Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced on Thursday that there were 2,902 cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, up 703 from the 2,199 cases reported on Wednesday.
Eight hundred and two Ohioans are now hospitalized due to the virus, with 260 individuals placed in Intensive Care units. There have been 81 total Coronavirus related deaths, up 16 since Wednesday’s 65 reported deaths. Acton reminded the public that these statistics are based on a limited amount of testing.
Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Acton would sign an order extending the Stay-at-Home order, which will take effect when the existing order expires Monday night, the extended order will go till May 1.
“The order is very similar in regard to the order that is already in place,” said DeWine. “But I will flag some of the important changes,” DeWine said. “I’m sorry. I wish it wasn’t like this. Stay with us. We’re going to get through this.”
DeWine stated a dispute resolution panel has been established for the instances where similar businesses are being treated different in different counties and will hear those grievances and act accordingly.
DeWine stated the new order requires retail businesses to establish a number for the allowed people in the business at a time taking into consideration social distancing rules. DeWine stated that the number will be up to the individual store. DeWine stated that anyone coming into the state is asked to quarantine for 14 days if they have been traveling outside Ohio, with people working across borderlines being an exception.
DeWine stated that the website announced during Wednesday’s news conference which aims to connect with manufacturers of PPE as already seen significant engagement. “We have had, as of this morning, over 600 businesses go online to see if they could be of help. We continue to encourage others to go online and we’re excited by this number that went online,” said DeWine.
DeWine announced the establishment of an economic advisory board that will guide the administration moving forward.
“Throughout this crisis, I have relied on medical experts, I have relied on people in the field, people who understand pandemics. We have put together a group of 14 doctors and Dr. Acton and I have been listening to this doctors talking with them, Dr. Acton has also been reaching out to other experts across the country. Just as we have looked to experts to help us move through this we are looking to experts as we move forward and get through this and as we focus on economic recovery,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that while this is a difficult time, we will get through it. “We will have the opportunity to move forward. Advising Jon Husted, myself and our administration will be this economic advisory group,” said DeWine. DeWine said Frank Sullivan CEO of RPM will head the group, and stated other members will be listed on the state’s COVID-19 website.
DeWine shared that a large number of messages and emails have been received from retail workers, and parents of retail workers, inquiring if they are allowed to wear masks while working. DeWine stated that employees wearing masks was just fine and encouraged employers to allow their workers to do so. DeWine stated that there is a shortage of medical-grade masks, but stated wearing other varieties and homemade masks were fine to wear.
In regards to medical-grade masks, DeWine reiterated Battelle’s success in being approved to sanitize masks and encouraged hospitals to reach out to the company. “They have the capacity, they have room for you,” said DeWine.
DeWine Directly addressed Ohioans to thank them for their financial, personal, and family sacrifices during this difficult time.
“This is not particularly easy for anyone. I know many of you are now unemployed, I know many of you that run businesses are wondering if you’ll be able to get that started back up,” said DeWine. “But we have to stay in this, and we can’t let what we’ve accomplished, and we’ve accomplished a lot we are in a decent position. What you’ve done has saved a number of lives, but we are still in this. We don’t know when we’ll hit the peak.”
DeWine said the surge is coming, but experts cannot pinpoint exactly when it will hit.
DeWine stated we have seen the horrors in places like Italy and New York and stated by taking the necessary measures we are buying time to prepare. “We still don’t know if we can avoid that candidly,” said DeWine. “It’s clear that we are not going to be able to go back to normal, and if that peak doesn’t come for another month which is certainly very possible we will continue to have to stay at home. We have to do what we have to do,” said DeWine.
DeWine said no matter what is done the numbers will continue to grow, but we can slow the growth of that number. “We are in a race and what we do every day affects our defenders,” said DeWine. He stated the defenders were those working on the front lines of this pandemic.
DeWine stated that while weddings will not be stopped in anyway, wedding receptions must meet social distancing requirements and be no more than 10 individuals in a space. DeWine stated that as seasons change, campgrounds and pools will remain closed with organized sports prohibited. State Parks are to remain open, but if problems arise with the number of visitors the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to close parks.
Reach: Ivy Potter(740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved