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Allen County continues to meet the CDC definition of a high transmission community. With only around 37 percent of the population being vaccinated against COVID-19, the county’s greatest concern is for those who are not. Although the mask mandate ended in the state, a mask advisory has come back to Allen county to help slow down or stop the spread of COVID and its variants. The health department says that the guidelines will be ever-changing as new information continues to develop. 

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The Food and Drug Administration approved the distribution of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents ages 12 to 15. Pfizer was selected due to them applying for emergency authorization, and for them being the most far into clinical trials. While the clinic will offer the Pfizer vaccine to ages 12 to 15, anyone who has not received their vaccine is still welcome to come to the clinic to receive their first dose.

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At-home use of pulse oximeters, devices that estimate blood oxygen levels, has risen during the COVID pandemic. But the FDA alert says multiple factors can affect the accuracy of the readings, including poor circulation, fingernail polish, skin thickness, and skin pigmentation. While the agency did not specifically mention race, past studies have shown the devices were nearly three times more likely to miss hypoxemia in black patients. The FDA says COVID patients should seek immediate care if they have shortness of breath or bluish coloring on their face, lips, or nails.

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Ten hospitals in the state have already been identified to receive the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. It could be available as early as December 15th from Pfizer, and December 22nd from Moderna. Both companies are waiting on emergency authorization from the FDA. DeWine says vaccines to smaller counties may also be supplied, with help from the national guard.

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Gov. Mike DeWine announces the creation of a Testing Strike Team to find ways to get Ohio more testing products. The team will be made up of former Ohio governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft. They'll work with businesses, schools and public health officials to specifically come up with more reagent for testing kits. DeWine said it's in short supply. He said the FDA has approved the use of a new reagent by Thermo Fisher. Most Ohio labs already use their equipment. DeWine said this will greatly increase the state's ability to test, but more must be done.

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The average American throws out nearly a pound of food every day according to the FDA, but there are misconceptions surrounding all those different expiration labels. "Sell by", "Best by", and "Use by", what do they all mean? With the exception of baby formula, there are no federal regulations on date labeling. Often the "Sell by" and "Use by" designations are manufacturers' best guesses about how long their food will taste its freshest.