COLUMBUS- Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton reported on Tuesday that there are now 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state of Ohio.
The number comes as a 13% increase since Monday’s reported number of 1,933. Of those cases, 585 have been hospitalized with 198 individuals in Intensive Care Units. There are now 55 confirmed deaths in relation to COVID-19, a 41% jump since Monday’s reported 39 deaths. As these rates continue to rise, officials state the virus appears to be doubling in numbers every six days.
Dr. Acton stated that cases have now been confirmed in 71 Ohio counties, with 29,191 individuals being tested throughout the state. Acton stated that of all known cases, 20% are healthcare workers with 429 in related fields testing positive for Coronavirus. Acton stressed the importance of minimizing exposure to others, even advising the public to combine essential tasks for fewer trips to public spaces.
Governor Mike DeWine stated during the news conference on Tuesday that social distancing remains extremely important in the fight against COVID-19 and reminded businesses and patrons of their roles in maintaining public safety. “In regards to physical distancing, we’ve got to keep this up,” said DeWine.’ It’s an obligation of the store as well as customers to keep social distancing.” DeWine stated that it was up to management to maintain a safe environment for employees, and that the store maintain separate distinct hours for the most vulnerable populations. DeWine stated allowing for enough time to shop in these reserved hours was important to eliminate a surge and expose venerable individuals at risk. DeWine stated it was the job of the customer to abide by social distancing from other shoppers and employees.
DeWine stated a new order was being signed that will help keep track of where ventilators are and how many there are across the state in the event of a shortage. ‘We are working independently from this order to secure more,” stated DeWine. DeWine said weekly online reporting will be required from any participants in the supply chain for the identification and redistribution of ventilators. In addition to ventilators, the order requests numbers for additional breathing assistance equipment such as CPAP and BPAP machines, other equipment, masks and tubing. DeWine stated that exemptions to reporting include personal use ventilators. DeWine stated these reports must be completed beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m., with hospitals required to report their numbers daily. Reports are to be completed by visiting Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/ventinventory online.
DeWine stated that more than 18,000 state employees have been working from home and extended that deadline until May 1 for state employees.
DeWine announced a statewide order to maintain public water service amid COVID-19. The order prevents water shut off due to non-payment and allows those who have been disconnected as far back as Jan. 1 to reconnect water, in an effort to provide access to safe water during a state of emergency. DeWine stated that those eligible for reconnection must call their water utility and request reinstatement with no fees, but said those individuals will still need to pay the bill moving forward.
DeWine gave an important update in regards to COVID-19 testing and stated that a new rapid test had been created by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in collaboration with Battelle labs. DeWine stated the new rapid test would allow for 200 tests per day, with more than 1,000 swaps able to be tested per day once infrastructure is fully in place. “This rapid tear will make a huge difference. This work will certainly save lives,” said DeWine.
DeWine acknowledged the strain isolation can have on mental health and asked Lori Cross Director of Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to address the public during the conference. Cross stated that mental health is important in overall wellness, and stated that during this time some normalcy can be found by simply sticking to a schedule and continuing to perform routine tasks like getting ready in the morning and proper mealtimes.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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