Nov 2, 2021 - News
COVID-19 kills 4 local first responders in less than 6 weeks
Franklin County Sheriff's deputy Billy Ihrig
Photo courtesy of Franklin County Sheriff's Office

A Franklin County deputy of 17 years died of COVID-19 complications on Thursday, the fourth local first responder killed by the virus in less than six weeks, according to public announcements.

Why it matters: COVID is the leading cause of death among law enforcement nationally since the pandemic began. Since 2020, it's killed five times as many officers as gunfire.

  • That's despite officers being among the first to receive access to COVID vaccines. In Ohio, they were eligible in early March 2021.

Driving the news: Many officers aren't getting vaccinated due to distrust and misinformation, and in some states, they're fighting back against vaccination mandates.

Of note: Columbus and Franklin County first responders are not required to be vaccinated.

  • The Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the local police union did not return messages for comment Tuesday.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Columbus.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Columbus stories

No stories could be found

Columbuspostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more