Coronavirus Pandemic: Ohio now has 4,782 cases, 167 deaths

What you need to know March 7th

Ohio is now under an extended stay-at-home order until May 1.

There are now at least 4,782 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio with 167 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In Ohio, 1,354 people suffering from COVID-19 have been admitted to hospitals.

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

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The state has a population of 11.6 million.

In March, Ohio saw cases increase 25-40% daily. In the last two of three days, we’ve seen single-digit percentage increases.

For example: March 27 Ohio saw a 31 percent increase in cases. Today, Ohio saw a 7 percent increase in cases.

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.

The state said Monday 303 of the people who have been hospitalized have been released, which is 25 percent of the people that were hospitalized.

A projected curve of new cases from Ohio State University predicted Ohio would have 1,485 new coronavirus cases Tuesday. The state reported 332 new cases, putting Ohio below the Ohio State projection curve for nine days in a row.

Gov. Mike DeWine held his 2 p.m. update Tuesday.

The following announcements were made:

  • Ohioans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will soon receive additional support to help them during the pandemic. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced today that those who did not already receive the maximum month allotment for their household size in March will be issued an additional payment beginning this week. All SNAP-eligible households will soon be belt o pick up a pre-packaged box of food at their local foodbank. Ohio obtained federal approval to waive administrative verifications normally required at food banks, to streamline the process and limit person-to-person contact.
  • Today, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption. Under the rule, patrons can purchase two, prepackaged drinks per meal. All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per open container law.
  • Prisons pose a unique issue in the pandemic, in that social distancing is much more challenging. Ohio’s prison system intake went down by around 20 percent recently. That has started to reduce prison populations.
  • Gov. DeWine announced that there are 141 inmates within 90 days or less of being released in minimum security prisons in the state that the state is considering for release.
  • Gov. DeWine also announced that there are 26 prisoners over the age of 60 that have one or more chronic health condition and have served over 50 percent of their sentence that are being considered for early release.
  • Lt. Gov. Husted announced the Office of Small Business Relief that will identify ways to provide support to Ohio’s small businesses. More information on the new office can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp
  • 50,838 Ohioans have been tested for coronavirus. Of those tests, approximately 9 percent have been positive.
  • 976 healthcare workers have tested positive, which is 20 percent of the confirmed cases.
  • 92 percent of Ohio’s deaths from coronavirus have involved people over the age of 60.
  • Acton said Ohio is below the curve that initially was being targeted, but says its important to keep the current measures in place to prevent cases from climbing. “Don’t let up now,” Acton said.
  • The state is working with U.S. companies to aggressively try and acquire antibody testing kits, as they will be critical to the state’s exit strategy. Antibodies are formed in our bodies when we fight off this infection, and there is some immunity that builds up. No one is certain how long that immunity will last. It’s not lifetime immunity and that’s why we desperately need a vaccine, Acton said.

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

Here are the highlights:

  • Some of the 12 to 18 area businesses on the cease-and-desist list, accusing them of not following the stay-at-home or social distancing rules, have been found to be in compliance and some were asked produce more information explaining how they are following the rules, Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said. The office will have reviewed all of those businesses in the next day or two, then inspectors will deal with the next group of businesses on the list of 218 that had complaints filed against them.
  • Mayor Nan Whaley said a collection box will be set up just inside the entrance to City Hall for people or companies that want to donate masks for health care professionals, first responders and people who have contact with the public, such as bus drivers.
  • Mark Pompilio, Community Blood Center, said the FDA is close to finalizing the center’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma donation program, where a person who has been infected and recovered can donate blood plasma for its antibodies. The antibodies would then be injected into another survivor and the new antibodies would fight the virus in the recipient. The center hopes to post the rules and the application for the special donor program by Friday.
  • Emerson Technologies donated 2,800 masks from its plants throughout the region, said Sarah Hackenbracht, president/CEO, Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

President Trump and White House coronavirus task force held a news briefing late Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the highlights:

  • COVID-19 & BLACK COMMUNITIES: Trump acknowledged that COVID-19 is hitting African-American communities disproportionately hard. The task force will be analyzing underlying health issues affecting black people in an effort to understand why black people are dying at high rates. The task force has evidence that black Americans are more susceptible to poor outcomes than anyone else, task force member Dr. Debbie Birx said. She called on historically black colleges and universities to help improve the messaging about mitigation practices.
  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM: Trump said he will ask Congress for an additional $250 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, a program that makes forgivable loans available for small businesses that keep workers employed for eight weeks.
  • ON U.S. FUNDING THE WHO: Trump said he will “look at" freezing U.S. funding to the World Health Organization. He said they “missed the call” about the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the WHO seemed to come down on the side of China.
  • ON JANUARY MEMOS WARNING OF POSSIBLE PANDEMIC: Trump said he didn’t see January memos from his adviser, Peter Navarro (assistant to the president and national Defense Production Act policy coordinator), warning of the possibility of a pandemic. The president said the memos were out about the time he said he decided to close down travel from China. Trump said Navarro shouldn’t have told him about the memos because it was a feeling he had. “I basically did what the memo said,” Trump said. He said he would read the memo after the briefing.
  • ON THE WISCONSIN PRIMARY: “Mail ballots are very dangerous in this country because people cheat,” Trump said. Wisconsin didn’t want to change Election Day until he endorsed a Republican candidate. “As soon as I endorsed him, [Democrats] went crazy."

Here’s what you need to know today:

  • There are additional requirements for retailers in the new stay-at-home order that is now in effect. Retailers will have to determine a maximum number of customers allowed in the store to account for proper physical distancing. The number of customers allowed must also be listed. Some stores are only doing one direction per aisle. Some retailers are also cleaning off carts/baskets between customers.
  • 48,378 Ohioans have received a coronavirus test
  • 888 healthcare workers have been confirmed to have the virus.
  • The Dayton Convention Center is one of five sites selection state-wide that could support additional hospital patients if needed. Other sites include the Seagate Convention Center, Lucas Co; Case Western University’s Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga Co; Covelli Convention Ctr, Mahoning Co; Duke Energy Convention Ctr, Hamilton Co; Greater Columbus Convention Ctr, Franklin Co.
  • DeWine has activated the National Guard to assist at the prison for at the Elkton Federal Correctional Insitution in Columbiana County after 7 inmates tested positive and 3 died.
  • In the state prison system, five inmates at the Marion Correctional Institution and five inmates at Pickaway Correctional Institution have tested positive. 27 staff members at four facilities have tested positive for COVID-19, but the majority come from the Marion facility.
  • There are now over 29,000 open jobs listed on http://coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.
  • A map showing data of Ohio travel shows that Ohioans are following the guidelines set out by the Governor. “We’re hopeful our destiny is changed by your actions. Don’t let up, if you see this through, we are going to get out of this stronger,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
  • Acton said the state needed to double the hospital’s capacity to handle the upcoming surge. The social distancing the state has done is having an impact. Acton warned of a couple of hard weeks ahead but encouraged Ohioans to keep doing what they’re doing.
  • Acton said she anticipates Ohio hitting its peak late April, early May.

What you need to know for today: