COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Governor Mike DeWine along with other state leaders and health officials spoke this afternoon in Columbus to provide an update on the latest surrounding COVID-19 in Ohio. Below is a full outline of everything that was discussed.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, which is an increase of over 100 from yesterday’s total. On the positive side, no additional deaths have been reported.
Cases of COVID-19 in Ohio range from ages 1-93. The earliest a case has been contracted was on February 7, while the most recent was today.
83 Ohioans have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus. 40 counties in the Buckeye State now have at least one confirmed case. Stark County now has 10 confirmed cases.
Dr. Amy Acton with the Ohio Department of Health has signed a statewide Stay Home order for all Ohioans. DeWine introduced the order by saying this order isn’t much different than the recommendations that have already.
“There is nothing in the order that we haven’t already been talking about,” DeWine said. “There is nothing in this that I haven’t been asking you to do for the last few weeks.”
DeWine says it does permit exceptions to staying home. Common sense exceptions: leaving for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity (walking your dog, going to a park — although playgrounds are closed).
Ohioans can leave home to take care of others. “You can take care of your neighbor, your family, your friend,” said DeWine
The second part of the Stay Home Ohio order talks about essential workers and businesses. DeWine says the state used the Homeland Security guidelines. These are the accepted businesses that are essential for us to continue to live.
Carryout and food delivery services will still be available under this order. The Governor advises Ohioans practice social distancing while they’re out, picking up their food.
You can view the entire Stay at Home Order right here.
The number of kids in daycare has gone down dramatically. At the beginning of COVID-19’s spread in Ohio, there were 117,000 kids in daycare subsidized. That number has gone down to 17,000. This does not include private daycare centers.
All childcare centers, beginning on Thursday, March 26, must operate under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license. Ohio will also go down to a maximum of six children per room.
“This is a dramatic change,” said DeWine. “But it’s necessary to minimize the risk to these kids.”
The order says that ratios of one teacher to no more than six children. It Ohioans to limit use of shared space – If shared space is used, it must have a rigorous cleaning schedule. The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.
Governor Mike DeWine says he has been in contact with legislative leaders and will be asking the General Assembly to pass legislation to forgo state testing for the 2019-2020 school year.
The Ohio board of Pharmacy met to pass emergency rules that restrict dispensing of malaria medications. DeWine says there has been a huge uptick in prescriptions of these drugs, thus the state needs to make sure that they are being used in the most appropriate way.