Vaccination is the Key to Controlling COVID-19
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants has been working closely with the Governor, Lt. Governor, the Ohio Department of Health and other business associations on ways to protect our members, your employees and your customers from the novel coronavirus. Recently, we joined the Coalition to Stop the Spread, a collaboration of businesses, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. The Coalition’s goal is to mobilize a grassroots effort by ordinary Ohioans to fight a pandemic that is crippling our economy and wreaking havoc on our families. The group organized last year in anticipation of the release of a vaccine to fight COVID-19.
As you know, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have since been approved and are being administered to Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens via a phased-in approach due to limited quantities available. There is currently no timeline for additional populations to be vaccinated, however, we are in continuing conversations with the DeWine administration about the importance of its availability to our members and your employees.
We are also speaking with our retail pharmacy members about their interest in holding on-site clinics at employer locations. Our pharmacy members are going to play the largest role in administering the COVID-19 vaccination, to a much greater extent than all other provider groups. They are perfectly suited to administer the vaccine safely and efficiently to Ohioans seeking it when it becomes available to them. It is imperative that people receive the vaccine to contain the COVID-19 virus. When the vaccine becomes available to the retail community, you can find an enrolled provider near you by visiting https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
There is, however, a stumbling block in the path of the vaccine rollout—the myth vs. fact challenge. Whether via social media, the internet, TV or word of mouth, there is no shortage of falsehoods being circulated about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. It is critical to cut through the noise being circulated and understand the importance of getting vaccinated. As a result, the Ohio Department of Health has made available a COVID-19 Myths vs. Facts document to debunk the negative narrative. We encourage you to review this document and share it with your employees. The Department has also prepared a COVID-19 FAQ document that provides additional important information about the vaccine. Additional resources are available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program and the Coalition to Stop the Spread website, https://stopthespreadcoalition.com.
Please do your part to educate your employees, family and friends about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 when it becomes available to them.
New In-Home Rapid COVID-19 Test Announced
Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced that the state is purchasing two million at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests using telehealth services where the results are delivered in minutes without the need to send the test to a lab for processing. Developed by Abbott, BinaxNOW is an easy-to-use antigen test that detects the virus when people are most infectious.
To facilitate the delivery of the BinaxNOW test to the home and the guided collection and testing process, Abbott has partnered with digital health solutions provider eMed, which will deliver people their results through Abbott’s complementary NAVIC app in a matter of minutes. eMed will report the rapid test results in the electronic lab reporting system.
These tests, combined with the telehealth solutions provided by eMed, will provide equitable access to testing for those who may not be able to access traditional testing because of their work hours, mobility or transportation issues, or caregiving responsibilities.
Search Ohio COVID-19 Data by County
A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website. All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. Currently, Hamilton County is the only Level 4 “Purple” designated county, which means severe exposure and spread.
COVID-19 Curfew Extension
Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Additional details will be forthcoming. The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.
If you have any questions, please contact Lora Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-221-7833.