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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff held a news conference on COVID-19 on Thursday.

DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program. It’s for all vaccinated Ohioans ages 12 to 25. They can enter a drawing for one of five $100,000 scholarships. There are also 50 scholarships of $10,000 available. The money can be used at an Ohio college or university, career or technical education, or job training, the governor said.

Prizes will be announced Monday through Friday beginning the week of October 11.  More details will be announced, including how to register, soon.

Funds come from existing COVID-19 relief appropriations.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, 158 children in the state were hospitalized over the last week with coronavirus. That’s for ages 0 to 17, and an increase of more than 600 percent from four weeks ago.

DeWine called the increase of children hospitalized “an alarming trend.” Since Aug. 15, there have been 42,000 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Ohio age 5 to 17. The 27 days with the highest number of cases per day during the entire pandemic for this age group have been since school began this year, DeWine said.

“That is a shocking figure,” DeWine said.

DeWine said the state has done a great job vaccinating older residents with 73 percent of those 40 and older receiving one dose. He said 46 percent of those ages 12 to 25 have received a dose of the vaccine.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 7,475 COVID-19 cases, 300 hospitalizations, 24 intensive care unit admissions and no deaths in the previous 24 hours.

The state has seen daily case numbers ranging from 3,900 to 9,000 over the last 21 days. In July, Ohio had daily case numbers around 200 to 300. DeWine said the number of COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals has increase 16-fold since July.

One in six people currently hospitalized as an inpatient in Ohio has the virus, the Ohio Hospital Association said. One in four patients in Ohio ICUs are positive for COVID.