Gov. DeWine Daily Press Conference: Ohio Prepares for Surge in COVID-19 Patients
COLUMBUS, Ohio – More information was released on where Ohio is on the curve of COVID-19 pandemic and what kind of numbers the state is looking at during the daily press conference with Governor Mike DeWine. Joining Governor DeWine for the press conference was Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Health Department, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
Gov. DeWine discussed new information from Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic, using scientific modeling for the spread of COVID-19, is predicting that the peak will not come until mid-May. During that time it is possible for numbers to reach up to three times what the state is experiencing presently. DeWine stressed that during this time it was important to continue Social of Physical Distancing. He said that is giving the hospitals time to prepare for an influx of patients.
“We have a long way to go and that is a stark reality,” DeWine said. He said that now the state moves into action, “We now move into high gear.”
While hospitals have plans and been working to prepare for the surge in patients, DeWine has created eight regions for response. The Ohio National Guard will be overseeing the buildup and preparation for the surge in cases. DeWine placed a deadline for the regions to have their plans on his desk by 9 a.m. on March 28, 2020. Additionally, he wants a final draft by March 30. All of this will be organized under the leadership of Maj. Gen. John C. Harris, Jr. of the Ohio National Guard. More information on the regions is forthcoming according to DeWine.
The numbers on cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health were released:
- 1137 Confirmed Cases
- 107 Number ICU Admissions
- 276 Number of Hospitalizations
- 19 Number of Deaths
- <1-96 Age Range
- 52 Median Age
- 52% Males
- 48% Females
“There is a sense of urgency in everything we are doing,” DeWine said during the press conference when asked about those that do not believe a surge in patients is coming.
When asked about further actions beyond the Stay at Home Order, DeWine responded, “We are going to do what we need to do to protect Ohioans.”
Senator Rob Portman spoke by phone during the press conference. Portman spoke about the legislation passed by Congress to bring financial relief. “It is important because it is the rescue package,” Portman said.
Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans of the changes in the Primary Election. He said that anyone who has not voted already in the Primary Election can contact their local Board of Elections for absentee ballots. He said that can be done online as well. He also reminded Ohioans to fill out the Census.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today signed House Bill 197 which provides emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Waives state testing requirements for school children this year.
- Extends professional licenses for those who cannot get them renewed.
- Allows local governments to hold public meetings remotely and with transparency.
- Extends the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020.
- Extends absentee voting by mail until April 28, 2020.
- Provides funding for small businesses, such as day cares and services for the disabled.
A line item veto was issued to correct a drafting error.
Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio is launching a website to encourage Ohioans to continue to support local retailers and restaurants by shopping online, choosing local, ordering carryout from restaurants, and taking virtual tours of well-known attractions around the state.
There are currently more than 250 restaurants, shops, and virtual activities being featured online. To find a local shop or restaurant to support, or to have your business featured, go to Ohio.org/SupportLocalOhio.