Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced on Friday that there were 3,312 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, rising by 410 from Thursday’s report of 2,902 confirmed cases.
Data revealed that of those cases, 895 individuals were hospitalized with 288 in Intensive Care Units. The total of deaths in relation to COVID-19 was 91 as of Friday’s reports. Dr. Acton stated that 38,375 people have been tested and reminded that this data comes from a limited amount of testing.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated, like many other states, we find ourselves limited in the amount of COVID-19 testing we are capable of doing but said Ohio ingenuity is trying to change that.
“We need more testing and we need results quicker. What Dr.Acton ordered several days ago is now starting to take place as far as quicker results. We’re seeing hospitals shifting over instead of going to outside vendors, outside labs that were taking five and six days to get back, they have now switched over. Not completely, but it is certainly moving very quickly in that direction and we thank them for that because this is important for patients, this is important for all of us that we get the results back quickly.”
DeWine stated Cleveland Clinic, Metro Health, UH, and The Ohio State University hospitals were now open to do testing from other hospitals around the state, with several others in the process of offering testing as well. “That’s movement in that direction,” said DeWine.
DeWine said that the second factor was to improve more testing. DeWine said the capacity to test has gone out, but some opportunities are missing for those wanting to take a swab test.
DeWine said Ohio State and the Health Department has worked together to produce enough swab containers and the liquid necessary to test from within the state. DeWine said that previously the issues were with the supply chain, which made parts of the swab test unavailable. “They’re ready to go and they will start producing this and making these available,” said DeWine. “So for hospitals around the state that are lacking these and have not been able to test, help is on the way.”
DeWine said these swab kits would be available in a few short days.
“We want testing quicker and we want more tests,” said DeWine. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re making progress.”
In regards to Ohio prisons, DeWine stated that director Annette Chambers-Smith and her team have been doing a wonderful job in preparing for COVID-19. “They have put a number of steps in place some time ago,” said DeWine. “No in-person visiting, all employees are screened every day along with contractors, normal flow from jails into state prison and they are accepting no one in who exhibits signs of COVID-19,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that the prison system had a five-week period when someone enters the system where they are placed in the reception center and are eventually placed into general population.
“However, no system is perfect,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated prison population is almost 49,000 and said that it might make sense to let some prisoners out early. “We are sending letters to judges across the state suggesting that they might want to look at the 38 offenders who could potentially be eligible for the early release. DeWine stated that these are non-violent offenders, who are not domestic abusers, sex offenders, or murderers.
“We screened out a lot of different people, but we do have 23 women in our prison who are either pregnant, in prison with the child,” said DeWine. “We will be sending letters to judges from the sentencing counties for these women who still determine if these women are appropriate to be released early.”
DeWine said a second group of offenders over the age of 60 with 60 days of less of time remaining to serve to make up the remainder of the 38 individuals.
Reach: Ivy Potter(740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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