COLUBMUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a news conference on COVID-19 Thursday afternoon.
DeWine started by addressing the recent approval for children as young as 12 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Thursday was the first day ages 12 to 17 could get the shot.
In the last 24 hours, 1,161 COVID-19 cases, 91 hospitalizations, two intensive care unit admissions and no deaths were reported to the Ohio Department of Health. These numbers are below the 21-day averages. There have been 1,088,343 total cases and 19,441 deaths in the state.
More than 42 percent of the population, which is about 4.9 million people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the last 24 hours, the vaccine was started in 26,345 Ohioans.
DeWine said the state will opt out of the federal pandemic assistance program that provides an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. That will end June 26.
The news conference comes a day after DeWine’s statewide address on the virus. During his speech, he announced most remaining health orders will be lifted on June 2. That includes the mask mandate and limits on large gatherings. Orders for nursing homes and assisted living facilities will remain in effect.
The governor also announced a lottery as an incentive for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Adults who have received at least one dose of the vaccine will have a chance to win $1 million. Children 12 to 17 can enter to win a four-year, full scholarship to one of Ohio’s state universities. The drawings will take place Wednesdays at 7:29 p.m.