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Ohio Coronavirus Update | 15,963 total COVID-19 cases, 728 deaths

As of Sunday, ODH reported 15,360 confirmed and 603 probable cases of coronavirus, making 15,963 total in the state.

COLUMBUS, Ohio —

Sunday

New numbers

As of Sunday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 15,360 confirmed and 603 probable cases of coronavirus, making 15,963 total in the state.

So far, there have been 687 confirmed and 41 probable deaths, for a total of 728 COVID-related deaths, per ODH data. 

To date, there have been 3,178 hospitalizations with 952 ICU admissions. 

ODH reported an age range of cases from less than 1-year-old to 106-years-old with a median age of 51.

So far, 58% of patients have been male and 42% have been female.

Saturday

New numbers

As of Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 14,983 confirmed and 604 probable cases of coronavirus, making 15,587 total in the state.

So far, there have been 671 confirmed and 40 probable deaths, for a total of 711 COVID-related deaths, per ODH data. 

To date, there have been 3,115 hospitalizations with 938 ICU admissions. 

ODH reported an age range of cases from less than 1-year-old to 106-years-old with a median age of 51.

So far, 58% of patients have been male and 42% have been female.

Friday

New numbers

As of Friday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 14,581 confirmed and 588 probable cases of coronavirus, making 15,169 total in the state.

So far, there have been 649 confirmed and 41 probable deaths, for a total of 690 COVID-related deaths, per ODH data.

To date, there have been 3,053 hospitalizations with 920 ICU admissions.

ODH reported an age range of cases from less than 1 year old to 106 years old with a median age of 51.

So far, 58% of patients have been male and 42% have been female.

Testing capacity

Ohio, like other parts of the country, has experienced shortages in testing. DeWine said this is due to a number reasons, including a lack of swabs and a lack of access to reagent. 

Earlier this week, the FDA approved a new reagent developed by Thermo Fisher.

DeWine announced Friday a new partnership with that company.

When it comes to swabs, DeWine said that Cleveland company ROE Dental Lab will manufacture up to 1 million swabs. The company usually creates dental supplies.

The Ohio Manufacturers Association helped ROE Dental secure the specifications for these swabs from Toledo 3D printing company Form Labs, Inc., the original partner of OSU and Battelle. However, DeWine said there is a significant demand, which is why Roe Dental is stepping in.

DeWine said the move will bring around 100 employees back to work, creating this vital part of the testing process, while maintaining safe social distancing practices.

Husted said that currently, Ohio is completing an average of 3,738 tests a day. Beginning this coming Wednesday, DeWine said the state's capacity will be at least 7,200 tests per day. That number will grow in a week.

By May 13, DeWine expects the capacity to grow to 18,800 per day and by May 27, it should be up to 22,000 per day.

DeWine said that this will allow us to go into nursing homes and other congregate living facilities and test more aggressively. 

Additionally, this will allow us to test appropriately in any hot spots that pop up.

DeWine said that we will be able to ensure Ohio's grocery store workers and employees in essential manufacturing facilities are healthy and not spreading COVID-19 to others.

Overall, these improvements testing capabilities will allow Ohio to create a robust, aggressive contact exposure tracing system.

Contact tracing System

DeWine said that we now have the ability to be on the offensive with the virus. He said we are going to isolate the virus and kill it, so that it cannot spread to others. 

In a tweet, DeWine said: "It's an aggressive strategy, because Ohioans are not going to let this ting dominate our lives."

He said that contact exposure tracing is one of the strongest weapons we have to help keep our families, our friends and ourselves healthy. And it will all be done in a voluntary way.

As part of the state's offense strategy, leaders started working with Partners In Health, a group based in Massachusetts, started by Dr. Paul Farmer. 

Here is a look how this should work:

According to Ohio Dept. of Health Medical Director Dr. Mark Hurst, if you develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and ask what to do. 

The healthcare provider may ask you do to testing. At that point, you should isolate yourself, separate from family and wear a mask.

Isolate until it's been at least seven days from symptom onset with no fever or symptoms for at least 72 hours. 

If your test shows you are positive, your healthcare worker will reach out to find out who you were in contact with 48 hours before you were sick. Any people you were in contact with during that time could be at risk for having COVID-19.

Credit: WBNS
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine creates visual representation of contact tracing as Dr. Hurst explains.

What is a close contact?

If you went to the grocery store during that time period, if you passed by someone and didn't get near anyone, that wouldn't be considered a close contact. But, if you had dinner with someone - that would be a close contact. 

Your close contacts will then be asked to quarantine for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day. If they start to show symptoms, they should then contact their healthcare provider and go through the same process. 

Hurst said that this is the general procedure that has been done for decades with many infectious diseases. It's not a new process, but what is new is the volume we have. 

DeWine again said that this is all voluntary, but claimed the response so far has been "outstanding." He said that so far, professionals have only had concerns in fewer than 10 cases of people not adhering to these guidelines.

DeWine reiterated that testing and tracing do not replace the other tools we have been using to combat coronavirus, including:

  • Washing hands for 20 seconds
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Covering sneezes and coughs
  • Not touching your face
  • Social distancing
  • Masks (making sure it covers your nose)

Foster care

Over the next three months, a little over 200 people will turn 18 and age out of foster care, DeWine said.

He announced Friday that the state will cover the cost for these young people to stay in care until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

The program is also available for people in the Bridges program, for people up to age 21. DeWine said that young people turning 21 over the coming months can stay in the program to help them with housing, jobs and education.

Voting

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said there are 1.7 million Ohioans who've requested a ballot to vote by mail, but under 1 million have voted. 

He said that there is still time to request your ballot, but encourages Ohioans to do so quickly. 

Voters have until Monday to have it postmarked, or it can be dropped off at your board of elections dropbox. 

Husted said those dropboxes are secure, and voters won't need to come into contact with any other people. Ballots can be dropped off until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day Tuesday, April 28.

Prisons

As of Tuesday, 336 inmates were released. The total over the last five weeks, DeWine said was 844. He promised new numbers next Tuesday.

CCNO announced Friday that the facility would temporarily suspend accepting new inmates, with the exception of those determined to be a threat to themselves or the public. DeWine said he was unaware of the facility's decision to do this. 

RELATED: CCNO to temporarily stop accepting inmates amid COVID-19 outbreak

Thursday

New numbers

As of Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 14,142 confirmed and 552 probable cases of coranvirus, with a total of 14,694 cases in the state. Additionally, there were 618 confirmed and 38 probable COVID-related deaths, for a total of 656 reported by ODH.

To date, there have been 2,960 hospitalizations and 900 ICU admissions due to the virus.

There is an age range of cases from patients younger than 1 year old up to 106 years old with a median age of 51. Data shows that 59% of cases have been male and 41% have been female. 

Elective Surgeries

DeWine said that he would love to get back to the point where hospitals can perform any procedure that is needed, and that is the goal leaders are working toward. 

In March, elective surgeries and procedures were postponed.

At that time, DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton stated that these cases could move forward if postponing the procedure would cause a:  

  • Threat to the patient's life
  • Threat of permanent extremity/organ dysfunction
  • Risk of worsening disease or condition
  • Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms

Moving forward, DeWine said that state leaders want doctors and other healthcare providers in Ohio to reach out to patients who had a case postponed in order to re-assess the need for the surgery or procedure based on those same criteria. 

During this assessment, DeWine said the provider should consider the patient’s current overall health condition and the patient’s quality of life to assess the risk of proceeding with or further postponing the case. 

If the provider recommends that the surgery or procedure can proceed because the patient now meets one of the four criteria above, then DeWine said he wants to make sure a full assessment is done before proceeding with the case. 

Beyond a re-assessment of the patient’s health status, healthcare providers should discuss the risk of contracting COVID-19 if the procedure is done. 

Providers should make the patient aware of all of the things that are being done to reduce the risk of patients contracting COVID-19 in a healthcare setting. 

With all of that information in hand, then the patient and the provider can jointly make the decision on whether to proceed with the surgery or procedure. 

DeWine said he wanted to make clear, that if you need emergency care or if your condition is worsening, you should call your doctor or healthcare provider.  If you have chest pain, symptoms of a stroke, or other similar serious conditions, call your doctor and go to the emergency room. 

Healthcare facilities across the state are doing a great job, he said, at implementing infection control practices within their environment to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

Science behind COVID-19 and suggested safety measures

Ohio State's Mark H. Weir, EIT PhD joined in on the conference Wednesday to explain the science behind the state's response.

Weir said that his team, made up of multiple institutions from across multiple states, focuses on the virus itself as they work to develop best practices to combat its spread. Here is a break down of how Weir said the virus functions:

Spread: The virus is transmitted through droplets, surfaces and cross-contamination. 

How does this happen? Weir said it is emitted through coughs or sneezes going outward in a cone shape as a droplet. He said the droplet is an important characteristic because a droplet will fall out of the air at a quicker rate than something that will stay in the air and circulate in the air for a longer period of time. 

Surfaces are also important he said, because if you touch a surface that is contaminated, now you have contaminated your hand. This can then lead to cross-contamination if you go on to touch other surfaces.

The goal: What are the impacts on society? How are these impacts eliminated or reduced? In order to do that, scientists focus on the environment and the virus, because the environment can be used to kill the virus. If they can kill the virus, it can't get inside of us and if it can't get inside of us it can't impact us; it can't create an infection. These are the answers scientists look to answer as they come up with solutions to fight theses types of viruses.

Infection process: Weir said the process starts with an infected person coughing improperly, maybe into their hands or in the air rather than an elbow. The virus either lands on a surface or is on this person's hands

If they do not wash their hands immediately, that hand may touch another surface, causing cross-contamination. 

If a second person touches that surface and then touches their eyes, nose, mouth or other area of their face before washing their hands, that person could very well get infected.

Credit: Weir

How to fight the spread: Weir said the goal is obviously to interrupt the infection process. He said it is simple: it requires multiple parties working together to limit contact to the virus.

Say, an infected person coughs, but is wearing a mask. The mask will collect a large number of those droplets, reducing the amount that lands on a surface. And those droplets will eventually die on that surface either by someone wiping down that surface or by someone washing their hands before and after touching that surface.

Credit: weir

Weir said that the virus can stay viable in the air, in a dry environment, for up to three hours. On some surfaces, it can remain for up to 72 hours, but that is only if it is left alone. Weir said that if you use certain disinfectants, it can remove 99.9% of the viruses. Regularly cleaning surfaces is one way to help fight the spread.

In terms of food, Weir said that when you freeze something, you damage cells, making it no longer viable. This happens with viruses; you destroy part of it in the freezing process. However, it is not the end all be all. Freezing will have some effect, but cooking will have even more of an impact. Viruses do not survive heat well, he said.

However, Weir said that it is important to understand this all has a range of effects, there is no silver bullet.

What experts are looking at in terms of reopening: Business owners can prevent a lot of infections, just by cleaning surfaces on a regular basis. But, what exactly constitutes as a regular basis? How often? Weir said his team is using models to determine that span of time. However, an answer wasn't immediately provided.

Weir also said his team was looking at the impacts on certain types of surfaces. He said that he's heard gyms shut down because of how long the virus lasts on stainless steel and other metals. He said with that knowledge, they can factor that into their models and ask, "Do these types of surfaces need to be cleaned more frequently?" or "What do we need to do to maintain a relatively low level of viruses so people don't get sick?"

He said we have our personal areas of control like wearing masks and washing our hands. And the businesses can protect staff and customers by making the choice to clean surfaces and monitor the health of employees. Building owners can look into HVAC systems in their units. Weir said that filters do a very good job: the thicker the filter, the more removal of viruses. 

"If you own a building, if you increase the size and number of filters in your HVAC or if you look at air treatment technology, you could protect hundreds or more," he said.

Reopening the state

DeWine said that state leaders are following President Trump's broad guidelines, but the president has also made clear that it is up to the states to make specific guidelines that fit best for them. He said Ohio's plan will remain consistent with the federal guidelines.

DeWine said he will be discussing some parts of the reopening plan on Friday, however, this will not address businesses. He did say a more detailed announcement is on the way Monday.

He said that as we move toward reopening the economy we want to do it in a way that is safe and in a way that makes people feel confident.

Weir said that if we immediately open everything at once, we would be almost inviting another peak to occur. 

He said that when you slowly open things up, it's a controlled environment and experts can gauge what is happening. This gives them the ability to say, "Are we making the right decisions? Do we have to change things? Do we have to adapt things? How do we have to do things to make the reopening as safe as possible?"

Husted clarified that the new guidelines will be incredibly strict. He also said that businesses will not be required to open and will not be able to open unless that set criteria will be met.

Current jobs

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said that there are now over 50,000 jobs available from over 886 companies on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.

Wednesday 

New numbers

As of Wednesday, there were 13,609 confirmed and 508 probable cases of coronavirus reported by the Ohio Department of Health, making 14,117 total cases in the state.

ODH reported 584 confirmed and 26 probable COVID-19 related deaths, with a total of 610.

To date, there have been 2,882 hospitalizations and 880 ICU admissions.

There is now an age range of less than 1 year old up to 106 years old, with a median age of 51.

So far in Ohio, 40% of cases have been female and 60% have been male. 

To date, there have been 97,998 tests administered in the state.

Testing

Ohio Director of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said that as testing capacity increases in the state, leaders are trying to maximize who they test so that the state can make the most of the tests that are available.

Here is a look at the COVID-19 testing tiers of priority:

  • Priority 1 - Individuals with symptoms who are hospitalized or are health care workers.
  • Priority 2 - Individuals with symptoms who are in long-term care facilities, first responders or critical infrastructure workers, are 65 and older or are living with underlying health conditions.
  • Priority 2a - Individuals and staff without symptoms who are in long-term/congregate living facilities with an outbreak.
  • Priority 3 - Other individuals with symptoms and individuals with mild symptoms in areas with high COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Ohio has already been prioritizing who gets tested, but Acton said that it's very important that throughout Ohio, tests are prioritized the same way.

DeWine said that he knows they need to increase their ability to test, and promised good news on this soon.

Reopening

DeWine said that he wants to be able outline and make it clear exactly what will be required when businesses start to reopen. 

It is a careful process of looking at what is best for businesses and what is best for the health of the workers and, in the case of retail, customers.

RELATED: 11 Investigates: Safe Shopping

He said that they will have more details soon. 

When asked about companies like the Jeep plant locally that plans to reopen on May 4, Husted said that they will be required to follow all of their guidelines otherwise they will not be able to reopen. He said the state will be very firm on this.

DeWine said that the new guidelines will be more stringent, specific guidelines, unlike the more vague stay-at-home order we are currently under.

"I would feel comfortable working in the business conditions that we are discussing," Husted said. "I would encourage my own family members to go to work under the conditions that we will announce."

He did make the exception of individuals who are over 65 or have existing health conditions in this regard, however.

He also acknowledged the shortage of cleaning supplies, which may make things difficult for businesses as they begin to reopen and strive to adhere to the new guidelines. DeWine said that it's possible, in the beginning, that some businesses may not be able to meet his specifications due to this, but expressed confidence the market will begin to work itself out.

Juvenile Correction 

The first positive coronavirus case was confirmed among the juvenile correction population. The youth began showing symptoms on Monday and was immediately isolated. DeWine said these living units do not intermingle, but all the youth in this individual's unit are being tested.

Contact tracing has already begun. 

Activity in the juvenile corrections facilities have been limited. Both youth and staff have been provided masks and they are required to wear them, DeWine said.

Elective Surgery

Dr. Amy Acton initially stopped elective surgeries to open up bed space in case of a hospital surge.

DeWine said that a number of surgeries that leaders had no intention of stopping have been postponed. He said this concerned him and they are now working get surgeries up and running again. 

DeWine said there will be a more expansive order coming in the next few weeks.

Thanks to Ohioans staying at home and the hard work of health care workers, DeWine said that the anticipated surge has been prevented.

At Wednesday's conference, DeWine asked health care providers in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to reassess those procedures and surgeries that were postponed and talk with the patient to see if the procedure can take place. 

His team has asked doctors to review any of the postponed procedures or surgeries with the patient in light of their current health situation and quality life and make a joint decision about whether to proceed. 

Additionally, for new or other chronic conditions that may have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, providers and patients together may consider moving forward with diagnostic procedures. 

DeWine said that patients must be informed of the risk of contracting coronavirus and that impact during the post-operative recovery process.

"As we continue this phased-in approach, we are working with hospital systems, health care providers, patients, and other stakeholders to determine the next steps. Eventually, we will be reopening our doctors’ offices and dentist offices. Together, we will get back to normal," DeWine said.

Economic Impact

At the start of March 2020, the state had 5.6 million people working. Since March 15, Ohio lost about a million jobs. 

Nationally, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said that number is well above 25 million. It is projected nationally, he said, that unemployment could go to 20%. 

To put it in perspective, during the recession that ended in 2009, the highest unemployment rate experienced in Ohio was 10.9%.

Husted also said that during times of economic stress, we see more people struggle with mental health.

"We also know from past recessions, as unemployment goes up, so does suicide, drug addiction, homelessness, domestic violence, and more health consequences," Husted said. "This is the reality we face." 

Husted said that in every economic downturn, it hurts people the most who are at the low end of the economic scale. Not only in terms of job access, but in wages and the ability to pay bills. Husted acknowledged that poor economic conditions weigh heavily on this population.

As for mayors and cities, many are expecting 15-25% cuts, meaning vital services like police and fire. 

RELATED: Toledo furloughing city employees to save money amid coronavirus pandemic

The state relies heavily on income and sales tax. If people aren't shopping and buying, the sales tax dramatically suffers and when people lose jobs, the income tax suffers as well. Under normal conditions, Husted said the state's rainy day fund would suffice. However, looking at current projections, the state would need nearly double that amount.

The state funds things like K-12 education and health care like Medicaid. 

Husted said that this will impact the state's ability to help children, the cost of college and the ability to protect our neighborhoods.

"Economic consequences are not just about businesses, it's about the people that rely on these services," he said.

Husted said that if businesses are not operating and people aren't working, then state and local government will not have the revenue to serve constituents. 

"You'll be armed in this battle with masks, sanitizer, soap, and six feet of safety. These are strategies that we know will work. We all need to lead by example," he said. "The road to recovery will be long and gradual, but with the right precautions, businesses can create a safe environment."

Mental Health Services

A new toll free, confidential emotional support service has been created for Ohioans to utilize. The resource is called the "COVID Care Line."

Trained staff will be available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week for those dealing with fear, stress or anxiety due to coronavirus. After that, calls will roll over to the Suicide Prevention Life Line so residents have access to mental health care 24/7 in a time when many are struggling with feelings of isolation. 

Ohioans can call 1-800-720-9616 to utilize the COVID Care Line.


Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Ohioans were encouraged to find ways to celebrate Earth Day, while maintaining social distance.

Leaders from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency suggested a number of ways to honor the holiday like planting, riding a bike and collecting rain. Members also encouraged people to come up with their own unique ways of getting involved given the circumstances.

In honor of the holiday Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine conducted a random drawing, awarding one member of the press a Buckeye tree. 

In 1979, Ohioans bald eagle population was only at four mating pairs. However, DeWine announced that this year, the bald eagle population has dramatically increased. There are now 777 bald eagle nests in 85 out of Ohio's 88 counties.

Tuesday

New numbers

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported a total of 13,725 cases of coronavirus in the state - 13,250 confirmed and 475 probable. There are a total of 551 total deaths in the state - 538 confirmed and 19 probable.

There have been a total of 2,779 hospitalizations with 838 ICU admissions.

You can check all the state data here.

The total number of tests administered is 94,239 and positive cases have been found in 87 of 88 Ohio counties.

RELATED: COVID-19: Why the numbers reported from local agencies may differ from ODH

Wearing a UToledo tie, Gov. Mike DeWine said that Lt. Gov Jon Husted is absent again from the daily press conference because he is working a business initiative that will be rolled out shortly. 

Northwest Ohio Developmental Center death

DeWine also announced a death at Northwest Ohio Developmental Center on South Detroit Avenue in south Toledo. This marks the first death COVID-19 of a resident at a developmental center. This resident was diagnosed on March 31. 

As of Tuesday, state data indicated that of 250 total employees at the center, 36 staff members tested positive for the virus. One test is still pending. Out of the 36 positive cases, ODH said 17 of those employees have since returned to work.

Of the 71 residents using the facility, six have tested positive.

Testing Strike Team formed

Former Govs. Bob Taft and Richard Celeste will head up an Ohio Testing Strike Team, DeWine said. They will be tasked with expanding the testing capability and maximizing the current capacity in the state. 

"Testing is vital as we work to get our economy restarted and keep Ohioans safe and healthy," DeWine said. 

From different parties - Taft a Republican and Celeste a Democrat - both men served two terms as governor of Ohio. 

Testing

DeWine also said the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new version of a testing reagent produced by Thermo Fisher. DeWine said the approval will greatly expand Ohio's ability to increase its testing capacity and that the state is working with other companies to make additional reagent kits available in order to increase testing.

DeWine said that he anticipates a big spike in the number of available tests by mid-May.

Minority Health Strike Force Team

The numbers nationwide as well as Ohio show that the African-American population is being hit disproportionately hard by coronavirus. A strike force is now in place to help serve the needs of Ohio's minority population and investigate why the virus is striking minorities in disproportion. 

Ursel J. McElroy, leader of the Ohio Department of Aging, will serve on the Minority Health Strike Force and she spoke Tuesday. 

County fairs

The governor said that it's not yet known what coronavirus will mean for all county fairs. A county fair can apply for a $50,000 grant without needing to put up the usual matching funds. Fair managers have until May 30 to apply through the Ohio Department of Agriculture website. 

JobsOhio

JobsOhio and Peoples Bank and First Federal Bank announce a partnership to support those banks' existing small business clients. An total of $50 million will help provide additional financing to businesses in good standing to help them keep their payroll going, as well as mortgages, fixed debts and utilities.  

Reopening the state

The goal of Phase One, which has not been completely outlined, is to get as many people back to work as possible, in the most safe way possible, DeWine said. The first step is moving forward with hospitals, he said. Secondly, businesses that can open with safety precautions in place will be looked at for reopening.

"It's not going to be done overnight," DeWine said. "If you look at some of the things we all like to do, like big gatherings, those are not going to be the first things to open up."  

Once the economy starts to reopen, DeWine said people will still be asked to socially distance themselves.

Monday

Schools to stay closed

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year and students will continue to learn remotely. 

"The virus continues. We've flattened the curve but it remains a dangerous situation," DeWine said.  

Many educators have expressed to the governor that this wouldn't be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved. 

No decision has been made about the fall yet, DeWine said. "We are simply not in a position yet to make that decision," he said. 

Schools are already preparing for the fall and thinking about how they would handle the situation if they were back in school to deal with social distancing procedures, DeWine said.  

An option that was discussed by several superintendents was the possibility of having a "blended" system this fall that could mean some distance and in-person learning. Each school district is going to be different, DeWine said. 

"We are going to allow a great deal of flexibility, as we should," DeWine said, because of the differences in districts. 

When it comes to end-of-year traditions such as prom, recognition banquets and graduation, "we're not telling the schools how to do this, but the gathering of a significant number of people is a dangerous situation," DeWine said. "It's a real shame. I can't express how sorry I am about that."

Some concerns the governor has, he said, are safety of children, parents, safety and teachers and staff. He cited several groups of students that he is particularly concerned with. 

  • Children with special developmental needs
  • Children who have health challenges
  • Children with no or limited access to the internet
  • Children without a supportive home life

Day cares

Day cares will remain closed, DeWine said, as social distancing needs to still be in place and it's unlikely that small children can adequately socially distance. 

When asked how this will affect parents who could slowly be returning to work and who need child care, the governor did not have a definitive answer but acknowledged this situation is a challenge.  

"We have not made a decision on daycares yet. For the same reason we don't want schools meeting in person - it's the same concern for daycares. It's a number of kids together who then go back home - it's a perfect recipe for spread. We're not ready yet to open up more daycares yet," his account tweeted.

Prisons

Dr. Amy Acton discussed the situation of COVID-19 in prisons, saying that testing was ramped up at Ohio's prisons over the weekend. She said that there is a large part of the Ohio prison population that is asymptomatic but testing positive for the coronavirus. 

Over the weekend, it was confirmed by the ODH that the Marion Correctional Institution had more than 1,000 of the 1,821 confirmed cases in Marion County. 

RELATED: Prison COVID-19 cases puts Marion County at more confirmed cases than any other Ohio county

According to the latest data released Sunday by ODH, Marion County had 1,821 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with an additional 13 probable cases under an expanded case definition of COVID-19 from the CDC.

The reason you are seeing the numbers spike is because we're massively increasing testing," DeWine said. "Prisons by their nature ... once COVID-19 gets inside the door, it spreads, and it spreads very significantly."

When asked about a report of delays in getting test results in prison, DeWine said he was unaware of a lag time between prisoners being tested and results being received. 

The National Guard is in the process of building out more space for Ohio's prisons, DeWine said, and more prisoners will be looked at for an early release if they fall within 90 days of being released anyway.  

"We do not intend to have a wholesale (release) of everyone in a certain category coming out," DeWine said. 

When asked what assurances the public has with the release of prisoners who may be COVID-19 positive, DeWine said the early release prisoners will be tested and considerations are made on a case by case basis as to where each person will end up so they can quarantine safely.

COVID-19 impact on African-American community

DeWine pointed out the disproportionate impact that the coronavirus has on African-Americans.  

"We have put together a Minority Health Strike Force - it's a group of people from throughout Ohio who will focus on this issue. The group includes minority business leaders, faith community leaders, and others, and this group's membership will continue to grow," DeWine tweeted Monday. 

Nursing home data reporting 

The Ohio Department of Health has established several data dashboards and this information is updated daily.

More specific information is to be reported, starting Wednesday, regarding the number of patients and staff at nursing home and assisted facilities that have COVID-19, DeWine said. The data will be reported every Wednesday and will be broken down by county. Aggregate death data for nursing homes and assisted living facilities at the county level, DeWine said, next week. 

"Last week we published information about positive cases in long-term care facilities as was provided to the Department of Health.  Prior to this, there was inconsistent reporting causing errors in that data and we have taken it down. We will have updated data on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.," DeWine tweeted. 

Hospital data reporting

Soon, DeWine said, the number of health care workers will be reported by hospital. 

"Our current data collection tool has limitations, and I have directed the Ohio Department of Health to modify the system to accurately collect case information for individuals who are in direct care providers at hospitals, including the name of the hospital where they work," DeWine said. 

The governor said you'll be able to see by hospital the number of staff - if any - who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Protests

A crowd of protesters again gathered at the Ohio Statehouse demanding the state be reopened for business. The marchers brought signs and demanded that a return to commerce is imperative, especially for small business owners. 

DeWine said that he's heard from small business owners who do not want the state to be reopened and then see a spike that forces the closure again. 

Many state capitals also saw large protests over the weekend demanding their states to open up. 

New numbers

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 12,516 confirmed cases and 403 probable cases of coronavirus, making a total of 12,919 cases in the state. To date, there have been 491 confirmed and 18 probable COVID-related deaths, making 509 total deaths in the state.

There have been a total of 2,653 hospitalizations and 798 ICU admissions. 

You can check all the state data here.

There have been 90,829 tests administered. With the testing expanded and moving into higher-risk populations such as prisons and nursing homes - Acton said it's to be expected that we'll be seeing increasing spread. We are still at a plateau, Acton said. 

Sunday

New numbers

On Sunday,  the Ohio Department of Health reported 11,292 confirmed cases and 310 probable cases of coronavirus, making a total of 11,602 cases in the state. To date, there have been 453 confirmed and 18 probable COVID-related deaths, making 471 total deaths in the state.

You can check all the state data here.

RELATED: COVID-19: Why the numbers reported from local agencies may differ from ODH

Reopening Ohio

During an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning, DeWine offered some new insight into what Ohioans can expect when the state starts slowly reopening on the May 1 target date.

"We’re going to do what we think is right - what I think is right - and that is try to open this economy, but do it very, very carefully so we don’t get a lot of people killed. But we have to come back, and that’s what we’re aiming to do beginning on May 1. Frankly, it’s consistent, it’s very, very consistent with the plan, the very thoughtful plan, that the President has laid out.”

DeWine said his plan is very consistent with President Donald Trump's plan, which has three phases. That plan can be viewed here: 

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine offers new insight into May 1 reopening plan

Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context


WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit https://www.wtol.com/coronavirus-covid-19 for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.

Protect yourself from coronavirus

  • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.