Ohio to lift statewide pandemic health orders June 2

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state will lift all pandemic health orders effective on June 2 - except at nursing homes. This gives people time to get vaccinated, he said.

The governor made the announcement during an early-evening address on Wednesday to update Ohioans on the progress in the fight against the coronavirus.

“For a year Ohioans have made sacrifices to save lives and keep our state moving forward. What you have done has truly worked. So, it is time, it is time to end the health orders. You’ve followed the protocols, you’ve done what we’ve asked you to do -- you’ve bravely fought this virus. Now our cases are down, and we have a tested and proven weapon in this vaccine,” Governor DeWine said.

The governor also announced that the state will create a lottery to give a free college education to one student who is vaccinated. Five vaccinated adults in Ohio will win $1 million dollars, the governor said. Additional details on the lotteries will be released Thursday.

During the address, DeWine outlined the successes of the vaccine rollout in nursing homes and among older Ohioans.

Seventy-eight percent of Ohioans 65 and older have now been vaccinated, he said.

“Our cases are down, but that’s only because 42% of our population can no longer get the virus and can no longer spread it” due to vaccination, DeWine said.

As a result, the governor said it’s time to end health orders.

The governor also expressed enthusiasm for efforts to vaccinate children 12 to 15-year-olds starting Thursday.

Now we have a vaccine, and everyone 12 and over can use it to protect themselves, he said.

“Everyone can now control their own health. Everyone can control their own destiny,” he added.

The governor warned those who had not been vaccinated that “the virus is just as dangerous as ever.”

Almost 100% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 occurred among those who had not been vaccinated, he said.

He said that after June 2, Ohioans will be personally responsible for the preventative measures they take.

19 News live-streamed the governor’s statewide address.

The governor is also expected to discuss the state’s progress towards reaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday’s briefing will be the first time Gov. DeWine spoke publicly this week regarding the pandemic.

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