Just over 600 coronavirus cases reported Sunday

Ohio reported 618 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the lowest number of cases reported in the past 21 days according the Ohio Department of Health. The 21 day case average also continues to fall. Currently, it sits at 1,266 cases per day.

In the past 24 hours, nearly 22,000 people started their vaccine dose in Ohio, bringing the total population of those with their vaccine started to nearly 5 million people, or 42.62% of the population. Just over 19,500 people received their second vaccine dose in the past 24 hours, bringing the fully vaccinated population to 4,375,448 people, or 37.43% of the population, the Ohio Department of Health reported.

Hospitalizations in Ohio continue to decline, the Ohio Hospital Association reported. Currently, 821 people are hospitalized in Ohio, an 18% decrease in the past week. In southwest Ohio, 176 people are currently hospitalized.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.

“I’m delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals. And it evolved,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on FOX News Sunday. “I deliver it as soon as I can when we have that information available.”

Under the new guidelines released last week, fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — can quit wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings and give up social distancing.

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