COLUMBUS (WOWK) Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio is in the COVID-19 fight “for the long run,” and encourages Ohioans to look out for one another.
He says research shows mental health challenges go up in the case of a pandemic. DeWine says he encourages Ohioans to take care of one another.
“We’re seeing a lot of people stepping up,” he says.
Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, says DeWine has looked at her department throughout this pandemic.
In partnership with Medicaid, she says they are expanding telehealth services for Ohioans.
This will establish telehealth help throughout Ohio through a phone line. This will allow residents to visit with their mental health professional through apps such as Facetime.
She says they’re making every effort to ensure mental health services stay available for every resident. If an Ohio resident needs assistance, she says to call 1-833-4ASK-ODH.
Criss says residents should get information from a trusted source. She also says residents should limit their media exposure to keep from being overwhelmed.
She says Ohioans should keep doing the same things they always do to help keep themselves healthy, including getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods.
Criss says she also encourages residents to reach out if they need assistance.
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton says they also encourage Ohioans to postpone any elective surgeries. At this time, there is a shortage of masks used by health care professionals. Plans are in place to address this issue.
She says she encourages residents to practice social distancing to help cease the “six degrees of separation” to help stop the spread of the disease.
DeWine says this virus is twice as contagious as the flu and 20 times more deadly.
“This should not alarm people,” he said. “We knew this is coming.”
DeWine says while residents may experience a sense of fatigue with the COVID-19 situation and preparations, this is not a sprint. The state is in it for the long run.
Ohio currently has 25 people working in the call center. DeWine says he suggests residents also visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
He says although nursing homes are limiting visitors at this time, they have made exceptions for end-of-life situations.
Ohio currently has 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases at this time.