Ohio Curfew Expires As Hospitalizations Decrease

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WYSO) — Ohio has lifted its statewide curfew because the number of hospitalizations has stayed below 2,500 for seven consecutive days, Gov. Mike DeWine announced at his coronavirus briefing Thursday. He said a curfew may be reinstated in the future, in particular if cases climb due to more contagious variants of the virus.

Gov. Mike DeWine
[Office of Gov. Mike DeWine]
“It’s very important, and I think doctors will say, it’s very important for us to continue to do what we’ve been doing,” he said. “Let’s get the vaccine in our arms as quick as we can. But at the same time, we’ve got to continue to wear a mask. We’ve got to continue to keep the distancing.”

The governor attributed this decrease in part to the state’s emphasis on vaccinating residents in long-term care facilities. New cases in long-term care facilities dropped by 77% from the week of Nov. 29, 2020 to the week of Jan. 17, 2020, he said.

“When we really tamp the fire down in the nursing homes, those are people who many times end up in the hospital,” he said. “We’ve had over half the deaths come out of the nursing homes, so probably half the hospitalizations have come out of the nursing homes.”

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 721 newly reported deaths in the last 24 hours, but this includes about 650 deaths from earlier in the pandemic. The department announced Wednesday that about 4,000 COVID-19 deaths were not included in public state totals due to “process issues” that began in October. Those deaths are primarily from November and December of 2020, and the department expects newly reported deaths to be higher the next few days as it reconciles the numbers.