Saturday, January 9th, 2021
Vaccine doses are not known
3 new local deaths
By Leslie Gartrell
WAPAKONETA - Area health professionals won't know how many COVID-19 vaccine doses they will receive for Phase 1B until at least Tuesday, officials said on Friday.
Auglaize County Health Department officials reported two new deaths and 31 new cases of the virus, raising the cumulative death toll to 48 and confirmed number of cases to 2,980.
In Mercer County, officials reported one new death and 27 new cases, raising the total number of deaths to 68 and cases to 3,520 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Auglaize County Health Department Director of Nursing Brenda Eiting said the department had received 300 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday. About 105 doses have been administered to people in Phase 1A.
The health department received its first shipment of the vaccine on Dec. 22, and another shipment is expected next week. Officials have been administering vaccines in small block schedules a few days a week to avoid waste, she said.
The health department is scheduling and giving vaccines only to people in Phase 1A. Officials asked people not to call to request the vaccine.
Mercer County Health District nursing director Julia Shaffer said officials will know next week how many vaccines they will receive.
Officials had planned for a large vaccine clinic the week of Jan. 19, when Phase 1B vaccination can begin, but they may have to plan for a smaller clinic until they know how many vaccines they will receive.
Shaffer said officials hope to finalize plans for the next vaccine clinic and announce their plans by Jan. 15. Once plans are finalized, the time, location and screening forms will be posted on the health district's website, mchdohio.org. Officials also would announce plans to the newspaper and other media outlets as well as coordinate with the Mercer County Council on Aging.
Those eligible under Phase 1B of the state's vaccine distribution plan include people age 65 and older; those with severe congenital, developmental or early onset medical disorders; and people who work in schools.
Although vaccination of people in Phase 1B can begin Jan. 19, those 80 years old and older - about 420,000 Ohioans - will be prioritized and vaccinated first. Vaccinations for people over the age of 75 and those with severe congenital, developmental or early onset medical disorders will begin Jan. 25.
The vaccine will be available for people 70 and older as well as school employees on Feb. 1. Those 65 and older will be eligible starting Feb. 8.
In a statement on Friday, Auglaize County Health Department Public Information Officer Caitlin Decker said the two newest deaths involved a man between the ages of 50-70 and a woman between the ages of 80-100.
Officials in a county health department news release on Friday reported 899 probable cases, 153 total hospitalizations and 3,232 people who are presumed to have recovered since the beginning of the pandemic.
The breakdown of total cases by community is Wapakoneta, 1,380; St. Marys, 1,122; Minster, 426; New Bremen, 385; Cridersville, 207; Waynesfield, 149; New Knoxville, 107; Spencerville, 26; the Lima area, 25; Uniopolis, 11; Buckland, 11; St. Johns, seven; New Hampshire, seven; the Botkins area, six; the Lakeview area, five; the Mendon area, two; the Fort Loramie area, two; and the Harrod area, one.
Mercer County Health District officials in a social media post on Friday also reported 10 current hospitalizations and 217 active cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, officials have reported 628 probable cases, 18 probable deaths and 3,219 people who have recovered.
As of Friday evening, the Ohio Department of Health reported a cumulative 762,603 confirmed and probable cases in the state, 40,787 hospitalizations and 9,544 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.