COVID-19 Updates from Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky
Ohio State Updates: 3/31 - 4/6
Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a simplified health order that streamlines previous orders into a single order that underscores the most important tenants of infection prevention. "Our understanding of this virus and how it spreads is much more advanced than it was when we first learned about coronavirus in early 2020," said Governor DeWine. "As we move to begin a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, where more and more Ohioans are being vaccinated, this new order will focus on our best defense measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, being outside, and practicing good hand hygiene."
For the past two Thursdays, Ohio's statewide average was just under 150 cases per 100,000 population. The two-week case rate has now risen to 167.1 cases per 100,000. New cases had been relatively flat through the month of March, but cases are beginning to increase once again, which demonstrates the necessity that Ohioans choose to be vaccinated. To date, nearly 30 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this increase appears to be driven substantially by variants.
Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will begin working with employers and other organizations to offer workplace vaccination clinics throughout Ohio. Beginning the week of April 12, vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations.
Ohio's centralized scheduling website is now available at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. 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 appointments. Ohioans can also schedule mass vaccination clinic appointments by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
When Ohio reaches 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted. The current measurement is 167.1 cases per 100,000 people as of 4/7, up from 146.9.
Ohio recorded another slight increase in new COVID-19 cases, with an average of 1,899 new cases per day over the last 7 days compared to an average of 1,842 new cases per day over the previous 7 days.
There have been 1,030,864 total cases reported in Ohio with 18,741 deaths reported. There are 1,192 Ohioans hospitalized with 294 in the ICU. 176 patients are on a ventilator. A total of 12,937,623 tests have been administered, which puts Ohio at a 7-day Positivity Rate of 4.3%.
A total of 3,833,939 Ohioans have received at least one valid does of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday, April 7, 51 out of 88 counties are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map. You can see how your county is doing here.
Michigan State Updates: 3/31 - 4/6
All Michigan residents ages 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Mass vaccination sites including Ford Field and TCF Center, both in downtown Detroit, and at the DeVos Place convention center in Grand Rapids have inoculated tens of thousands of people while health departments, chain pharmacies and health systems continue to serve a steady stream of residents.
Michigan hospitals are responding to a third surge of COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began early last year that has been highlighted by a larger percentage of admissions of younger patients under 65. Hospital admissions are up 51 percent since the end of March — increasing for all age groups and all regions — but are highest for those 50-59 years old.
Dr. Jennifer Swiderek, medical director of the medical ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said "We are seeing less elderly and a younger age group than in the previous surges — in the 40 to 60 age range. They are not vaccinated yet while the over age 65 were eligible earlier", adding that the mortality rate hasn't increased yet.
Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), like other states across the country, remains under attack by criminals. Since Friday, April 2, Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims likely filed by criminals that have been halted for identity verification. No payments have been sent to the approximately 100,000 flagged claims. The expanded benefits available under the federal PUA program have resulted in increased activity among criminals, particularly those posing as self-employed workers or independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits.
When fraudulent or suspicious claims are identified by the UIA, a Request for Information letter that aides in verifying a claimant's identity is sent by mail to the address on the claim. In addition, when an individual files a claim for unemployment insurance, they will receive a written Monetary Determination letter.
If you receive either of these letters from the UIA, and did not file a claim for benefits, you may be a victim of identity theft. Please visit "Report Fraud or Identity Theft" to alert the Agency.
Oakland University (OU) is the first university or college in Michigan to announce a vaccination mandate amid the pandemic. Oakland University hopes that by mandating COVID-19 vaccination it can fill up its residence halls, which have been operating at about half capacity during the pandemic. They will require students living on campus in residence halls, apartments and cottages to provide proof of vaccination prior to fall semester move in on Aug. 27. Commuting students and teachers will not be required to be vaccinated and exceptions will be made for religious or medical exemptions.
Meanwhile, Wayne State University will restrict access on its Detroit campus amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. They will also be suspending face-to-face instruction and sports for at least the next 10 days as cases of COVID-19 soar in Detroit and elsewhere in Michigan, the school announced. The partial closure of the campus in Detroit, where the case count has swelled recently will run through at least April 17. The move comes after students returned from spring break last week.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are urging Michiganders to get tested for COVID-19 upon returning from Spring Break in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Students and families traveling across Michigan, to other states or out of the country risk being exposed to and carrying COVID-19 with them. This in turn could fuel outbreaks within their households and the communities where they live or visit. In efforts to make testing easier for travelers, the state is offering 37 pop-up sites located throughout Michigan as part of the special testing program.
Additionally, it is recommended that those who travel get tested three to five days after their trip and stay home and self-quarantine during this time period. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. For more information on additional test sites, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirustest.
New Michigan COVID-19 cases increased again last week with an average of 6,689 new cases per day over the last 7 days compared to an average of 5,362 new cases per day over the previous 7 days. Day-to-day numbers continue to fluctuate.
There have been 795,492 total cases reported in Michigan with 17,373 deaths reported. There are 3,373 Michiganders hospitalized with 668 in the ICU. 311 patients are on a ventilator. A total of 12,357,163 tests have been administered, which puts Michigan at a 7-day Positivity Rate of 15.1%.
A total of 3,199,731 million Michiganders have received at least one valid does of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday, April 7, 71 out of 83 counties are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map. You can see how your county is doing here.
Kentucky State Updates: 3/31 - 4/6
Governor Beshear announced all Kentuckians aged 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 16 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 and older. The Governor stated, “We are seeing in a number of states an increase in cases and hospitalizations, and it’s happening among younger people. We want to get ahead of the more aggressive COVID-19 variants and make sure that we fill every available appointment.”
The Governor celebrated the planned opening of Kentucky’s largest vaccination site, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, scheduled for April 12. UofL health professionals will be able to vaccinate up to 4,000 Kentuckians per day at the site. Over its seven-week run, the site will have the capacity to vaccinate nearly 200,000 Kentuckians from across the commonwealth. For more information or to make an appointment, visit UofLHealth.org or call 502-681-1435.
To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).
Pfizer and BioNTech reported their COVID-19 vaccine was 100% effective in protecting kids 12 and older against symptomatic disease in a study that included more than 2,200 children. The researchers who conducted the study said they had no safety concerns about the vaccine for this age group. Last week, Pfizer started testing their vaccine in children ages 6 months to 11 years.
Gov. Beshear signed an executive order that applies the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s order extending the nationwide moratorium on evictions from residential premises for nonpayment of rent through June 30, 2021. To be covered by the CDC eviction moratorium, complete this Declaration Form (Spanish version). The Governor has designated $264 million to the Team Kentucky Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund that can assist Kentucky renters in 118 counties with rent or utility payments. For more information and to apply, click here. He also extended an executive order on pharmaceuticals that allows all Kentucky pharmacists to dispense emergency 30-day refills on medications.
In-person unemployment insurance (UI) services will open April 15, by appointment only, at more than a dozen regional Kentucky Career Centers (KCCs). Kentuckians can begin scheduling Monday through Friday appointments at kcc.ky.gov. Special instructions: anyone attending an appointment must wear a mask at all times; a photo ID is required to enter a KCC building; temperatures will be taken before entering KCC buildings; accommodations will not be made for those without appointments. While staff make every effort to answer all questions during this appointment, UI specialists may not be able to provide a resolution during a single appointment. Some claims could require additional paperwork or take additional time to complete. An additional appointment will not be necessary.
New COVID-19 cases have increased very slightly in Kentucky this week, with an average of 574 new cases per day over the last 7 days compared to an average of 558 new cases per day over the previous 7 days. Day-to-day numbers continue to fluctuate.
There have been 430,860 total cases reported in Kentucky with 6,198 deaths reported. There are 383 Kentuckians hospitalized with 112 in the ICU. 66 patients are on a ventilator. A total of 5,124,328 tests have been administered, which puts Kentucky at a 7-day Positivity Rate of 2.87%.
A total of 1,481,252 Kentuckians have received at least one valid does of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday, April 7, 7 out of 120 counties are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map. You can see how your county is doing here.