Ohio’s journey out of COVID-19 lockdown is going to depend heavily on testing and everyone wearing masks in public. Governor Mike DeWine signaled that an end to the economic shutdown may be in sight. But it looks like Ohioans will be wearing masks and practicing some form of social distancing for a long time. Ohio’s Coronavirus death total stands at 324. The Governor and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton mentioned wearing masks in public nearly every chance they got during Tuesday’s update. Here are the seven major points.
- Cases Presumed – 7, 280
- Cases Confirmed – 7,153
- Hospitalizations – 2,156
- ICU Admissions – 654
- Deaths Presumed – 324
- Deaths Confirmed – 309
- Positive – 146
- Tested – 435
- Negative – 76
Ohio has done 67,000 tests.
Dr. Amy Acton said, “”We are still far short of testing.” She said testing is a crucial component of ending Ohio’s shutdown. “Ideally, we would get to the point where we can contact trace everyone.”
“We are going to be in this hyper-vigilant monitoring state until we get to a new world where we can monitor this.”
DeWine said, “We have the capacity in Ohio to get testing returned quickly. If someone is not getting it returned quickly, there’s something wrong.”
Governor DeWine announced that the state had submitted a Medicaid waiver application to the federal government to deal with the following issues:
- Bolster tele-health
- Waive signature requirements for variety of providers
- Ease obstacles to nursing home care
- Allow services to be provided at alternative locations
- Remove staffing requirements at facilities.
DeWine said, “Removing restrictions like these during this pandemic will allow healthcare workers to focus on meeting the needs of their fellow Ohioans.”
Doctor Acton once again emphasized the importance of Ohioans continuing to wear masks. She used the term “universal masking” to describe it.
She also said she would be issuing a new order to inform first responders if an address they are dispatched to is the residence of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Although she emphasized that first responders should always wear masks and assume everyone is positive for Cornoavirus.
Doctor Acton said universal masking will be important for everyone, “For those at home finding one, making one, even a simple bandanna. As we talk about the very slow, gradual walk to opening up some parts of what we do. The same things we have been doing matter more than ever.”
She described it as a ‘new world’ that will have ‘functional social distancing.’ According to Acton, “This new world will include social distancing. But it will be functioning social distancing. And it will include these masks. Some people who are very vulnerable will have to stay more like the way we are now.”
DeWine added, “If you’re 80 years old and you have asthma, you’re probably not going to go see the Reds play. You could. But you shouldn’t.
It’s my vision that everybody in this state will have a couple of these masks. It’s something the private sector is working on. It’s something we are working on as well. It will not be like it was until we get a vaccine.”
Doctor Acton said. “Ohio should be tremendously proud. We’ve won the first battle in the war, but we can’t stop here. There are other battles yet to fight.”
The dispute resolution center set up to determine which businesses are essential has already made some rulings. Lt. Governor Jon Husted said out 194 inquiries, 142 did not meet the criteria. Currently, 27 are under review.
To far the following rulings were handed down.
Car washes are essential but must follow the following rule:
- employees have no direct interactions with customers
- employees do not hand-wash or hand-dry vehicles
- employees maintain social distancing and comply with the other requirements outlined in the Order
- the number of employees is limited to only those necessary to operate the business within these
However, pet grooming and places that sell CBD oil have been ruled non-essential
Unemployment: No Excuses
Both Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted apologized to people still struggling to file for unemployment.
DeWine said, “The Lt. Governor and I were talking about this literally before we walked in. Let me just say that this is something that is very concerning and very upsetting to me. I could go through all the reasons for this happening. But for those of you who are having problems, I don’t think you want to hear anything. I think you want us to fix it.”
Husted agreed that talk was cheap. “Every time I hear a story about this, I get even more frustrated. It’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable on a number of levels. We feel the responsibility to serve people. When they are not getting served, I’m not satisfied. I’ll have a fuller answer to this questions tomorrow. I know there are reasons. I don’t want excuses. I want us to double down our efforts.
The Ohio State Fair has partnered with ODE for art education opportunities for kids learning remotely at home.
The contest is called ‘Crafted.’ The Governor said it’s a takeoff on the cooking show ‘Chopped.’ The competition lists items commonly found in a home. Kids must figure out how to use them in an art project.
DeWine said, “Ohio teachers can take this as an option for their students .”
Students can check out the rules and learn how to enter on the Fair’s Facebook page. Ten winners will get a VIP family 4-pack for the next Ohio State Fair.
Fall Term Up In The Air
When asked if Ohio’s college students will be back on campus this fall, DeWine said, “It’s much too early to start making decisions about fall. What I think we do know is that whether it’s a business, or a college, or it’s K-12, whenever they do open again, it’s going to be different.
This is the hardest thing for me to accept. Until there is a vaccine, this monster is working around us. When we start businesses back up, when we start schools back up, when we start colleges back up, it’s going to be different.
Every business. Every college. Every university. You need to think ‘how am I going to open?’ What am I going to do every day to keep my employees safe, my students safe, my faculty safe. When is one question. How is a bigger question.”
Dr. Acton agreed. Holding up a mask, she said, “Businesses are going to have their employees wear these. I can’t imagine a business that’s going to open up without their employees wearing these.”