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Government/Politics

How Ohio's Governor Thinks Herd Immunity Can Be Accomplished

Gov. Mike DeWine
Jo Ingles
/
Gov. Mike DeWine

Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in an effort to achieve herd immunity. State leaders are saying they won’t mandate Ohioans to get the shots but there are some incentives being offered and more to come. 

After learning only about half of nursing home workers statewide had taken vaccines, Gov. Mike DeWine published names of facilities that hadn’t revealed their staff and resident vaccine status, and authorized a change that benefits those who gotten shots. 

“You know if you look at nursing home workers, we are requiring now that people who have not been vaccinated be tested more than people who have been vaccinated. And I think you are going to see that type of decision by businesses as we move forward," DeWine says.

Courts have ruled businesses can require workers to get vaccines as a condition of employment. Some Ohio companies are offering incentives to workers such as cash or time off.

The number of COVID cases has been rising in Ohio in recent weeks. At the same time, the state has loosened many of its limits on businesses and events. 
 
Entertainment and sports venues are operating at up to 30% capacity thanks to a recent state health order. Ohio State University plans 20,000 fans for its spring football game in its stadium this weekend.

Masks
Credit Jo Ingles
Masks

But Franklin County has returned to purple, which indicates the worst COVID-19 conditions on the state’s alert map. DeWine says Ohioans attending mass events will be required to do one thing to keep themselves and others safe. 

 
“Look. I think most things that people want to do they can do as long as they are wearing a mask. I think the mask is really the key," DeWine says.
 
DeWine says the number of positive cases should come down as more Ohioans are vaccinated. But the state has 200 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period and that’s four times the level DeWine has established for lifting the statewide mask order.
 

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