Governor DeWine announces vaccine incentives, end date for health orders
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced a series of statewide drawings to provide incentives to Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. With wide access to the life-saving vaccine to help Ohioans safe, Governor DeWine also announced that most COVID-19 health orders would be removed on June 2nd. DeWine made the announcements during a statewide address to Ohioans Wednesday evening.
“For a year, Ohioans have made sacrifices to save lives and keep our state moving forward. What you have done has really worked! And now, we have a powerful weapon that is almost 100 percent effective in beating the virus,” Governor DeWine said in his remarks. “Simply put, the vaccine is stronger and better than medical experts ever imagined. And now, everyone 12 and over can use it to protect themselves — to put an invisible shield of protection around themselves. Everyone can now control their own health—their own destiny.”
Vaccine Incentives/Statewide Drawings
In an effort to increase the number of Ohioans who currently have not taken a COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated, Governor DeWine announced a series of statewide drawings to help incentivize vaccinations.
Ohioans under the age of 18 who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into a drawing for a four-year full scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room, and board.
Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million.
A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place, with the first winners being announced on May 26th. Winners must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the date of the respective drawing.
The drawings will be administered by the Ohio Department of Health, with technical assistance from the Ohio Lottery Commission, and will be funded through existing allocations to the Ohio Department of Health of unexpended coronavirus relief funds.
Further details and contest rules will be announced by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Lottery Commission next week during a briefing to news media.
Expiration of Health Orders
Governor DeWine also announced that he has asked the Ohio Department of Health to remove most pandemic health orders on June 2, 2021. The timeline will allow any Ohioan who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to obtain one to protect themselves and others before the lifting of coronavirus mitigation protocols.
“It is time to end the health orders. It’s been a year. You’ve followed the protocols. You’ve done what we’ve asked. You’ve bravely fought this virus,” said Governor DeWine. “And now, our cases are down, and we have a tested and proven weapon with the vaccine that all Ohioans 12 and over can utilize.”
Measures being removed will include facial covering protocols, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.
Governor DeWine announced that any pandemic health orders that would remain solely relate to either 1.) nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which will also to have federal safety protocols, and 2.) data collection related to the pandemic.