Today marks a grim anniversary in the state of Ohio.
The first Covid-19 cases in the state were confirmed one year ago on March 9, 2020, which resulted in Governor Mike Dewine declaring a state of emergency and issuing his first executive order regarding the pandemic.
“It is a grim anniversary, but it is an anniversary with promise because our numbers are coming down dramatically and our vaccines are increasing dramatically and it is indeed possible to see the end of the pandemic,” said Dr. Jack Butterfield, Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department medical director.
Muskingum County will see its’ death toll increase to 121 today due to a data reconciliation process completed by the health department.
“Went back through. Made sure that anybody on our list was correctly on there, demographics were right, cause of death was correct. Then I went back through anybody that wasn’t on the list, added them to our list and just basically confirmed they were a case, we had worked it, they were a resident in our county and then we updated cause of death to include Covid-19 plus whatever else was on there,” said Kaili Shaffer, Muskingum County Health Department epidemiologist.
The county now has three different vaccines available to the public. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two does to become fully vaccinated, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one. The one step vaccine is less effective in preventing a person from contracting the illness, but has proven extremely effective in preventing Covid deaths.
“The bottom line is so far Johnson & Johnson has been shown to be 100 percent effective in preventing death, not near 100 percent, 100 percent. The bottom line is survival and that makes Johnson & Johnson just as important as the other two,” said Dr. Butterfield.
On Thursday vaccine eligibility will expand further to include anyone 50 and older and those under 50 who have type II diabetes or end stage renal disease.