COLUMBUS —Ohio Governor Mike DeWine began Thursday’s press conference by talking about the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE).
DeWine stated in addition to the 4.1 million pieces of equipment sent to Emergency Management Agencies across the state, other equipment is in the process of being sent to areas where it is most needed. DeWine stated nursing homes and correctional facilities are just some of the locations in need.
“Our correction officers and other staffing at state prisons are really on the front line every single day and we appreciate very much their work,” said DeWine. “We want to do everything we can to keep them safe.”
DeWine stated over the last few weeks more than 1.1 million pieces of PPE has been sent to Ohio prisons. DeWine stated their goal was to provide a 90 day supply of the critical equipment.
“As we work with PPE our team is working hard to ensure first responders, hospital workers and nursing home workers are provided with what they need,” said DeWine. “It’s very important that every Ohioan who needs this equipment has it.”
DeWine said, as previously stated, the distribution of some necessary elements has been an issue due to supplies coming from China.
Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, Anette Chambers-Smith, gave an update via Skype on the current state of Ohio’s correctional facilities.
Chambers-Smith stated that the department has been implementing the pandemic plan created for the H1N1 virus and updating it as information is learned about COVID-19.
Chambers-Smith stated policies were waived in prisons to allow hand sanitizers and chemical wipes for sanitation, while a massive effort to create PPE has been made within the prison system. Chambers-Smith stated that charts according to CDC standards have been used to manage PPE and assess what situations and roles within the prison system require what type of PPE, while co-hoarding has been used to keep populations separated.
In regards to dental and similar offices reopening as of May 1, DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton stated that while these offices will be permitted to open, patients should check with individual offices. DeWine stated that many offices may not have the necessary PPE to reopen yet and that many of those who donated PPE at the beginning of the pandemic have requested the equipment be returned to them. DeWine said the decision to return PPE will up to local EMA.
The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday showed 17,285 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 742 probable cases. The data showed 3,533 hospitalizations and 1,035 ICU admissions from the Coronavirus with 975 total deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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