Gov. Mike DeWine says he’ll lift the mask mandates and other health orders when Ohio’s coronavirus cases drop to 50 cases per 100,000 Ohioans over a two-week period. But why was that metric chosen and how is it being determined?
The Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says cases are more immediate indicators than either hospitalizations or deaths.
“Dropping below this marker should be a good indication that there’s enough immunity in Ohio, even in the face of infectious variants, is less of a threat," Vanderhoff says.
There are 11.9 million people in Ohio so that means the level would have to drop to 5,950 cases - or around 425 cases per day - for two weeks straight. Vanderhoff says the case level hasn’t been that low since last June. Right now, Ohio has 179 cases per 100,000 people.
Vanderhoff says he thinks Ohio is making progress with the vaccine effort so that could possibly happen early summer. But there's an unknown factor to consider here. Variants of the virus are expected to hit Ohio in coming months and if that increases the number of cases, it could make it harder to achieve that goal.