Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced that Franklin County has been put on the watch list in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System with the risk to move to “purple.” This designation is a result of a sustained increase in cases and in COVID-19 related healthcare use including emergency department, outpatient visits and hospitalizations. When Franklin County went to “purple” late last year, FCPH said it was a serious moment for our community. This designation is a stark reminder that the virus is still here, and we are not out of the woods yet.
As we move forward, we continue to remain focused on vaccinations and our public health mitigation strategies. Right now, more than 424,000 residents in Franklin County have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. There is more vaccine in the community every day and we encourage all residents 16 and older to find an appointment and get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are able, we encourage you to reach out to your family, friends and neighbors to see if they need help finding or scheduling an appointment. To find an appointment, visit our website or gettheshot.corornavirus.ohio.gov
As more of our residents get vaccinated, we all need to continue wearing masks properly, keeping a safe distance and avoid large gatherings. We know these measures work, we just need to stick to it. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer with the Ohio Department of Health, said recently, “Ohio and the nation are enduring another wave of COVID-19…this time it is being driven by new variants of the original virus. The variants are more contagious and more deadly.” So we ask everyone to remain vigilant as more our residents have the opportunity to get their vaccine.
To get more of our residents vaccinated, Franklin County Public Health will receive an additional 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week, which is double the amount we typically get. We plan to transfer most of it to other pandemic providers in our community with a focus on our equity partners and under-vaccinated zip codes.
As always, continue to watch our website for new and updated information about COVID-19 and vaccine availability.
Joe Mazzola, MPA
Franklin County Health Commissioner