Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that all remaining orders — other than those at nursing homes and assisted living facilities — put in place following the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted on June 2.
DeWine’s announcement came amid a positive trend in the number of infections and hospitalization rates in the state, along with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in children ages 12 and older.
“The vaccine is here,” DeWine said at a press conference. “It’s stronger and better than medical experts ever imagined. Everyone can now control their own health. Everyone can now control their own destiny.”
“It’s time to end the health orders. It’s been a year,” DeWine added. “You’ve followed the protocols. You’ve done what we’ve asked. You’ve bravely fought this virus. And now, our cases are down, and we have a tested and proven weapon in the vaccine that all Ohioans 12 and over can utilize.”
DeWine also touted the importance of receiving the coronavirus vaccine, telling residents of the state that they will have several more opportunities to receive their doses within the coming months.
DeWine also stated that when the state order ends, schools and businesses will have the ability to control their own requirements for social distancing and masking.
As reported by Cincinnati.com, Ohio is set to “give away $1 million to five adults who have received the vaccine and a four-year scholarship to a state university to five children age 12-17.”
The initiative, dubbed the “Ohio Vax-a-million,” will be paid for with federal coronavirus funds and awarded for five Wednesdays in a row starting on May 26, according to local outlets.
As reported by Columbus’s WBNS, “More than 4.2 million people in Ohio had completed the vaccination process as of Tuesday, or about 36 percent of the population. But the number of people seeking vaccines has dropped in recent weeks, with an average of about 16,500 starting the process last week, down from figures above 80,000 in April.”