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COLUMBUS – Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says she feels like she’s in a war zone.
“I’m going to war, and I’m coming back home and wondering why everybody at home doesn’t see what I see,” Acton said during Saturday’s news conference. “You can’t see the scurry and the flurry of activity that’s happening on the ground at the local level.”
Ohio is conserving its coronavirus tests for the most high-risk, hospitalized and front-line workers, Acton said. “We are withholding most of our testing in our lab because we are running out of reagent, (a chemical that helps process the tests.)”
Ohio has far more cases of novel coronavirus than the 247 cases confirmed by the Ohio Department of Health as of Saturday afternoon. That’s only “a snapshot of what’s going on.”
“There is a fallacy that middle America is not impacted by this,” Acton said. “We had a seeding of this infection early on and we were one of the last states to get the reagents we needed to do testing.”
In the past two weeks, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration has closed schools for at least three weeks, restaurants and bars except for carryout, delivery and drive-thru options, hair salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and more.
DeWine has, so far, stopped short of mandating that all residents “shelter in place.” Some cities and states have limited people from leaving their homes except for essential activities, such as getting medicine and shopping for groceries.
“This is an absolutely critical time,” DeWine said Saturday. “What we do now and not do will determine how many Ohioans die and how fast this will spread.”
He said to stay tuned for further announcements.
3 deaths, 247 cases confirmed
Ohio confirmed three people had died of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, during Saturday afternoon’s news conference. But the Ohio Department of Health is investigating multiple other deaths.
So far, 76-year-old attorney Mark Wagoner Sr., of Lucas County; a 91-year-old man from Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County and an 85-year-old man from Erie County have died from the virus.
“This invader, this virus continues to infiltrate throughout our state,” DeWine said. “Community spread at this point is now widespread.”
Ohio Department of Health confirmed 247 cases of COVID-19 – up from 169 cases the day before. Patients ranged in age from 1 year old to 91 years old.
Of those individuals, 58 are hospitalized with several in the ICU. Ohio’s doctors aren’t deciding who has access to ventilators and who doesn’t at this point, Acton said.
Acton said there were hot spots of coronavirus at nursing homes in Dayton, Cleveland and Tuscarawas County.
Adult day services to close
Ohio will close adult day services for people with developmental disabilities – except those that serve 10 or fewer individuals.
About 26,000 people in Ohio use these services. State and local officials will try to provide them in other ways.
Businesses can defer BWC payments
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will allow businesses to forgo payments for March, April and May. The next payments would be due June 1.
By deferring those payments, that will leave $200 million in the economy, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted estimated.
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Source Website Mike DeWine, Amy Acton update pandemic