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ROUNDUP | Gov. Mike DeWine holds briefing on Ohio's COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution

DeWine announced that Ohio is now at 200 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, far away from the goal of 50 in order for the state's health orders to be removed.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine was at the University of Toledo on Thursday for his latest update on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state's vaccine distribution. 

DeWine, who was joined by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, addressed the following topics during his briefing:

THE MAGIC NUMBER

DeWine has stated that the key figure for Ohioans to watch for the state's health orders to be removed is the number of new cases per 100,000 Ohioans over a two-week period needs to be at 50. 

After being below 150 cases per 100,000, the number surged last week to 183.7. On Thursday, DeWine announced the number is now at 200 cases per 100,000.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine: Ohio now at 200 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people

 Just four weeks ago, that number was 144.

HIGH CASE NUMBERS

Despite the high volume of vaccinations going on, the number of daily cases of coronavirus is staying right around 2,000 in the state. There are also currently more than 1,300 COVID-positive patients in Ohio's hospitals

"What we're seeing in Ohio is a strong variant that is multiplying very quickly and is more contagious than the virus we've seen in the past, but we have hope, and hope is the vaccine," said DeWine. "Vaccination is how we get out of this."  

RELATED: COVID-19 in Ohio: State reports 2,164 new cases in the last 24 hours

The majority of the counties with the highest incidence of cases in Ohio are in the northern region of the state which is seeing a high level of variant cases. Lucas County is currently seeing the highest occurrence of cases with 341.1 cases per 100,000 county residents. 

Franklin County increased to Alert Level 4 (purple) on Ohio Public Health Advisory System due to a sustained increase in COVID-related emergency room visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions.

MASS VACCINATION SITE STATUS

Because of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine pause, DeWine announced earlier this week that some of the state's vaccination sites would be switching over to Pfizer or Moderna, with others pausing for the week.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health announced that a branch of the Wolstein Center's mass vaccination site would be opening for appointments on Friday and Saturday at MetroHealth Maple Heights

Several sites are also accepting walk-up appointments including the mass vaccination clinic at Summit County's fairgrounds, Franklin County's regional mass vaccination clinic, and the Youngstown clinics at the Covelli Centre and Congregation Rodef Sholom Temple.

Ohio's mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland is also opening a satellite vaccination clinic on Friday and Saturday in Maple Heights which has many open appointments for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to look for open appointments or call 833-4-ASK-ODH to book an appointment over the phone.

You can watch Thursday's briefing by Gov. DeWine below:

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