OHIO (WJW) — Gov. Mike DeWine offered Ohioans hope and lots of money Wednesday during a statewide evening address.
On June 2, statewide COVID-19 health orders will end, which means, among other changes, that residents can take off their masks in public. To make sure more Ohioans get their vaccinations by then, DeWine also announced incentives including a chance to win a weekly $1 million lottery prize for those who get a shot.
“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,” DeWine said during the address.
The remaining health order includes masks in public, social distancing and limits on large gatherings. Orders for nursing homes and assisted living facilities will still be in effect.
The governor said Ohio businesses and schools will make their own decisions about how to best keep their customers, employees, and students safe.
“Lifting these health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own requirements,” DeWine said.
The governor said the three weeks will give Ohioans additional time to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 across the state, DeWine announced two separate drawings for kids 12 to 17 and adults 18 and up, offering some pretty impressive incentives.
The state is now offering those young people who are vaccinated a chance to win a full-ride scholarship to any state school of their choice, including room and board and books.
Kids can get signed up for the drawing starting May 18 on an electronic portal. The plan is to announce a winner for the scholarships for five Wednesdays in a row, starting May 26. Each student is going to be picked at random.
Adults on the other hand have the chance, also starting May 26 and running for five weeks each Wednesday, to win $1 million for getting at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. More details are to come Thursday, DeWine said.
At this time, nearly 42% of Ohioans have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Ohio Department of Health reported.