COLUMBUS-Ohio Governor Mike DeWine began Thursday’s press conference by reminding Ohioans as the weather warms up that wearing helmets while bike riding is essential for safety. DeWine stated that May is bike helmet safety awareness month in Ohio.
DeWine stated that pharmacists play large roles in healthcare system and hold great responsibility, which is why he asked the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to clarify what the role of pharmacists can be in regards to COVID-19 testing. DeWine stated the board released updated guidance on Wednesday which clarified HHS rules allow pharmacists to order and administer tests for the virus. “Access to these tests is vitally Important and I’m working aggressively with the Ohio Pharmacists Association and our pharmacies to make sure these tests are available. Pharmacies are an important part of our plan to fight COVID-19, especially as we look beyond testing and towards a vaccine,” said DeWine.
DeWine said a map was being added to the state’s COVID response website to help Ohioans locate testing sites and centers.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure pharmacies can do this, and can do it as quickly as possible,” said DeWine.
In further regards to testing, DeWine stated that criteria for testing facilities were expanding to include a fourth category to encompass individuals on the community who have symptoms. “We are talking with hospitals to expand the hospital testing and the surgeries allowed,” Said DeWine.
DeWine said while he was not officially making that announcement, the announcement would be coming in the near future.
DeWine acknowledged the heartache related to those who have loved ones in nursing home facilities and stated that work is currently being done to allow visitation once again in stages.
DeWine stated beginning June 8 intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and assisted living facilities that are properly prepared can being to allow outside visitation. “We are not to nursing homes yet, and I know that causes a lot of anguish, but we are trying to do this so that we don’t increase COVID inside these facilities,” said DeWine. “We continue to examine, monitor, and adjust as carefully and thoughtfully as we can moving forward.”
DeWine announced that guidelines were being compiled to allow for a modified junior fair for youth across the state to display their projects. DeWine stated these guidelines focus on social distancing and said the decision will be made locally by each individual fair board on whether or not to hold junior fair. “I hope that every fair will be able to allow for FFA, 4H and junior fair. That is really the heart of the county fair,” said DeWine.
The Ohio Department of Health on Thursday showed 33,915 total cases of COVID-19. The data showed 5, 811 hospitalizations and 1,516 ICU admissions from the Coronavirus with 2,098 deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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