Governor Mike DeWine announced some major changes to help combat COVID-19 in Ohio. From where hospitals can send your Coronavirus tests to changes in how SNAP benefits work to where you’ll go to the hospital. There’s even a reference to a Bill Murray movie in there. Let’s hit the nine crucial points.
COVID 19 – Numbers
Here are the most recent COVID-19 numbers from the Ohio Department of Health.
- Cases 2,547
- Hospitalizations – 679
- ICU admissions – 222
- Deaths – 65
- Age Range – less than 1 – 99
- Counties – 72 reporting positives
- Adult inmates tested – 25
- Negative inmate results – 22
- Pending inmate results – 3
- Juvenile offenders tested -1
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton referenced a popular Bill Murray movie when speaking to Ohioans, “”I want to talk to you about the Groundhog Day we are living.” In the 1993 movie, the main character gets stuck living the same day over and over again.
Many Ohioans have said the stay-at-home order gives the same feeling. In the film, Bill Murray’s character acts out in frustration at his situation. Dr. Acton asked Ohioans to do better. “I want to remind you be kind. In all these numbers we call, we have to remember that there’s somebody on the other side of that phone. I think in the anxiety we’re all feeling we forget that everyone we interact with is going through the same stress. This is my plea to myself and anymore else as we go through this Groundhog’s day.”
Departing from her normally serious demeanor as she gives grim COVID-19 statistics, she added, ” If you’re hangry, get a snack. Just like the virus is contagious, our moods are contagious.”
Governor Mike DeWine said Ohio will be divided up into three large hospital zones based around Cleveland, Columbus, and the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Scioto, Pike, Lawrence, and Jackson Counties will be part of the Columbus District, which is called Zone 2. Adams will belong to the Cincinnati/Dayton District, known as Zone 3.
The Governor said that many of may not be able to use the local hospitals we’re used to when the number of cases of Coronavirus surges. Depending on either the capacity of local hospitals or the seriousness of your condition, you may be transferred to a re-purposed facility or a hospital in another area.
The Governor said members of the National Guard were visiting both the Columbus Convention Center in and Duke Energy Arena
Members of the National Guard will be sent to Cleveland, Columbus, and the Duke Energy Convention Center Cincinnati to access how the facilities might be used to house patients.
Other types of facilities under considerations are:
- College dorms
- Closed hospitals
- Unoccupied medical offices
The Governor announced a partnership between Ohio government agencies and manufacturers to encourage more production of personal protective gear for healthcare workers and first responders. The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 has a websites where businesses can go, check out what types of items are needed, and let the state know if there’s any way they can help.
DeWine said, “”Some of these items include swabs, sample collection tubes, ventilators, goggles, gowns, and masks. If you are a manufacturer, we need your help. We need your help right now. Go to Repurposingproject.com.” He assured businesses that they would be paid. “The money will be there.”
Use SNAP Benefits To Grocery Shop Online
People receiving SNAP benefits will now be able to shop for groceries online. They can then go to the store and swipe their card while doing the curbside pickup.
If the store doesn’t have the equipment to run the card at the curb, shoppers can go inside to pick up their groceries and pay.
The Governor said he hoped this would alleviate the need for parents to take children into stores.
7 Retail Requests
Lt. Governor Jon Husted said retailers have seven requests for shoppers.
- Keep a safe space. Stay six feet apart.
- Shop patiently. Watch and wait for other customers to be done
- Limit and consolidate shopping trips and shop alone when possible
- Stay at home if you won’t feel well
- Wash and sanitize your hands before and after shopping. Don’t touch your face in the store.
- Wear a mask or gloves while you shop.
- Shop online for curbside pickup or home delivery.
Husted also said that retailers “Reminded me to remind you that every one of these places is hiring.”
Tests Must Be Done In Ohio
Doctor Acton signed an order for all hospitals in Ohio to stop sending tests to private labs. The results can take as along a two weeks.
Under the new order, hospitals that don’t do their own testing must send tests to other Ohio hospitals that have testing facilities. The more severe cases of suspected COVID-19 can go to the ODOH. “The long turnaround is simply unacceptable. Unacceptable to the patient. Unacceptable to all us.” ODOH and hospitals can usually turn tests around within one day.
Dr. Acton said that rapid-response tests are on the way to Ohio. When they arrive, they can be deployed at urgent care facilities and other medical officers.
Major Presidential Disaster Declaration
Ohio has been declared a major disaster, making the state eligible for Federal funds to pick up a lot of the cost of the COVID-19 crisis.
The state will be eligible for grants from FEMA for costs associated with putting COVID-19 emergency plans into place. The Federal government will pick up 75% of the costs of:
- State agency COVID-19 purchases
- Disinfection of some facilities
- Building out of hospital capacity
Plus local governments will be eligible for direct assistance from the National Guard and Army Corp of Engineers.
The Governor issued a plea to landlords and lenders to give Ohio small businesses a break. He asked them to work with small businesses to suspend rent and mortgage payments for at least 90 days.
Lt. Governor Husted said it’s important for the lenders to take part, since a landlord who isn’t receiving rent won’t be able to make the mortgage payment. Banks are asked to tack those 90 days onto the end of the loan.
Husted said the goal is to “Stop economic spread of the virus of foreclosures. ”
The Governor teased that more big changes were on the way tomorrow to fight COVID-19.