There are at least 5,512 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state with 213 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In Ohio, 1,612 people suffering from COVID-19 have been admitted to hospitals.
The state has a population of 11.6 million.
The rate at which confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio is increasing is slowing, according to a WHIO analysis.
Coronavirus cases in Ohio increased by 7 percent from Wednesday to Thursday. Comparatively, cases increased by 8 percent the day before. Last week, cases were increasing 13 percent to 17 percent. In late March, cases were increasing by 23 percent to 31 percent daily.
Deaths in Ohio increased Wednesday to Thursday by 10 percent, which is the smallest increase we’ve seen.
Dr. Amy Acton, state health director, said Ohio is below the curve initially being targeted, but said it is important to keep the current measures in place -- social distancing, the stay-at-home order, regular hand washing and the rest) to prevent cases from climbing.
“Don’t let up now,” she said Wednesday.
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.
Meanwhile, the state remains under an extended stay-at-home order until May 1.
Gov. Mike DeWine updated on the state’s response to coronavirus at 2 p.m.
The following announcements were made:
- 55,985 Ohioans have been tested for coronavirus
- 1,137 of the confirmed cases involve healthcare workers
- 19 manufacturers along with three hospital groups are going to make between 750,000 to 1 million face shields over the next five weeks. Once assembled, they will be delivered to the state stockpile, inventoried, and then distributed across the state. These are companies that normally make products ranging from toys to engine parts.
- DeWine acknowledged the good news of models showing dramatically lower projections than initially thought. “You’ve all been doing a bang-up job,” DeWine told Ohioans. The state has to continue doing what its doing. If the state does do that - the new projections will continue. If the state lets up, they will not continue, DeWine said.
- DeWine said the state plans to unveil its exit strategy plan in the next week or so.
- Nearly 700,000 people have filed for unemployment in Ohio.
- Ohio is still working to get its system up for 1099 employees to get benefits under unemployment. The system is targeting a mid-May launch, Lt. Gov. Husted said.
- $132 million dollars in unemployment benefits has gone to 207,000 Ohioans related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lindner Research in Cincinnati received FDA approval for a plasma protocol for treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. This plasma protocol can now go statewide, Husted said.
- If you are looking for WiFi hotspots, the state has updated locations at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Also library parking lots are an option.
- DeWine said the state is going to evaluate the situation as Ohio approaches the May 1 date for the stay-at-home order expiration to decide how to proceed. No decisions have been made.
- DeWine said the state is in the process of looking at cut options in the state budget. Some of the decisions could be made in the next few days.
- There were protests outside the statehouse during today’s press conference. DeWine said they have the right to protest. He also said the state doesn’t have any plans to keep the restrictions in place longer than they have to.
Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County held its briefing on the local response to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday afternoon.
Here are the highlights:
- STOP THE PARADES: Such events that feature a line of vehicles filing past a child celebrating a birthday, for example, need to remain in line with the governor’s stay-at-home order, which states (among other things) that people should leave home only for essential activities. County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said “parades do not meet the intention of the order. They need to be discontinued. It’s not fun to say, but that’s the reality of where we are right now.”
- IN-PERSON RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Cooper said while religious organizations are exempt from the state’s stay-at-home and social distancing orders, there is a difference between an order and doing the right thing. “It would simply be wrong to bring people together. When you take a large group of individuals congregating in a religious setting ... that would be a disaster. It’s the wrong thing to do. Please protect your congregation.”
- COVID-19 PATIENT CALCULUS: Health departments across Ohio now will include people who show symptoms of having contracting the coronavirus but who have not been tested, said Michael Dohn, medical director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. The change in how patients will be counted doesn’t mean things are worse, he said, but it means health care professionals will get a better count of who is sick and has COVID-19, whether confirmed by a test or not.
- COVID-19 & PREGNANCY: There is no evidence COVID-19 adversely affects pregnancy or passes from mother to child through breastfeeding, said Nan-C Moss Vann, project manager, Maternal and Infant Vitality Task Force, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. Pregnant moms should follow the protocol (hand washing,, minimizing contact between newborn and family members). If a mom is showing symptoms or contracts COVID-19, she could continue to breastfeed by taking precautions, including wearing a mask and washing hands before touching the baby, handling a bottle or expressing milk. Homemade breast milk recipes found online are not recommended.
- EMERGENCY OPERATIONS: Montgomery County, in partnership with other organizations, has delivered 150,000 pieces of PPE to front line workers in hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, county Commissioner Judy Dodge said. The shipment that includes N95 respirators, thermometers, surgical masks and gloves are from the Strategic National Stockpile.
- MASK COLLECTION: If you want to donate a face mask, take it to the front door at City Hall in downtown Dayton (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Masks will be going to RTA drivers, grocery store workers and other organizations (workers packing lunches for DPS children, for exxample) asking for them. You can mail masks to City Hall as well, Mayor Whaley said. The address is 101 W. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402
- STAYING AT HOME: It can be painful, tedious, even dangerous, Mayor Whaley said, citing a statistic that overdoses are up by 85% year-over-year in March. “The fact that Montgomery County has seen four COVID-19-related deaths has everything to do with the seriousness Daytonians are taking this,” she said. “Please take care of each other. I know we can do this and we’re doing it right now.”
- SHOE DONATION: 14,000 pairs of Crocs are being delivered Friday to front line health care workers at hospitals in the region
- MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS: If you have a background in medicine and want to volunteer in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, visit www.declare.org/givemedicalhelp or call 937-476-7521
President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force get their briefing Thursday afternoon.
Here are the highlights:
- COVID-19 TESTING: The task force has cleared more than 2 million tests and more than 100,000 people are being tested per day now, Vice President Mike Pence said. “We continue to see evidence of a leveling off,” he said, noting the task force is watching the Chicago, Detroit and New York City areas.
- DRIVE-THROUGH TEST SITES: Federal support will continue for drive-through testing sites. “We will continue to partner with our states,” Pence said. His comments were in reaction to national media reports that the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites on Friday. Pence echoed a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson who said Wednesday, “Many of the Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are not closing, but rather transitioning to state-managed sites on or about April 10.” The agency and a FEMA spokesperson said the CBTS program originally included 41 sites and was intended as a stop-gap to bring testing to critical locations, especially for health care facility workers and first responders. “The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most,” the HHS official said.
Here’s what you need to know today, Thursday:
- In response to the coronavirus pandemic, beginning Saturday, April 11, the Commissary and Exchange on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will require that all patrons wear a face mask to enter those facilities.
- Champaign and Auglaize counties announced its first coronavirus deaths Thursday.
- Gov. Mike DeWine is pleading with hospitals and other health care workers to not throw away N95 masks. He’s asking hospitals to take advantage of the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, which can sterilize masks up to 20 times up to 160,000 N95 masks a day
- Acton said it could still be a couple weeks before the state could see a slow easing of restrictions in the business sector, but cautioned that mass gatherings won’t be happening any time soon
- DeWine and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley are encouraging faith leaders not to hold in-person Good Friday and Easter services because of concerns over unknowingly passing the virus among congregants
- President Trump thinks “we’re doing much better” than a projection from a week ago suggesting 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. deaths from the coronavirus. The same key scientific model that issued that number is now suggesting 61,000 U.S. deaths. White House Task force member Dr. Debbie Birx said it’s reflective of what the United States is doing in terms of mitigation (hand washing, social distancing, staying at home, etc.).
Here’s what else you need to know:
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