Coronavirus Pandemic: Stay-at-home order extended; 2,902 cases, 81 deaths in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the state will extend the stay-at-home order to May 1.

There are now at least 2,902 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio with 81 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Eight of the confirmed deaths are from Miami County. A new death was reported in Montgomery County. In Ohio, 802 people suffering from COVID-19 have been admitted to hospitals, with 260 of those in ICU.

[ Coronavirus: Local cases, deaths reported to Ohio Department of Health ]

The state has a population of 11.6 million.

While the state is tracking confirmed cases, it’s important to note that due to the limited amount of testing available the number of confirmed cases is not a true reflection of actual cases in the state.

A projected curve of new cases from Ohio State University predicted Ohio would have 635 new coronavirus cases Thursday. The state reported 355 new cases, putting Ohio below the Ohio State projection curve for four days in a row.

Gov. Mike DeWine provided an update at 2 p.m.

Here are the announcements that were made:

  • The state will expand the stay-at-home order until May 1. The expanded order will replace the existing order when it expires Monday.
    • Changes in expanded order include:
      • A new dispute resolution panel has been established for businesses being treated differently in different counties. This group will judge and make a decision.
      • Requires retail stores to establish a number of people that can be inside a business at one time and post it.
      • Anyone travelling to Ohio will be asked to be quarantined for 14 days, with a few exceptions for people working on state borders.
      • The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
      • The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.
      • Organized sports for youth and adutls are prohibited.
      • Campgrounds are closed with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as somebody’s permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
      • The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
      • The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.
  • Ohio called for the state’s manufacturers to help source personal protective equipment, so health care workers can safely care for patients. More than 600 companies in the state has responded to help.
  • DeWine is urging manufacturers to visit repurposingproject.com to see what is needed in the state.
  • The state is encouraging employers to allow employees to wear a mask if they want to. However, N95 masks are needed for frontline workers like nurses and doctors.
  • The state has now formed our economic advisory board that will help us as we work to economically move forward.
  • DeWine said Ohioans have saved lives by the actions they are doing with social distancing.
  • State unemployment call center is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Workers who lost their job related to COVID-19 you can use this number to expedite your claim application through the system: 2000180
  • Over the last two weeks, Ohio has issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $45 million to more than 108,000 claimants.
  • 34,918 Ohioans have been tested for coronavirus.
  • 8 percent of Ohioans tested have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • 570 of the positive cases in the state are healthcare workers, which is 20 percent of the confirmed positive cases reported to ODH.
  • The State of Ohio worked with some of Ohio’s Licensing Boards to send a survey to identify additional personnel who have clinical or behavioral health skills to respond to potential hospital surge from COVID-19. These licensing boards include: State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services; Veterinary Medical Board; Vision Professionals Board. If you are a current or retired licensee from any of these boards, the state is asking you to take the time to complete the survey to help the state better understand the people who are available to help.
  • According to Gov. DeWine, some economists have said that in the 1918 pandemic, communities that did these tough things not only saved a lot of lives, but in the end, they were better off economically than the communities that let it spread, let people die, and let their healthcare system become overwhelmed.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County held its daily briefing at 4 p.m.:

  • Friday, immediate cease operations orders are going out to 12 businesses in the Dayton-Montgomery County area, Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said
  • 216 businesses are under investigation regarding whether they qualify as essential businesses and whether they are following the social distancing/stay-at-home rules established by the state
  • The list of businesses will be posted to the Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County website. The list does not infer non-compliance on the part of the businesses. Cooper said his inspection team will have to review the paperwork for each of the 216 businesses in order to reach a fair conclusion as to essential vs. non-essential.
  • Some businesses on the list are obviously non-essential, Cooper said, citing vape shops, private clubs, pet grooming services, a video store and a retail entity as examples
  • The 216 businesses under investigation will grow, he said, because complaints continue to come into the health department
  • The health department will involve the county prosecutor’s office for repeat offenders, Cooper said
  • Mayor Nan Whaley said residents can use #askNan to ask her and other U.S. mayors who will be online Friday

President Trump and the White House coronavirus Task Force briefed reporters at 5 p.m.

  • TRUMP TESTS NEGATIVE: The president said he took another test Thursday morning for the coronavirus and tested negative. It believed to be his second; White House doctor said he is “healthy and without symptoms”
  • UNINSURED AMERICANS: The White House is considering direct payments to hospitals to cover COVID-19 treatment costs for uninsured Americans
  • MASKS FOR EVERYONE: The White House also is considering recommending that nearly every American wear a face mask when out in public. The guidance could be finalized this weekend
  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. The Small Business Administration will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. The loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of .5%. The program will be available through June 30
  • ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS: Direct deposits will be going into taxpayer accounts within two weeks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. “We want to put money directly into accounts. If people don’t have a checking account, checks will be mailed,” he said
  • FEMA SUPPLY CHAIN TASK FORCE: The federal government has sent to states 27.1 million surgical masks, 19.1 million N95 masks, 5.2 million face shields, 7,600+ ventilators, millions of pairs of gloves. The government is buying 30,000 ventilators and is looking to have 100,000 by late June. Project AirBridge, which Trump announced this week, aims to shorten the time products are moved from one location to another. Normally, it takes 37 days to get product from overseas to the United States and the FEMA team is scouring the globe to find pockets of PPE, said Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, task force leader
  • COVID-19 HOSPITALS: The Defense Department has been put in charge of running medical facilities they will install in the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City as well as convention centers in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in Dallas, Texas
  • VENTILATORS: The president said he signed Defense Protection Act to order 100,000 ventilators, which he said are being built and should be available soon for hot spots the coronavirus task force has identified
  • N95 MASKS: Trump said government on Friday is sending 200,000 N95 masks to the New York City public health system to get workers through April
  • PARTISAN POLITICS: Trump said the partisan politics have to end. “Witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt” have done nothing but increase his poll numbers, he said

What you need to know today:

  • Two new deaths were reported in Miami County from the coronavirus outbreak at Koester Pavilion and Springmeade nursing/rehab centers. One of the new deaths was a 68-year-old woman, who was a resident at Koester Pavilion. The other death involved a 90-year-old man, who was a resident at Springmeade.
  • Premier Health is working to develop a plan that would allow for internal processing of COVID-19 tests, which was part of order issued by Dr. Acton on Wednesday.
  • For the past two weeks, Premier Health has been sending their tests to the Ohio Department of Health for review.
  • Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their stimulus payment directly to their bank account
  • Stricter rules regarding social distancing and stay-at-home could be coming down the pike today
  • Miami County Sheriff’s patrol fleet gets disinfected, thanks to company gift
  • Are hospitals furlough some staffers, but will be ready to call them back once the COVID-19 patient surge hits
  • Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County will begin visiting businesses TODAY to deliver orders to immediately cease operations because they are not essential businesses as defined by state order.
  • Based on what Pentagon officials said was intelligence they received that cartels are trying to bring more drugs into the United States to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump directed the military to begin enhanced interdiction activities in the Southern hemisphere.
  • DeWine unveiled Ohio’s Hospital Preparedness Regions. Dayton and the majority of the Miami Valley fall into region 3. Mercer and Auglaize counties fall into region 1 and Butler, Warren and Clinton counties fall into region 6.
  • The state was divided into preparedness regions to deal with capacity and level of care.
  • The National Guard has been sent to Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati to start planning and assessing buildings possibly needed for the anticipated surge.
  • Gov. DeWine unveiled the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to fight COVID-19, which is a collaborative public-private partnership tasked with better coordinating efforts to provide healthcare workers and first responders with PPE.
  • Dr. Acton is issuing orders Wednesday for hospitals that don’t do their own testing to be required to send testing to another hospital for a quicker turn around time for results. Hospitals will no longer be allowed to send tests to private labs. “The turnaround at private labs is unacceptable for the patient and the rest of us,” Dewine said. Some of the hospitals that can do testing are Ohio State University Medical Center, MetroHealth in Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals in northern Ohio. Other hospitals may be added as the state confirms capacity.
  • SNAP benefits now can be used for online grocery store shopping and shoppers can swipe their cards from the car when they pick up the groceries.
  • The Presidential Disaster Declaration allows the state and local governments to receive FEMA grants that can be used for emergency operation center costs, state agency purchases in response to COVID-19, disinfection of eligible public facilities, PPE and temporary medical facilities and enhanced hospital capacity.
  • Gov. DeWine signed an order that seeks to provide some assistance for small businesses in the area of their mortgage and rent payments. “Through this order, I am issuing a plea -- a plea to lenders and landlords across Ohio to work with their small businesses and suspend payments for at least 90 days,” DeWine said. The goal of the order is to prevent foreclosures.
  • Lt. Gov. Husted said stores are asking people to do the following if they need to shop: Keep distance, shop patiently, shop alone when possible, stay at home if you don’t feel well, wash hands before/after entering a store, don’t touch your face while shopping, wear a mask/gloves if possible, shop online and do curbside delivery/pickup.
  • Ohio Department of Health is ramping up testing capabilities, which includes working in three shifts due to the emergency.
  • Dr. Acton advised Ohioans to be kind. “Just like a virus is contagious, our moods are contagious,” Acton said.
  • DeWine addressed concerns over any churches holding in-person services amid the pandemic. “Anyone who goes into a big group of people is making a very, very serious mistake. They’re endangering themselves, their family, and total strangers. Any pastor who brings a group of people together - it’s a huge mistake,” DeWine said.
  • Acton said she wishes she could give hope for the summer season, but the reality is if the curve peaks in May - it will be a slow process to get to the end of the curve.
  • The state’s exit strategy from the coronavirus curve will not be “a flip of the switch," Husted said.
  • Counternarcotics effort: Based on what Pentagon officials said was intelligence they received that criminal organizations are trying to bring more drugs into the United States to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump directed the military to begin enhanced drug interdiction activities in the Southern hemisphere. He called for more surveillance of drug activity, the seizure of suspected drugs and greater eradication efforts in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea
  • China and COVID-19: The task force cannot confirm reports that China under-reported numbers of the people who contracted the virus and virus-related deaths. Trump said he has not received any intelligence report about China and has not spoken with President Xi Jinping about it. “The numbers were on the light side,” Trump said.
  • PPE shipments: Trump said there was no truth to reports the United States is stopping shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from other countries because the national stockpile is nearly gone. “We just ordered a lot from Walmart,” Trump said of PPE headed for U.S. hospitals and health care facilities
  • USS Roosevelt: The nuclear aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt will remain “fully operational” while the crew is being tested for COVID-19, a Pentagon official said. According to several reports, more than 100 sailors have been infected with the coronavirus. The carrier’s captain has asked U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.
  • Hospital ships on order?: Trump said the White House is looking at building two new hospital ships or renovating existing ships to be used to deal with the expected coronavirus surge. “Hopefully, we won’t need them,” he said
  • Iran and COVID-19: The World Health Organization has confirmed that Iran has been under-reporting COVID-19 cases and deaths, the latter of which could be more than 15,000. Whether Iran’s threats against the U.S. military is a bluff, a Pentagon official said, the Iranian people should focus on their own concerns
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