeWine today recapped Phases 1A and 1B of Ohio’s vaccine distribution plan. Because the availability of the vaccine remains limited in Ohio and across the country, Ohio is taking a phased approach that prioritizes the most vulnerable citizens, those in the healthcare field, and school staff members.

Phase 1A, which is currently underway, includes approximately 1 million Ohioans. 

Phase 1A

It is anticipated that vaccine distribution in Phase 1B will begin as Phase 1A begins to wind down. 

Phase 1B focuses largely on those who are 65 and older. Those in this age group are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and make up more than 87 percent of Ohioans who have died from the virus. Phase 1B also includes school teachers and other school staff who will be offered the vaccine in an effort to get Ohio’s children back to school as soon as possible. In total, Phase 1B includes an estimated 2.2 million people.

Phase 1B

Details of future phases of the vaccination plan will be announced as Phases 1A and 1B progress and as Ohio receives vaccines for the future phases. Ohio is currently receiving roughly 100,000 vaccines each week, although that number could increase if more vaccines are approved for administration.

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

As of Sunday, approximately 61 percent of nursing homes in Ohio have been visited by a pharmacy vaccine provider. Of those locations, only approximately 40 percent of staff members have chosen to receive the vaccination. Of nursing home residents, approximately 75 to 80 percent of residents have decided to receive the vaccine.

Nursing home staff and residents who have received their first dose of vaccine will begin receiving second doses on Friday. Governor DeWine encouraged those in nursing homes who initially declined to receive the vaccine to get their first dose as part of this second round. Following this opportunity, it may be some time before a first dose is available again.

VACCINE DISCUSSIONS FOR LONG-TERM CARE PROVIDERS

The Ohio Department of Aging will be hosting live discussions to help educate long-term care providers about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. State and community vaccine experts will be available to answer questions about the vaccine, and participants will have the opportunity to offer input to help state leaders make decisions to guide Ohio out of the pandemic.

VIRUS VARIANT

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health, provided information related to the coronavirus variation that was first seen in the United Kingdom.

“Although virus variations are normal, and most do not impact the behavior of a virus, this variation is notable because it appears to be more contagious than other variants of the coronavirus,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “Fortunately, this variant doesn’t appear to be more severe or to impact those who are already immune, but it worries us because a more contagious variant could lead to more people getting sick, more people being hospitalized, and more people dying.”

Ohio currently has three times the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations that it had on November 1 and nearly seven times the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations that it had on October 1. 

Dr. Vanderhoff stressed the importance of continuing Ohio’s coronavirus protocols of social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands, wearing masks, and accepting the vaccine when available to prevent the spread of all variants of the coronavirus and to prevent further increases in hospitalizations. 

VACCINE REDISTRIBUTION PLANS

The Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a directive requiring vaccine providers to develop a surplus vaccine redistribution plan. The directive follows a recent incident in which a long-term care facility in Ohio overestimated the number of vaccine doses needed for residents and staff. Seven vials of vaccine (35 doses) were not administered and expired.

“Every vaccine dose that Ohio receives must be administered,” said Governor DeWine. “Each vaccine represents a potential life saved, and it is our obligation to ensure that not a single dose is wasted.”

Vaccine redistribution plans will prioritize recipients based on Phase 1A and 1B vaccine distribution criteria. If a significant number of doses remain, vaccine providers must contact the Ohio Department of Health for immediate redistribution assistance.

NEXT ROUND OF TECHCRED NOW OPEN

Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the seventh round of TechCred – a program that helps businesses upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused credentials – is now open until January 29.

Ohio businesses can receive up to $2,000 for each tech-focused credential earned, up to $30,000 per employer each application period. Since the program’s start, a total of 966 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 15,105 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.

To learn more and apply, businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.

BAR & RESTAURANT FUND DEADLINE EXTENDED

The Lt. Governor also announced that the deadline to apply for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund has been extended to January 31.

There are approximately 15,400 on-premises liquor permits in the state eligible for assistance. Of that, roughly 10,854 or 70 percent have taken advantage of this funding opportunity as of today.

Governor DeWine designated $38.7 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and each active on-premises liquor permit is eligible for funding.  

While the program is referred to as the Bar & Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible permits. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.

Eligible businesses can visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply, which requires them to simply enter their liquor permit number and federal tax information.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATE CUT

The Lt. Governor also announced that Ohio’s public employers will pay $14.8 million less in premiums this year thanks to a rate reduction from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that went into effect January 1.

The rate cut means approximately 3,700 counties, cities, public schools, and other public taxing districts will pay an average of 10 percent less on their annual premiums than in calendar year 2020. The reduction, made possible by declining injury trends and relatively low medical inflation costs, is the twelfth cut for public employers since 2009 and follows a 10 percent cut in 2020.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 735,003 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 9,247 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 39,650 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,022 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Adena Health System vs the Challenges Presented in 2020

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Dec. 30, 2020) – The year 2020 has been unlike any other, with a global pandemic taking hold just a few months in, disrupting life as we knew it and leaving everyone adjusting and searching for what is considered the new normal. The year for Adena Health System was no different, but the physicians, advanced practice providers and caregivers across the nine-county region that Adena serves learned to adapt, innovate and strive in the face of ever-changing conditions brought on by coronavirus.

Across the country, the health care industry was pushed to its limits financially, balancing the care needs of those with the virus and those without while maintaining the physical and mental well-being of the health care heroes along the frontlines. Elective surgeries and procedures were even temporarily shut down at one point by the Governor to preserve valuable personal protective equipment and staffing resources.

Despite all these challenges and demands, Adena persevered. The Health System not only kept its promise to safely care for patients across south central and southern Ohio, but it also grew its presence in local communities, expanded its technology to meet the new needs of patients and built upon existing partnerships to bring more specialized care closer to home for patients and their families.

In late March of 2020, Litter Media’s Dan Ramey spoke with Adena President/CEO Jeff Graham and Chief Clinical Officer, Kirk Tucker, MD about Adena’s response in the early stages of the pandemic.

“This has definitely been an unprecedented year, one that none of us have seen in all our years in healthcare,” said Adena President & CEO Jeff Graham. “Adena’s mission is ‘called to serve our communities’ and I am so proud of the way our providers and caregivers have answered that calling. They not only have responded, but proactively met the challenges of this virus every day to safely provide care our region can trust. It is the strengths and talents of every person who calls themselves an Adena caregiver that we are in the position we are today. We can look towards 2021, not only with hope and promise, but with a foundation of clinical and operational excellence that will lead us for years to come.” 

Adena continued to enhance how it delivers care to patients throughout the region, achieving numerous industry accolades and announcing additional growth. These included:

·        Adena Regional Medical Center (ARMC), for a second consecutive year, being named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for 2020 by Healthgrades®;

·        The Health System being named a Gallup Exceptional Workplace. Now a five-time winner, Adena was one of just 38 organizations in the world to receive this distinction in 2020;    

·        ARMC’s Maternity Program being named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals;

·        ARMC being awarded an ‘A’ in the Spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade;

·        Adena Health Center – Woodlands and Adena Community Pharmacy – Woodlands opening to make care more accessible for Chillicothe’s downtown and east end residents;

·        Expanding care in Pickaway County, with the opening of Adena Urgent Care – Circleville;

·        Adena Family Medicine – Ironmen Clinic opening to the public to provide more localized care in Jackson County;

·        Adena and Nationwide Children’s Hospital expanding an ongoing partnership to now include 24/7 newborn and pediatric inpatient coverage and other expanded specialty services at ARMC;

·        Continuing construction of the new Adena Orthopedic and Spine Institute, scheduled to open on the campus of ARMC in summer 2021;

·        Adena Health System receiving positive news from several nationwide credit rating agencies with Moody’s Investors Service affirming the Health System’s A3 rating with a stable outlook and S&P Global assigning its A- rating with a stable outlook; and

·        The addition of 29 new physicians and advance practice providers across multiple service lines delivering even more options for comprehensive care.

“These, and so many other accomplishments over the past year, are keeping care accessible and close-to-home for our patients and families,” added Graham. “While COVID-19 created unique challenges for safe care delivery, I am so proud of our Health System’s response to this virus and many of the initiatives we have implemented as a result, such as telehealth services; curbside labs and testing; expanded specialty services and use of our critical access hospitals in Greenfield and Waverly. These moves, and more, will have lasting positive impacts beyond the pandemic as we continue to be a trusted healthcare partner for our region.”

As Ohio began its re-opening phase, Dr. Kirk Tucker participated in a Litter Media Special Report on “Moving Forward” during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Update: School Quarantine Guidance Change, Curfew Extension, Bar and Restaurant Grants Still Available

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO VACCINES

Ohio is expected to receive more than 238,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next week. Governor DeWine encouraged those administering the vaccine to do so with urgency. 

“Although we’ll never know whose lives have been saved, we do know that these vaccines are saving lives,” said Governor DeWine. “We all have a moral responsibility to get the vaccine out to those who choose to receive it as quickly as we possibly can.”

Governor DeWine also encouraged citizens who wish to be vaccinated to act with urgency when offered the vaccine. Because the vaccine is currently scarce, Governor DeWine warned that those who decline to receive a vaccine at the first opportunity may not immediately receive another chance. 

SCHOOL QUARANTINE GUIDANCE CHANGE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is changing its guidance regarding quarantines following an in-classroom exposure in K-12 schools. Moving forward, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom setting and all students/teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols.

The change follows an evaluation of virus spread in Ohio schools conducted by researchers with the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation Team. Preliminary results of the evaluation found no discernable difference in the risk of contracting the coronavirus between those in close contact with a COVID-positive person in the classroom and those who were farther away.  

“This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio’s classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working,” said Governor DeWine.

Schools should continue to require quarantines for exposed students in situations where masking and distancing protocols were not followed. The updated quarantine guidance does not apply to after-school activities, including sports. 

CURFEW EXTENSION

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 23, 2021. The extension is necessary until Ohio can determine if it will see a post-holiday case surge that impacts hospitals.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.

BAR & RESTAURANT GRANTS STILL AVAILABLE

More than 5,100 eligible on-premises liquor permit holders have not yet applied for state assistance through Ohio’s Bar & Restaurant Grant Program. Of the $38.7 million allotted to support liquor permit holders, more than $12 million remains unclaimed.

Each active on-premises liquor permit (as of 10.23.20) is eligible for $2,500 per location. The funding is not competitive, and the money does not have to be repaid. 

Although the program is referred to as the Bar & Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible liquor permits.  Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.

Permit holders who have not yet claimed their funds should visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 690,748 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,855 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 38,002 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,837 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.