5 things to know about the coronavirus today: Vaccine shipments and over 87,000 cases in Ohio last week

It is Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 and these are five things to know about the coronavirus pandemic today.

The first vaccine shipments arrived in the US yesterday

The first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States headed Sunday from Michigan to distribution centers across the country, with the first shots expected to be given in the coming week to health care workers and at nursing homes.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide.

Last week, Ohio reported over 87,000 new cases, 525 new deaths

Last week, the state reported over 87,000 cases, 2,500 hospitalizations and 500 deaths. Over 5,000 people remain hospitalized for COVID-19 and the state has reported over 560,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Deaths increased by 525 and hospitalizations increased by 2,740, the Ohio Department of Health reported.

Since Monday, Dec. 7, the state has reported a total of 87,703 new cases. The number was magnified somewhat as Ohio began reporting positive COVID-19 antigen tests on Tuesday without additional verification, resulting in more than 25,000 cases added on Tuesday. Previously, the Ohio Department of Health verified the cases before adding them to the case total. The Ohio Hospital Association reported that 5,152 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Nursing home deaths spike as pandemic increases

The number of Ohioans in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities who have died from the coronavirus has been climbing in November and into December, mirroring the growing intensity of the pandemic. There were 212 new deaths from the virus reported from Dec. 3 to Dec. 9, up from 155 the week before and 90 weekly deaths a month prior.

Ohio unveils 10-guideline Stay Safe Ohio Protocol

In Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, the governor unveiled 10 guidelines to help Ohioans be safe during the pandemic. These include guidelines such as wearing masks, washing hands, limiting travel and keeping celebrations small.

Ohio releases full curfew extension order

Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed an amended order on Thursday extending the state’s curfew through Jan. 2. The curfew is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and has exemptions for going to and from work, getting food, seeking medical care, homeless people, First Amendment activities like religious services or media activity and taking care of others.

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