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DeWine condenses health orders, eyes vaccines for high schoolers and college students

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 4:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday 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.”

Governor DeWine announced that he has asked Ohio’s local health departments and vaccine providers offering the Pfizer vaccine to coordinate with local high schools to offer vaccinations to high school students who are 16 or older. Pfizer is the only vaccine that is currently approved for children as young as 16.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s announcement that vaccination clinics will be offered at all higher education campuses in the coming weeks.

“As with our colleges, by taking vaccines to schools, we’ll increase the percentage of people in this age group who choose to get vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine.

As part of the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s managed care overhaul, Governor DeWine announced the “Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence (OhioRISE) program. The program will feature new, intensive, community-based services that will serve youth in their homes and communities, rather than in congregate settings that can be far away from a child’s home and support system.

Over the next ten months, Aetna Better Health of Ohio will work with the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Family and Children First Cabinet Council to launch OhioRISE to serve all of Ohio’s eligible children. To enroll in OhioRISE, children must be Medicaid eligible, have significant behavioral health needs, and require enhanced services.

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