COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and U.S. Senator Rob Portman, via phone, held an update on the COVID-19 spread in Ohio.
On Friday, it was announced there were 1,137 confirmed cases in Ohio leading to 276 hospitalizations and 19 deaths.
Deaths were reported in Columbiana, Cuyahoga (2), Erie, Franklin (2), Gallia, Lucas (2), Mahoning (2) Miami(4), Stark(2), Summit and Trumbull Counties.
The ages in death range between 58 and 93.
During Friday’s news conference, DeWine signed Ohio’s first major legislative response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The changes include eliminating mandatory state testing for schools this year. It also will allow mail-in voting for the postponed primary through April 28. DeWine also has postponed next week’s State of the State address, citing the need to maintain social distancing.
The bill also extends the state’s tax filing until July 15.
Prior to DeWine’s update, the U.S. House passed a $2.2 trillion rescue package, tossing a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the package Friday.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman said the relief package will address all facets of the shutdown: businesses closing, unemployment, schools shutting down and especially healthcare systems in dire need of help.
After talking with the Cleveland Clinic, Friday, about their modeling, DeWine stated that in about two weeks, the spread of COVID-19 will start hitting hospitals hard. Along with the spread, the peak is now projected to be mid-May.
The Cleveland Clinic told DeWine and Dr. Acton that they need two or three times buildout of hospital beds, and ICU beds in order to prepare for the spread.
DeWine said he is asking the Ohio National Guard to help with this buildup.
“We do not have a lot of time,” said DeWine.
Dr. Acton said Friday, that an update to the curve shows that Ohio could face a possible 10,000 new confirmed cases a day during its peak. On Thursday, she said it could be between 6,000 to 8,000 a day.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tried, Friday, to ease some of the economic anxiety people may be feeling during Ohio’s COVID-19 coronavirus stay at home order.
Husted said people who have applied for benefits may see a message that they would also have to apply for work in order to receive unemployment benefits. He said the requirement has been waived.
While not in the form of an order, DeWine says he is asking people who come to Ohio to quarantine themselves for 14 days to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
DeWine also announced a new campaign in Ohio to support small businesses throughout the state. Businesses and people can visit Ohio.org/supportlocalohio to find more information.