OHIO COVID-19 Update: Hospital Situation, Vaccine Incentives,
School Bus Drivers
COLUMBUS, Sept. 24, 2021: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today
provided an update on the increased impact that COVID-19
hospitalizations are having on our hospitals and a new vaccine
incentive effort to help keep our children in school, in-person,
five days a week.
LETTER FROM OHIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
“I received a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association
outlining the dire conditions facing our hospitals who are on
the front lines of treating patients with COVID. While they are
doing everything they can to help these patients, they are
facing a severe nursing and staffing shortage," said Governor
DeWine. “What they wrote is consistent with what we’ve been
hearing from front-line health care workers.”
The letter reported
that increasing cases are putting a strain on hospital
resources. The data shows:
In mid-July, Ohio hospitals were treating 200 COVID-19
patients, today that number is 3,702. That’s a 16-fold
increase in two months.
In mid-July, one out of 100 patients in the hospital were
being treated for COVID. Today the ratio is one out of six.
Today, 40% of patients on ventilators are being treated for
In rural Southeast Ohio half of hospitalized patients are
being treated for COVID-19 and two-thirds of the patients in
the intensive care unit are being treated for COVID.
The letter described
a situation where strained resources impact the ability to care
for all patients. Some Ohio hospitals are diverting patients
away from emergency departments, cancelling certain procedures,
experiencing long wait times in emergency departments, and
shutting down certain units to redeploy staff to critical
Governor DeWine emphasized that keeping kids in school,
in-person, five days a week, remains a priority. We
know that the best way to do that is to get students
vaccinated. In addition to protecting kids from the
severe effects of the virus, students who are
vaccinated, do not have to quarantine if exposed, which
means they won’t miss out on school.
To encourage eligible kids to get vaccinated, Governor
DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program, which
will be open to Ohioans aged 12 to 25 years old, and
will be similar to the scholarship portion of the
successful Vax-a-Million program. Prizes will include 50
scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000
scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career
or technical education. Prizes will be announced Monday
through Friday beginning the week of October 11th.
More details will be announced, including how to
register, in the coming days.
Governor DeWine also made a public plea, after hearing from
school districts across the state about the shortage of bus
drivers. He asked any Ohioan with a CDL license that also has a
bus driver certification, who are not employed, to contact their
local school district, to help drive school busses, temporarily.
He also spoke with Attorney General Dave Yost who agreed that,
moving forward, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation would
prioritize required background checks for school bus drivers,
educators, nurses, and other health care professionals.
CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Ohio's central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov
All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov