Coronavirus Pandemic: 704 cases in Ohio, Shelby County reports its first

What you need to know Wednesday

Wednesday was the second day of the stay-at-home order for Ohio. People are expected to stay home until April 6. However, there are some exceptions such as essential businesses and travel for necessary supplies.

Ohio now has 704 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported to the state health department, including at least 10 deaths.

Content Continues Below

Wednesday night, the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department is reporting the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Shelby County.

Wednesday afternoon, Miami County Public Health has reported a fourth person has died associated with the outbreak of coronavirus at Koester Pavilion and Springmeade. The death involves an 88-year-old woman who was a resident at Springmeade.

At least 182 people have been admitted to hospitals, including people who could have been treated and released, and 75 people have been admitted to intensive care units, according to the state.

Heath officials caution that the number of cases in Ohio are higher than the confirmed cases because of testing availability. The age range of patients infected range from infant to 94 years old.

Just after midnight, Congressional leaders are putting the finishing touches on a $2 trillion stimulus.

Late Wednesday afternoon, President Trump and the White House coronavirus Task Force held its daily briefing.

Here are some highlights:

  • Under the stimulus package, independent workers and contractors would included as eligible for unemployment benefits
  • The stimulus package would include small business retention loans that would supply 8 weeks of salary and overhead, as long as workers are employed. The loans would be forgiveable.
  • "How many deaths are acceptable? None," Trump said to a reporter's question
  • "Our country wants to get back to work!" Trump said
  • Trump said he will meet with the task force for a recommendation whether to reopen the country, or parts of it, by or before Easter.
  • "We want to get our country going again," the president said.

Gov. Mike DeWine held his daily afternoon news conference to update Ohioans on the state’s response.

The following announcements were made:

  • 4,000 people have signed up for the Imagination Library since the pandemic began. Register your child here to receive free books until age 5.
  • Ohio has received its share of personal protective gear from the national stockpile, but it's not enough, DeWine said. That's why the state ordered elective surgeries to be postponed – including dental surgeries and elective veterinary services.
  • 14,764 people in the state have been tested for coronavirus.
  • 16 percent of the positive cases in Ohio have been healthcare workers and they are being tested more because they are part of the high-risk category, Dr. Amy Acton said.
  • 11 percent of the cases in the state involve people in intensive care.
  • The COVID-19 hotline (833-4-ASK-ODH) has seen a spike in calls asking about businesses. The state cannot provide legal aid, but can assist with health-related questions.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the federal Transportation Department is cutting red tape for obtaining and renewing commercial driving licenses. More information is available at ohio.coronavirus.gov/businesshelp
  • Husted said issues with the Ohio unemployment site have been addressed and the site reportedly is operating properly. More than 400,000 went online seeking information about unemployment, he said
  • Husted warned business owners to have documentation showing how they meet the criteria for designation as an essential business as spelled out in the stay-at-home order.
  • Enforcement is coming to businesses violating the order defining essential businesses, Husted said.
  • The stimulus package moving through Congress would have some relief for 1099 small business owners, Husted said. The state doesn't know all the details, but will be prepared to implement them soonest.
  • Wearing a mask does work - it won't stop a virus from coming in, but it can help prevent droplets from getting out if you sneeze or cough, Acton said. "I'm glad that folks are working on creating masks and sterilizing masks. There are all sorts of innovations happening," she said.

Local confirmed cases:

  • Butler - 18
  • Champaign - 1
  • Clark - 2
  • Clinton- 2
  • Darke - 1
  • Logan - 2
  • Greene - 3
  • Mercer - 1
  • Miami - 19
  • Montgomery - 14
  • Warren - 8

Here’s what you need to know today:

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force gave their daily briefing late Tuesday afternoon:

  • Due to a spike in infections, people who have recently left New York City should self-quarantine for 14 days
  • The New York City metro area is being considered a "high risk" area because of the spike, Vice President Pence said
  • Trump said he wants the country "opened up" by Easter - April 12

Gov. DeWine’s daily media briefing Tuesday afternoon yielded this nugget:

  • DeWine said its important for us to save our state's people to help the economy. "We save our economy by first saving lives. And we have to do it in that order," he said.
  • Acton said some hotels and dorm rooms will be transformed into hospital beds.
  • Don't call law enforcement or local health departments to interpret the stay-at-home order. Those calls are overwhelming the system, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
  • Here's the full video of state celebrities appearing in a public service announcement urging all Ohioans to stay at home and abide by the state's orders to defeat the coronavirus pandemic: