DeWine announces first COVID-19 death in Ohio prison

By Ivy Potter - [email protected]

Numbers from Monday’s press conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine revealed 6,881 total cases of COVID-19 through testing and 94 probable cases, for a total of 6,975 cases throughout the state.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton stated that there were 2,033 hospitalizations due to the virus and 613 individuals in intensive care units. The number of total Coronavirus deaths at the time of Monday’s press conference was 268, with an additional six probable deaths.

DeWine thanked Ohio families for practicing social distancing during the Easter holiday and making due during this unusual time.

DeWine thanked the partners in the general assembly for responding quickly in regards to federal dollars coming in and approving funding of 8.8 million for the build-out of hospital capacity. 76 million for the Department of Administrative Services for the purchase of 2,000 ventilators, 5 million N39 masks, 39 million for the Ohio Department of Health and supplies, and 50 million for the department of public safety for PPE. “We’re glad to start using those dollars to do the things we need to do in Ohio to protect our first responders, medical personnel, and the people of the state,” said DeWine.

In the private sector, DeWine stated a number of companies were purchasing rapid antibody tests to begin testing staff and, in some cases, customers. DeWine stated Antibody testing was one piece of the puzzle and a part in getting things back on track. “We applaud that effort,” said DeWine. “But I want to caution all companies that are looking at this as an option to make sure what they are purchasing is FDA emergency approved antibody tests. Without the approval there is really no way to know if this test is going to be valid. Many of the testing companies are legitimately in the queue at the FDA for approval, but I still would recommend using companies that are listed on the FDA’s website as having been approved,” said DeWine. DeWine stated that companies that are looking to do this should ask for a letter of authorization from the FDA for their antibody test kit, which is proof of the approval posted on the FDA website.

DeWine said the website is updated daily.

In regards to Ohio’s Prisons, DeWine stated some national guard members are still assisting at the Federal Prison in Elkton, while testing at the Marion institution began Saturday and is continuing into the week.

DeWine announced that he had approved the Ohio National Guard to begin providing assistance to medical staff at the Pickaway institution, which now has more than dozens of members of staff out sick due to COVID-19. DeWine stated the guard is prepared to send up 30 soldiers and airmen to assist at the prison’s health center.

DeWine stated he received notification on Monday that an inmate housed at the Pickaway medical center had died from COVID-19 combined with an existing medical condition. DeWine stated this marks the first inmate in a state institution that has tested positive for Coronavirus.

In regards to nursing homes, DeWine stated patients and loved ones have a right to know if known COVID-19 cases have been associated with their long term living facilities. DeWine stated he was asking Dr. Acton to issue an order starting Monday that long care facilities notify residents and families within 24 hours if a resident or staff member becomes infected. “The Ohio Department of Health has been strongly encouraging them to do this and I believe most facilities were already doing this, but this will make it a requirement for all nursing homes in the state of Ohio,” said DeWine. DeWine stated additionally that a list of all known facilities with a positive COVID-19 case will be posted on the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

DeWine announced that six border counties would no longer be permitted in-person liquor sales to those without an Ohio Driver’s License in an attempt to keep those from Pennsylvania from crossing into the state to purchase liquor.

By Ivy Potter

[email protected]

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved