(COLUMBUS, Ohio) —Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provides the following update on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HOSPITAL CAPACITY: Because Ohio has to double its hospital capacity due to the impending surge of COVID-19, Ohio has developed plans to expand health services in alternative locations in addition to traditional medical treatment facilities. Representatives from the health care system, local government, regional emergency management agencies, state agencies, Ohio National Guard, among others, inspect buildings across the state that can support a large number of patients. The following sites have been chosen based on considerations such as distance to existing hospitals, safe conditions for patients and health care professionals, and space to meet the expected needs of the region. Seagate Convention Center, Lucas County Case, West University Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga County Dayton Convention Center, Montgomery County Covelli Convention Center, Duke Energy Mahoning County Convention Center, Hamilton County Columbus Convention Center, Franklin County These facilities will be used for mildly ill people, while the sickest patients will be placed in traditional hospitals. The assessment of other sites will continue if needed. Health care areas in southern and southeastern Ohio have determined that existing hospital facilities in their area will, with additional equipment, be able to handle surges in patients without going to locations outside the site.
OHIO NATIONAL GUARDS TO HELP FEDERAL DETERMINATION: Governor DeWine announced that he had authorized the Ohio National Guard to assist federal authorities at the Elkton Federal Penitentiary in Columbiana District where seven inmates tested positive for COVID-19, and three inmates died of illness. “For more details, this is not a state facility, it is a federal prison – but, this prison is in Ohio. “Ohio residents work there, and their families live here,” Governor DeWine said. “As we have said for weeks, we are all involved together, and giving state aid to federal prisons is the right thing to do.” The Ohio National Guard Mission will focus on providing medical assistance. They will not be armed, nor will they provide security. The guards and women will assist in the prison hospital with 19 non-COVID cases and with patients showing symptoms of the disease. These soldiers, all of whom work in the medical field, will have an N-95 respirator for protection while they work to supplement the prison’s current medical staff. They will treat them as they can and triage other people with serious symptoms for hospital treatment. The guards are also ready to help bring seriously ill patients to the hospital in case of a surge in sick prisoners. In addition to staff, guards will also carry equipment and ambulances. Governor DeWine also requested that the Federal Prison Bureau and the US Department of Justice stop accepting new prisoners at the facility. DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Lieutenant Governor Husted announced that the Administrative Dispute Resolution Commission, originally announced last week, is now ready to accept submissions from key businesses and the regional health department. The panel, which includes Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield, Director of Development Services Agency Lydia Mihalik, and Chair of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission Sam Randazzo, will specifically seek to resolve disputes when two regional health departments disagree on whether the type of business should or should not be considered important during emergencies. The purpose of this commission is to provide clarity and ensure that businesses in the same location are treated fairly, regardless of which side of the county line they operate. For more information, visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/BusinessHelp and select the “Business & Nonprofit” tab for more information.
REMINDER – STAY NEW STAY AT HOME: New bookings in Ohio at home take effect from midnight. You can find complete orders at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Retailers will be asked to determine the maximum number of customers allowed in the store to calculate the exact physical distance. That number must also be displayed at the entrance of the business.
REMINDER – SNOWBIRDS MUST BE SELF-QUARANTINE: Governor of DeWine today reminded “snowbirds” that they had to quarantine for 14 days once they arrived in Ohio. “I know that many of our Ohio snowballs will be back soon from places like Florida, and we want to make sure you stay healthy and the people around you stay healthy,” Governor DeWine said. In addition to those who returned after spending the winter elsewhere, anyone who had traveled outside of Ohio for other reasons also had to quarantine themselves for 14 days after they returned. This order does not include truck drivers, health workers, other workers who provide essential services, and those who live on national borders.
CURRENT OHIO DATA: There are 4,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio and 142 deaths. A total of 1,214 people have been hospitalized, including 371 admissions to the intensive care unit. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. Today’s full update video, including a closed captioned version of a foreign language, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel YouTube page. For more information about Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
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