FCPH is in week two of providing its COVID-19 vaccinations to our emergency medical services personnel and healthcare workers who are all part of Phase 1A. FCPH has provided the first dose of the vaccinations to over 4,500 individuals. And while we and other vaccine providers like hospitals and pharmacies are making progress, there are many yet to be vaccinated. Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced those in Phase 1B will be able to receive vaccinations beginning the week of January 19. Those 80 years of age and older will be prioritized first in this next phase. The challenging news is that due to the limited number of vaccinations coming to Ohio it will likely take several weeks to vaccinate those in this phase. Following in line with Governor DeWine’s further announcements, FCPH is planning to move through Phase 1B following the timeline he announced. Watch our website over the next week for additional information on how to schedule.
This week ODH also released updated guidance that no longer recommends students or staff exposed to a student with the virus in a classroom setting quarantine, as long as masks are worn, and social distancing protocols are followed. FCPH is working to update our guidance and work with our school partners on the change. Additionally, we are working closely with the schools to plan for vaccinations for their personnel starting on February 1st (based on vaccine availability).
New cases of COVID-19 continued to be elevated. As a county our case counts are 634 per 100,000 and in our health jurisdiction, we have an average of 260 new cases per day. We know that it will take time for everyone to be vaccinated so please be sure you are always wearing a mask, washing your hands, watching your distance, avoiding crowds, and staying home as much as possible. As a reminder, the Columbus and Franklin County Stay at Home Advisory remains in effect through January 23rd. More information and resources continue to be shared at covid-19.myfcph.org.
Finally, for those who want to volunteer to help at our vaccination clinics, please register with the Medical Reserve Corps program by visiting our the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security website. Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed.
Joe Mazzola, MPA
Franklin County Health Commissioner0