Gov. DeWine, health officials urge Ohioans to get vaccinated amid rise in delta variant cases
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - Ohio Gov. DeWine, along with the Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, held a press conference to discuss the recent rise in COVID-19 delta variant cases.
Gov. DeWine and Vanderhoff both advocated for vaccinations for Ohioans during the conference Friday.
“The essential fact is we have three vaccines that are highly, highly effective,” Gov. DeWine said.
Recent reports show a rise in delta variant cases throughout the state. Hamilton and Bulter county have been listed as areas of “substantial spread.”
“We are living in a state with two groups of people, those who are vaccinated and are safe and those who aren’t vaccinated and aren’t safe,” said DeWine.
18,662 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Ohio since January 18,367, were not vaccinated, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
“Delta is dominant, and it is the culprit,” Dr. Vanderhoff told Ohioans during the Friday press conference.
He said there are three important things to know about the variant.
One, it is more contagious than previous variants. An infected person may infect 5-8 people, meaning the variant is more contagious than the common cold.
Two, it is more dangerous. Data suggests those infected with the delta variant are more likely to be hospitalized.
Finally, researchers are finding a larger viral load than other variants, meaning it makes patients sicker quicker.
“Delta has created two Ohio, one that is vaccinated and protected and another Ohio that is unprotected vulnerable to the variant,” said Vanderhoff
Vanderhoff says the best thing to do is get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, he suggests that if you are in a crowded indoor area it is a good idea to wear a mask.
“For anyone on the fence, this is not the common cold; this is a bad virus,” said Vanderhoff
Although only 60% of Ohioans over 18 are vaccinated, DeWine says 85 of 88 counties saw a rise in vaccinations in July.
UC, Cincinnati State and now Xavier have all reinstated mask mandates for the upcoming fall semester.
The latest CDC recommendations are listed below:
- Everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings.
- Fully-vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
- Fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
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