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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Stark Difference in Hospitalizations Among Vaccinated, Unvaccinated

a photo of Mike DeWine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine

COVID-19 cases in Ohio are continuing to trend up but Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says it's up to local communities how they want to address the spread of the virus.

Since January, 18,662 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19. More than 98% of those people (18,367) were not vaccinated. Ohio began vaccinating older adults and high-risk people in mid-January and broadened eligibility to anyone 16 and older on March 29.

"We truly have two Ohio's now -- one group of people who are safe, one who are not," says DeWine.

The governor says getting people vaccinated will determine if Ohio can see its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the state will not issue any policy requiring vaccination.

He says vaccine incentives and mandates on masks are left to local leaders and businesses.

"But this is where the game is. This is where the game is going to be won or lost. This is where lives are going to be saved. And that's from the vaccine," DeWine says.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.