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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Ohio Aiming For Late January Start Date For Group 1B Vaccinations

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center administers first round of COVID-19 vaccine to staff.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center administers first round of COVID-19 vaccine to staff.

The state has a tentative plan for how it will roll out the next phase of vaccination. The group known as 1B includes people over the age of 65, those with serious health conditions, and K-12 school teachers and staff.

DeWine says the target date for this group to begin receiving vaccinations is January 25. People 80 years and older will be among the first as well as those with early onset health conditions.

Then teachers and staff will start receiving the vaccine on February 1. Schools will be asked to submit a request with the pledge to begin in-person education five-days-a-week in March.

"Now again, this is going to take some time. This whole group of 1B is about 2.2 million," DeWine says.

DeWine has said the state faces several challenges in getting the vaccine out to a wider population, which includes only receiving about 100,000 additional doses a week for this next phase.

Local health departments and emergency management agencies will be responsible for getting the word out on who will be providing the vaccine and where.

Copyright 2021 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.