DeWine: COVID-19 surge causing ‘sustained impacts’ on state’s healthcare services

DeWine: COVID-19 surge causing ‘sustained impacts’ on state’s healthcare services
Coronavirus Pandemic: What you need to know Thursday

Franklin County became the first county in Ohio to reach the highest level of the state’s public health advisory system, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in his briefing Thursday.

In the Miami Valley, Montgomery County is on the Level 4 watch list, while all other counties, except Logan County, are in the “red” Level 3 alert level.

This is a sign that we are starting to see sustained impacts on healthcare services due to this disease,” DeWine said.

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Topics DeWine addressed during the briefing:

  • Ahead of the first night of a statewide retail curfew, DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take personal responsibility to adhere to the mandate. DeWine said he does not anticipate law enforcement pulling drivers over strictly for being out. DeWine said this order is designed to encourage people to stay home when they can, but not all the time, and find ways to limit behavior that could cause increased risk for COVID-19 spread.
  • Additionally DeWine said he believes the curfew will help prevent another sharp spike of cases following the Thanksgiving holiday. He added the curfew was one of many things that individuals can do in their own lives to prevent an increase in cases.
  • DeWine said ramifications of the statewide economic shutdown in the spring factored into the decision to not issue a new order during this spike. DeWine said decisions made during the pandemic were made with balance in mind, saying many consequences of the spring shutdown have led his decision making for the current advisories and mandates. DeWine still encouraged Ohioans to stay home when possible and only go out when necessary.
  • The unit enforcing the mask mandate at stores and businesses has reported patrons and employees are complying with the mandate. DeWine said the unit estimates around 90 percent compliance and they have been to around half of the state’s counties. “This is a noticeable improvement since the order was announced. We will continue our efforts with large and small retailers in the coming days, to ensure the safety of all Ohioans,” DeWine said.
  • All 88 counties in the state remain in the high-incidence levels for COVID-19 spread, according to DeWine. In four counties, including Mercer County, cases are above 1,000 positive cases per 100,000 people. Meaning that approximately one out of every 100 people has tested positive for COVID-19, DeWine said.
  • DeWine announced that around 12,000 antigen tests remain as pending since Monday and have not been added to the state’s running total of COVID-19 cases. DeWine said the state has been backlogged on double-checking these tests and have not added them to the total yet. The state and local health departments have not been able to clear the cases fast enough, DeWine said. The state averages about 10,000 antigen tests per day, all which require a double-check. DeWine said not every state double-checks these tests results, but the state has felt its in the best interest of the state to continue to do it. He expects to have more details on these tests in the coming days.
  • The state reported an additional 343 hospitalizations, which is above the running 21-day average.

Other items to know today in the coronavirus pandemic:

Latest data reported by Ohio Department of Heath:

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 326,615 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 5,890 deaths, and 23,560 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 216,619 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus in the state.

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

There have been 5,459,223 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A total of 26,364 health care workers have tested positive which is about 8 percent of the cases.