COLUMBUS-On Monday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced there were 1,933 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Acton stated of the cases, 25% were requiring hospitalization and 8% were ending up in intensive care units, totaling 475 in hospitals and 163 currently in ICU.
Thirty-nine deaths have now been confirmed across the state as a result of the virus. Acton stated that cases of Coronavirus have now been confirmed in more than 70 counties and again reiterated the fact that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that the actual peak of the virus is expected to hit in a couple of weeks.
Governor Mike DeWine stated that some good news had come since his news conference held on Sunday, and stated that conversations between the Food and Drug Administration and Batelle, a private research lab in Ohio, have concluded with the Food and Drug Administration approving the company to move forward with the sterilization of masks.
“We are very happy about that,” said DeWine. “We know they are moving forward and within a few days will be up to full capacity. This is a major breakthrough for us in Ohio, but also something where we’re taking Ohio technology to help other states.”
DeWine stated Batelle already has a machine in New York, with plans to extend help to Seattle, and Washington D.C. among other places in upcoming weeks.
In regard to businesses around the state, DeWine announced that a group of businessmen and women who will serve as an advisory board is being put together with an official name being announced later in the week. DeWine said their purpose will be to give advice to officials moving forward on how to navigate these times and best communicate with businesses.
A push from the state is coming to do more by means of making information on the current pandemic available to non-English speakers in Ohio.
“It is a work in progress,” said DeWine. “We intend to work to do more. It is important that every Ohioan have all the information we have about the virus. We want to make sure everyone is getting that.”
DeWine stated that translations of executive orders are available on the Governor’s website in Chinese, Spanish, and Samoan with Arabic translations on the way. The Ohio Channel which broadcasts Governor DeWine’s press conferences also offer subtitles in several languages.
DeWine and Dr. Acton both made requests that hospitals send samples on to other facilities for COVID-19 to ensure quicker results.
“Please send your samples to a neighboring hospital that does tasting or to the Ohio Department of Health,” said DeWine. “I don’t think it’s helpful to be in a situation where people are waiting five or six days for results. Unfortunately, that is what we are seeing from some of you that have contracts with outside labs.” Dewine said this would allow results to be returned within 24 hours, and Dr. Acton said through the Ohio Department of Health results could be returned in less than eight hours.
DeWine spoke about hospital capacities and stated that by practicing social distancing we are buying time for new technologies to come online and delaying the tidal wave of COVID-19 until we are better prepared to handle it. Dewine extended his thanks to hospitals for working together to collaborate and execute plans.
“Our goal every day is to protect Ohioans and for any Ohioan that comes down with the virus we want them to be able to plug directly into their health care provider to find a process that will work for them,” said DeWine.
As a part of continuing social distancing, an additional order regarding schools was signed by Dr. Acton extending the closing of schools until May 1, where it will be revisited at that time.
DeWine announced that Ohio prisons were joining the efforts to aid and create personal protection equipment. DeWine stated so far 500 gowns have been created with 44,000 coming after they receive additional fabric. The facilities will also start making surgical masks, 5,000 a day up to 2 million, and will be able to produce 14,000 gallons of hand sanitizers and face shields. “Everyone is coming on board,” said DeWine.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved