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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a press conference in May. (File photo)

COLUMBUS -- Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced the state emergency in Ohio caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted on Friday, bringing to an end an official emergency that began 15 months ago.

He urged those who have not yet received the vaccine to find a clinic near them by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

DeWine also released new information regarding visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Beginning Friday, state regulations which describe how visits should occur will be removed. This will allow residents to have more than two visitors, and there is no longer a scheduling requirement.

Ohio nursing homes are expected to continue to follow federal guidance from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and both nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be expected to follow CDC guidance.

A testing requirement still remains for staff members who are unvaccinated, and they will need to continue to be tested twice per week.

The Ohio Department of Aging will host a series of webinars starting Friday morning to ensure facilities have access to all the information and resources necessary for safe and healthy operations.

More information about these webinars can be found on the department’s website at aging.ohio.gov.

DeWine also announced Thursday the team at Ohio’s Mass Vaccination Clinic in Cleveland administered approximately 258,000 doses of vaccine during the course of the 12-week clinic at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.

The FEMA-supported clinic was open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week from mid-March until its final day of operations on June 7, 2021.

Across the entirety of the clinic, nearly 50 percent of individuals vaccinated reported living in high social vulnerability zip codes. Over the final six weeks of the clinic, that percentage was 68 percent.

The clinic operated in partnership among several local, state, and federal agencies including the Ohio Department of Health, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Ohio Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, Ohio National Guard, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Health Department, Cuyahoga County, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and Discount Drug Mart.

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