Coronavirus: DeWine announces ‘Ohio solution’ to greatly expand testing in state

Today, Gov. Mike DeWine shared some details about the state’s plan to reopen part of the economy beginning May 1, specifically in terms of testing. He has set Monday as the day he will unveil the plan.

DeWine discussed the shortages in the state’s testing levels, but shared positive news that Ohio will be able to substantially expand testing due to an agreement with Thermo Fisher team in regard to a newly approved reagent.

ROE Dental Lab, based in the Cleveland area, will manufacture up to 1 million swabs to support the state’s testing efforts.

With the “Ohio solution” testing product manufacturing in place, beginning this coming Wednesday, Ohio’s capability will be at least 7,200 tests per day, and that number will go to 15,000 by May 6; 18,800 by May 13; and 22,000 by May 27.

DeWine created former governors Bob Taft and Richard Celeste and their Task Force with helping secure these items.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 15,169 cases in the state, 690 deaths and 3,053 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

The state’s long-term care facilities have seen 11 percent of the total cases in Ohio.


The future of work is here—and it's bigger than just cognitive technologies

By Deloitte

Of the states positive cases, 25% are from Ohio’s prisons. At those prisons, there has been an increase in testing.

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

There have been 107,109 people tested for coronavirus in Ohio. In the state, 2,455 cases are health care workers, which is 16 percent of the cases.

It is important to note the number of confirmed cases is not a true reflection of actual cases in the state because of the limited amount of testing available. The hope is that the number of cases will be more accurate because of the expansion of the testing standards.

The state remains under an extended stay-at-home order until May 1.

DeWine held a press conference at 2 p.m. to provide the latest updates.

The following announcements were made:

  • The state will cover the costs for teens that were scheduled to age out of the foster care system to stay in care until this pandemic ends. This option also is available for the people in the state’s Bridges program, which is the foster care to age 21 program. People turning 21 over the next few months can stay in Bridges to help them maintain their housing, jobs, and education.
  • 844 inmates were released from the Ohio prison system in the last five weeks.
  • The state’s new testing plan will allow the state to focus on congregate living settings, such as homeless shelters, treatment centers, developmental disability homes.
  • The state will be better able to make sure food/grocery workers and employees in essential manufacturing facilities are healthy & not spreading the disease with expanded testing.
  • The Governor said expanding testing is going to enable us to stand up a very robust contact exposure tracing ability. “Contact exposure tracing is one of the strongest weapons we help keep our families, our friends, and ourselves healthy – all done in a voluntary way, where we can take some control back over this disease,” DeWine said. Partners in Health, a Massachusetts based company, will bring in the needed resources to the state to help increase the state’s ability to trace contact exposure to the virus. The state is projected to hire over 1,700 people to assist with this part of the reopening plan.
  • The state said 700,000 of the ballots sent out by local board of elections have still not been returned. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Ohioans need to mail those ballots as soon as possible. The last day to have them postmarked is by Monday. You can also deliver them by hand to you local board of elections by Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Things you need to know today, Friday:

  • VIRUS KILLERS: Sunlight, high temperatures and humidity are detrimental to SARS-COV-2 in saliva droplets on surfaces and in the air according to emerging research, said Bill Bryan, Department of Homeland Security under secretary for science. Anthony Fauci, M.D., the top U.S. infectious disease expert, has said there is precedent with other infections like influenza that when the virus gets warmer it goes down in its ability to spread, but no one should assume that people are going to be rescued by a change in the weather
  • EXPANDED TESTING: Trump is to speak with governors today for an update on testing. He mentioned DeWine’s announcement this week about the FDA’s approval for Ohio to use Thermo Fischer Scientific’s reagent in expanding testing
  • COVID-19 & MINORITY HEALTH: The special minority task force on health, led by HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, is to convene today
  • 1099 BENEFITS: The self-employed, part-time workers, independent contractors can apply for unemployment benefits beginning today

More things you need to know today:

Comments on this article