Expect Ohio restaurants to reopen very soon. Governor Mike DeWine said there are plenty of positive signs about Ohio’s COVID-19 Crisis. “It’s always been about what you do. You’re the ones that got us here. We want everyone to continue to be cautious. Continue to follow basic distancing protocols.”
He announced new priorities for testing and called out protesters for bothering the media and Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton. We’ve got the five most important points from today’s COVID-19 briefing.
- Cases Suspected – 20, 474
- Cases Confirmed – 19,609
- Hospitalizations – 3,809
- ICU Admissions – 1,090
- Deaths Suspected – 1,056
- Deaths Confirmed – 975
- Scioto County – 12 positive 1 probable
Governor DeWine said that if you look at the 21-day trends in Ohio that new cases, deaths, and hospitalization are all trending down. They aren’t as low as the state would like it but things appear to be headed in the right direction.
Restaurant Reopening Date Coming Soon
The Governor said his restaurant advisory group is getting close to establishing the safety protocols necessary for restaurants to get back to business.
“They made some very good progress today. Looks like they are about done.”
He said to expect a reopening date for restaurants within the next few days.
“Each one of these groups are comprised of people from that industry. In the restaurant group we have people from small diners all the way up to bigger chains. We are relying on them to set the standards.”
New Testing Priorities
The Ohio Department of Health is instituting new testing priorities for COVID-19 with an emphasis on congregate settings like nursing homes and jails.
Dr. Amy Acton said that the state has so far only tested around 1% of the population due to a shortage of tests.
- Hospitalized patients
- Healthcare Workers
Ohioans with symptoms who are:
- Residents of long-term care/congregate livings settings
- First responders/critical infrastructure workers
- 65 and older
- Those who manage Community outbreaks
Congregate living settings include nursing homes, veterans homes, mental health facilities, substance abuse facilities, group homes, homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth detention centers, prisons, and jails.
Ohioans with symptoms who are:
- Receiving essential medical procedures
- Receiving out patient procedures
Dr. Acton said that Ohio’s daily testing rose from 3,000 tests per day to 6,000 tests per day. “We tend to about 41 tests per 100,000. Our ultimate goal would be about 150 per 100,000.”
Acton said that Ohioans had headed off the disaster of Ohio’s hospitals being overwhelmed. “But we will be living with Coronavirus for the foreseeable future.”
Come After Me
DeWine spoke directly to those who were protesting against his lockdown policies. He told them that while he’s fair game, Dr. Amy Acton and members of the media are not.
“I don’t usually comment about demonstrators. I have a great respect for their Constitutional right to demonstrate. I am fair game. It’s not fair game to disrespect the new media. To be obnoxious to the news media. You should come after me. Don’t go after people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. To to not observe social distancing with them. I find that very sad. Come after me. I’m the elected official. I ran for office. I set the policy. To bother the family of Dr. Acton. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think that’s fair. The buck stops here. I am the responsible person.”
BMV Open Date
- Ohio’s BMV locations won’t be opening until the end of May. Lt. Governor Jon Husted said that they were still working on plans for social distancing and other safety measures before reopening.
- He said the agency is currently in the process of expanding the ability to make appointments online in order to cut down on crowding.