COVID-19 virus response plans from Governor Mike DeWine include sheltering in place, flying your flag, and opening the doors to jail cells. Ohio Coronavirus cases stand at 119 cases in 24 counties. There has been one death in Lucas County of a presumptive COVID-19 patient. State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says they are currently awaiting test results to confirm the death.
Stay home and fly your flag
DeWine suggested Ohioans adopt a voluntary shelter-in-place mentality and asked all Ohioans to show unity by unity by flying the American flag and state flag. He says the flag idea came from his wife, Fran.
Let inmates out of jail
Chief Justice of Ohio’s Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor, called on local jails to consider implementing a release plan for prisoners in high-risk categories for the virus. She also asked judges to review bail amounts rethink jail time for non-violent and traffic offenders and to forgo picking up those with warrants for non-violent offenses. O’Connor suggested that all non-time-sensitive cases be postponed until a later date. She said that despite the COVID-19 virus, Ohio courts would still conduct necessary business, though some of it may be remote. O’Connor said she planned to release $4 million to local courts to put in place video conferencing equipment. It was also suggested that probation and parole officers allow reporting via phone or video.
Healthcare over the phone
Ohio is also implementing a telehealth plan to fight the Coronavirus. New rules will allow doctors, physical and speech therapists, addiction counselors, and other medical professionals to treat patients via phone or video call with no in-person visit required. Not only will Ohio’s Medicaid program cover these visits, but many private insurance companies have also agreed to these changes as well. State Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said not only will this plan free up hospitals and emergency rooms to treat virus victims, but it could also be a “giant leap forward in making healthcare accessible.”
No martial law
DeWine calmed fears that grocery stores would close by assuring Ohioans that stores have plenty of products to weather the virus crisis and that the supply chain plan is intact. Customers just keep stripping the shelves as fast as it comes it. He also addressed what he called his ‘daily National Guard rumor putdown.’ DeWine said there are no plans to activate the Guard in a military capacity to fight the virus. “The national guard is not involved in carrying weapons. You may see them carrying groceries. You’re going to see them involved in transport. If there’s any change in that, we’ll let you know. Rumors about martial law and quarantining everyone in their home. None of those are true.”