COLUMBUS-Ohio Governor Mike DeWine began Monday’s news conference by talking about the public’s concerns regarding hospital visitations.
“Loved ones want to see loved ones. The state of Ohio has not issued any rule, Dr. Acton has not issued any rule, in regards to visitation. We have not done that throughout COVID-19. These rules are being set by the individual hospitals,” said DeWine.
“I want to make sure people know we are not setting those rules for the hospitals, they are making these decisions based on what they think is best as far as from a medical point of view. We have nothing to do with those rules.”
DeWine stated that a focus is still present on the Minority Health Strike Force, and said his team was in discussions regarding their obligations to these vulnerable populations. DeWine stated more details as to the suggestions from this strike force and what is being done would be addressed Thursday.
According to DeWine, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services received notice that one of its patients at Twin Valley behavioral health hospital in Columbus had tested positive for Coronavirus, and later learned of two additional cases within the same unit.
In response to the positive tests the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio State University are working with the Ohio Department of Mental Health to arrange for testing of all remaining patients in the 25-patient unit. DeWine stated all patients within the unit are currently quarantined, and those testing positives are being isolated to prevent the further spread of the virus. Staff members who may have come in contact with these individuals are being closely monitored.
DeWine addressed some issues that occurred in the reopening of restaurants and bars over the weekend.
“I’ve always tried to be blunt and straightforward about everything that we are finding, and we try to share with you all the information that we have. I have been very candid in saying that in this reopening phase, a new chapter of COVID-19 there is significant risks involved but there are also significant risks if we don’t open up. It is up to all of us to open our economy while doing so in an absolutely safe way.
DeWine stated that the guidelines for reopening were set forth by health professionals as well as those in the industry.
“You cannot have a successful reopening for the economy if we experience surges,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that reports from the Ohio Department of Health reflected that many restaurants were properly following guidelines, while some outliers did not.
“If we are going to make this recovery people have to feel safe and that the rules are being followed when they go to a restaurant or bar,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that pictures surfaced over the weekend from bars in the state not enforcing social distancing, and the rule which states beverages must be consumed while seated.
To combat businesses choosing to ignore guidelines for reopening, DeWine announced a team composed of local law enforcement and health authorities which will conduct safety compliance checks and have the ability to issue citations which could result in the revocation or liquor licenses, and may work alongside municipal prosecutors to take legal action.
The Ohio Department of Health Monday showed 26, 646 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1, 808 probable cases. The data showed 4,998 hospitalizations and 1,328 ICU admissions from the Coronavirus with 1,657 total deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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