COLUMBUS, Ohio —

Sunday

New numbers

As of Sunday, there were 6,518 confirmed coronavirus cases and 86  probable cases in the state of Ohio, for a total of 6,604 cases.

With the expanded CDC case definition, 253 people have died due to COVID-19. Of those deaths, 248 ere confirmed by a lab test to be from COVID-19 and  are being called "probable" deaths from the coronavirus.  

The number of patients hospitalized due to coronavirus was 1,948. From those, 595 were in the ICU.

Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

Saturday

New numbers

As of Saturday, there were 6,187 confirmed coronavirus cases and 63 probable cases in the state of Ohio, for a total of 6,250 cases in the state, under expanded CDC case definitions.  

With the expanded definition, 247 people have died due to COVID-19. Of those deaths, 242 were confirmed by a lab test to be from COVID-19 and 5 are being called "probable" deaths from the coronavirus.  

The number of patients hospitalized due to coronavirus was 1,859. From those, 572 were in the ICU. 

Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

Friday

New numbers & new reporting guidelines

As of Friday, there were 5,836 confirmed coronavirus cases and 42 probable cases in the state of Ohio, for a total of 5,878 total cases in the state, under expanded CDC case definitions.  

With the expanded definition, 231 people have died due to COVID-19. Of those deaths, 227 of those deaths were confirmed by a lab test to be from COVID-19 and 4 are being called "probable" deaths from the coronavirus.  

Gov. Mike DeWine explained the new reporting guidelines. The new "quick test" numbers are now being included in the way of counting COVID-19 cases, whereas previously only a lab test would count toward the confirmed numbers. 

A person also will be counted in the "probable" category if the following conditions apply: 

  • Clinical and epidemiological evidence of COVID-19
  • When there is no other likely diagnosis, even if there is no lab test

This means a doctor may determine if someone has COVID 19 based on his or her symptoms and a history of exposure to a positive case.

Of those cases, 1,755 people are hospitalized, and of those people 548 were in intensive care units. 

The age range of those with COVID-19 in the state ranges from less than 1 year old to 101 years old, with a median age of 54. Of the cases, 48% are male and 52% are female. While more cases have been reported in women, there are more males hospitalized. 

There have been a total of 58,573 tests administered in Ohio, Dr. Amy Acton said. 

Out of Ohio's 88 counties, 84 have confirmed cases. Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

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


1099 employees and unemployment

Husted as asked if it was possible that the state would not get infrastructure in place before the stay at home was lifted, meaning that 1099/self-employed employees could be back to work before they even receive any unemployment benefits.

Husted said most states have not been able to get the system in place to distribute CARE Act unemployment assistance to 1099 employees. Some states already had federal to state systems in place to distribute such federal aid to self-employed workers after other natural disasters such as hurricanes occurred. Self-employed workers are being covered under the federal act and are to receive their unemployment from the federal source. 

"At this point there is no distribution system. We are building it. The actual payment may not get here for awhile but they should have the assurance (that their benefits will be backdated) to their date of eligibility," Husted said. 

Many questions and worries are still streaming in to WTOL. Husted advises that people who are seeing no progress with getting their unemployment claims resolved should go to the unemployment website and read everything that you'll need to have on hand before applying and have that in place first. 

"This system was not designed for these circumstances," Husted said. "In a time like this, those safeguards can seem frustrating." 

There is a chat function on the website, Husted said, and he advises people who are "stuck" to use that to help answer their questions. More people are being added to the call center as well, but he notes there are not enough people right now to answer everyone at all times. 

The lieutenant governor said there are 38,000 jobs posted by 614 essential businesses that say they are in critical need of workers. The job search site can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch

Inmates and prison workers

"No one is safe from the coronavirus," DeWine said. "In any kind of congregant setting, it is dangerous. We have set up a special group to work on this." 

DeWine said they will be completely testing every prisoner to determine who has it, who doesn't, how to segregate them and how to attack the virus in prisons that have been ID'd as problematic.   

When asked of the lack of PPE in prisons, he said he is accelerating the amount of PPE that is available to workers. 

"Our focus now as we get more masks in, more equipment in, we will focus that on a hot spot, whether that is  a nursing home or a prison," DeWine said. 

The National Guard is assisting the federal prison at Elkton, and DeWine said that is a difficult situation there, but it is going "OK." 

Essential and nonessential surgery

Acton reiterated the reason for the requested postponement of nonessential surgeries is to preserve personal protective equipment and free up bed space in hospitals for the surge of COVID-19 cases. She said the difference between the essential an nonessential surgeries are the four criteria:

  • Threat to a patient's life
  • Threat of permanent dysfunction of limb or organ
  • Risk of progression/worsening condition or disease
  • Risk of rapidly evolving symptoms

"The bottom line is that patients should talk to their doctors.  If a physician’s clinical judgment about a procedure is essential, then it should continue," DeWine said in a tweet.

Flattening the curve

Acton showed a video that illustrates the effectiveness of social distancing. The video has a field of mousetraps, with table tennis balls on the coiled springs. 

RELATED: Watch how effective social distancing is, using ping pong balls and mouse traps

No one should doubt how deadly this is," DeWine said. "Despite the fact that when we go outside today it looks like just another spring day, we have your fellow Ohioans who are dying today. Your fellow Ohioans are in intensive care. ... This is deadly. This is not a game. This is not something that I woke up (one) day and decided, 'I'm going to impose these regulations on the state.'" 

Ohio's First Lady

Fran DeWine joined Friday's briefing, noting she's been staying home and making face masks, cooking and even made an apron to match her face mask. 

"I made face masks for all my little grandkids, even Tad who's a year and a half. I put up some recipes for kids too, including sidewalk chalk paint," Fran DeWine said. 

The CDC has noted that children younger than 2 should not be wearing masks. 

RELATED: CDC: Babies should NOT wear face masks; they can cause suffocation

You can see the sidewalk chalk paint recipe here: 


Thursday

Protests interrupt Toledo doctor's briefing

Protesters were heard interrupting Thursday's coronavirus briefing at the Ohio Statehouse, right before and during Toledo Dr. Tony Armstrong was introduced during Dr. Amy Acton's portion of the presentation. 

Dr. Armstrong, an OB/GYN in Toledo, discussed the racial disparities that are being seen with those suffering from COVID-19. 

"If minorities do get this virus, the outcome is more likely to be poor," Armstrong said. Armstrong also said in Toledo, telehealth is being employed as a means of getting care to communities, and communities of color. 

The shouts of protesters were clear several times, coming from outside the Ohio Statehouse. Protesters were demonstrating against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Acton's stay-at-home actions during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the protesters are angry, saying DeWine and Acton do not have the power to shut down businesses. 

About 100 people marched past the statehouse carrying signs and chanting, "Open Ohio," referencing their anger that businesses are closed and people are not working. Some signs read "LET MY PEOPLE GO: to schools, to parks to work," "Quarantine Worse than Virus,"  and "BALANCE THE RISK #OPENOHIO."

Dr. Acton addressed the protest during her briefing as they occurred outside. 

"I don't know if you can hear, there are people protesting right outside the statehouse, And people are worried, they're afraid. They're worried about their jobs. We are working very hard on how we are going to get through this beyond this," she said. She equated the effort to climbing a mountain, saying it takes patience, planning and teamwork. 

"This is a hard mountain to climb, everyone. My husband and I tried to climb the highest mountain in the United States, Mount Whitney. Climbing mountains takes an incredible amount of teamwork ... getting to each base camp safely. We will not leave your side as we get through this arduous journey ahead. ... We will escort you equally as carefully. We aim to be one of the most aggressive states when it comes to recovery," she said.

New numbers

As of Thursday, there were 5,512 confirmed coronavirus cases total in the state of Ohio, and 213 people have died due to COVID-19. 

Of those cases, 1,612 people were hospitalized, and of those people 497 were intensive care unit admissions. 

The age range of those with COVID-19 in the state ranges from less than 1 year old to 101 years old, with a median age of 54. Of the cases, 48% are male and 52% are female. 

There are 84 of Ohio's 88 counties that have confirmed cases of COVID-19. In the state, 55,985 people have been tested. 

Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

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

Jobs

Lt .Gov. Jon Husted said 6.6 million people in the last week have lost jobs, as reported in the national unemployment figures on Thursday. 

"$132 million dollars in unemployment benefits has gone to 207,000 Ohioans related to the COVID-19 pandemic," Husted said. 

Many Ohioans are still reporting problems accessing the unemployment system, however.

Husted was asked how self-employed people could get unemployment, and he referred to the federal CARES Act. There is no system built out to address this category of unemployed people. 

"We are in the process of building that system," Husted said, "and their eligibility will be back dated." 

"If someone has not gotten their (unemployment) check we apologize. It's something that when I leave here, I will check on, to see about if there is a backlog of checks," DeWine said. 

Husted said that the unemployment system has a system of checks and balances, saying it usually takes time to confirm if someone qualifies. He said that under normal circumstances, it usually takes 10 days for people to get their checks once qualified. 

Officials say nearly 700,000 people in Ohio filed for unemployment in the last three weeks as the coronavirus pandemic shakes the economy. Ohio's human services agency says that's nearly double the claims filed in all of 2019. More than 226,000 claims were filed for the week ending April 4. Ohio has paid more than $124 million to more than 195,000 people who have filed unemployment claims.  

Plasma protocol

Husted discussed what he termed "a bit of good news" regarding plasma protocol that allows people who are at most risk for dying to be identified and treated earlier in their course, at a time when they might gain the greatest benefit of plasma treatment. 

FDA approval has been granted and this protocol is being taken statewide to hospitals that are ready to start using it. Husted hailed the state's medical innovators who are working to try to save lives every day. 

Voting

Husted said the date that mail-in ballots will be counted is April 28, and the postmark must be made by April 27. 

"There is not going to be any in-person voting," Husted said. "You need to make sure you request your absentee ballot - there is lag time. You can find all the details at voteohio.gov. The deadline to request the absentee ballot is April 25, but let's be realistic, folks, you're not going to want to wait. You can also call your local board of election to get your ballot." 

PPE

Ohio Manufacturing Alliance has paired with hospitals to start manufacturing face shields for medical professionals. The face shields went from prototype to production in just two weeks, DeWine said. The shields can be sterilized and will help to stem the shortfall of personal protective equipment. 

"They’re going to make between 750,000 to 1 million face shields over the next five weeks.  Once assembled, they will be delivered to the Ohio Department of Health stockpile, inventoried, and then distributed across the state," DeWine said. 

Curves and projections

"We have tried every day to tell you what we know when we know it. We've had some questions about the curve and how much it was flattened. We're seeing some of these estimates changing," DeWine said. "You're seeing the estimates getting better, but we also have Ohioans dying every day."

The governor said in the next week or so a plan will be released that looks at what's next for the state once curve-flattening goals are realized.  

"The track we go on is based on what we all do. We've hit a home run. We've done a great job, but it is not time to celebrate. The game is not over. The optimistic scenarios are based on a belief that we will continue social distancing at the same level," he said. 

Mud Hens, Minor League Baseball shoutout

Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledged that Thursday was to be the start of the Minor League Baseball season when he opened his press conference. The governor sported a Toledo Mud Hens tie and introduced a video highlighting the state's Minor League teams. 

"As many of you know, I am a life-long baseball fan. Today should have been opening day for these minor league baseball teams: the Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, Akron Rubber Ducks, Dayton Dragons and the Lake County Captains," DeWine said.

Wednesday 

New numbers

As of Wednesday, there were 5,148 confirmed coronavirus cases total in the state of Ohio, and 193 people have died due to COVID-19. 

Of those cases, 1,495 people are hospitalized, and of those people 472 were in intensive care units. 

The age range of those with COVID-19 in the state ranges from less than 1 year old to 101 years old, with a median age of 54. Of the cases, 48% are male and 52% are female. There have been 53,341 total people tested in the state.

There are confirmed cases in 83 of Ohio's 88 counties, said Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health. 

Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

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

Projected peak

Acton said that Ohio is projected to peak with 1,600 new daily coronavirus cases, down from an initial high peak of 10,000 daily cases. She shared the new project of the state's coronavirus curve, saying the peak of 1,600 new daily cases would come late this month.

Every model that she has looked at, Acton said, is saying the same thing: Ohio residents need to keep doing what they are doing, with staying at home as much as possible and keeping their good hygiene practices, in order to continue flattening the curve and to keep health care systems from being overwhelmed. 

"You have squashed this and stretched this curve. But please know that if you start going out, we'll go right back up. You have to keep doing what you're doing," Acton said. 

Corrections officer death

Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday opened the briefing with sad news, saying state employee John Dawson, 55, died of coronavirus. The Mansfield man was was a corrections officer at Marion Correctional Institution, and DeWine said he had an underlying medical condition.  

"Mr. Dawson's death reminds us that as we celebrate the fact that Ohio is doing relatively well, Ohio is still seeing a number of deaths," he said. "Our heart goes out to not only Mr. Dawson's family but all those families who are suffering because they lost someone to the coronavirus."

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

DeWine mentioned again Battelle and the firm's ability to sterilize/recycle up to 160,000 masks a day. He noted that there are people in Ohio who do not have enough PPE and the effort is ongoing to obtain enough personal protective equipment for Ohioans. 

"I want to make a public plea ... to any place that is using PPE. Every mask is precious. Do not throw one away. We now have the ability in Ohio use that mask up to 20 times," DeWine said. "To everyone who has these masks, it is important to recycle them. When you do not do that, you are really denying somebody else a mask." 

Battelle.org is the website to use when seeking to recycle and sterilize masks. 

'Happy news'

DeWine said he received a gift of 100,000 N-95 masks from Apple's Tim Cook. 

"Those 100,000 I guarantee you will be well used here in Ohio," DeWine said. 

The governor said JobsOhio helped with the liaison with Apple.

Unemployment

DeWine said that everyone who has been unemployed to should know that all eligible Ohioans will receive their benefits and any delays in processing will not reduce the amount paid. 

Director Kimberly Hall of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services joined the briefing by video. 

OJFS BRIEFING: 

"We are working to meet the needs of workers who have experienced sudden unemployment, businesses, parents who need childcare, and families who need help putting food on the table," she said. 

Hall said that by the end of this week, there will be nearly 1,000 employees taking calls regarding filing for unemployment. 

"For those of you impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, my team won't rest until you receive your benefits," she said.  

DeWine noted that the coronavirus job search page has open jobs and layoff alternatives for business owners. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said there are more than 33,000 open jobs at this time. 

Child care and nutrition

More than 22,000 programs have been approved to operate regarding child care for essential employees, Hall said. Nutrition assistance is also critical right now, and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services will provide additional assistance to those enrolled in SNAP. 

Child abuse prevention month

DeWine said it is a particularly difficult time for children who are victims of abuse because those people such as teachers who generally keep an eye out for abuse are not available. The reports of child abuse are down, he said, but that does not mean at all that there is less abuse. 

The governor encourages calling 855-OH-CHILD if you see signs of abuse. 

He thanked Ohio's child services workers for all they do.

National Guard

National Guard members are working with both food bank mission and to expand hospital capacity, DeWine reiterated Wednesday. He thanked the members of the Guard for collecting and redistributing PPE across the state. 

Full briefing:

Tuesday 

New numbers

As of Tuesday, there were 4,782 confirmed coronavirus cases total in the state of Ohio, and 167 people have died due to COVID-19. 

Of those cases, 1,354 people are hospitalized, and of those people 417 were in intensive care units. 

Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

The age range of those with COVID-19 in the state ranges from less than 1 year old to 101 years old, with a median age of 54. Of the cases, 48% are male and 51% are female. "Slightly more females are becoming ill," Dr. Amy Acton said.

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

Dr. Amy Acton said 50,838 Ohioans have been tested so far in the state. 

SNAP benefits 

Ohioans enrolled in supplemental nutritional programs will be receiving additional support, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. An additional payment will be issued this week, he said. 

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced Tuesday that those who did not already receive the maximum month allotment for their household size in March will be issued an additional payment beginning this week.

Pre-packaged boxes of food will also be available for pickup at food banks, DeWine said. Ohio obtained federal approval to waive administrative verification normally required at food banks, to streamline the process and limit person-to-person contact. 

To-go liquor 

Restaurants with liquor licenses have requested permission to provide up to two prepackage drinks with carryout orders. This request being granted, DeWine said. 

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption.

Under the rule, patrons can purchase two, prepackaged drinks per meal.  All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per open container law.  

Prisons 

DeWine said he is notifying CIC about overcrowding in the prisons, based on the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and two groups are being considered for early release. He said in the first group, there are 141 prisoners who now are within 90 days of being released are being considered for early release. DeWine said the following prisoners convicted of the following crimes will NOT be considered: 

  • sex offenses
  • homicide-related offenses
  • kidnapping
  • abduction
  • ethnic intimidation
  • making terroristic threats
  • domestic violence

Among the first group, those prisoners fitting one of these following conditions also will not be considered for release: 

  • Have been denied judicial release in the past.
  • Have prior incarcerations in Ohio
  • Are inter-state offenders
  • Have warrants or detainers
  • Those who have serious prison rule violations in the last 5 years.

The second group involves 26 prisoners who are older than 60 with chronic health conditions who fit certain criteria. 

Among that list of prisoners is Toledoan Thomas Noe, who was a key figure in a Bureau of Worker’s Compensation skimming scandal. Noe was convicted in 2006 of skimming about $13.7 million from the $50 million rare-coin investment fund he managed for the state.

RELATED: State IDs names of inmates being considered for early release to coronavirus

RELATED: Parole board again denies clemency for Tom Noe

Before starting the state sentence, Noe served two years in federal prison for a 2005 conviction on illegal campaign contributions to President George W. Bush's re-election campaign.

They cannot fall under any of these categories:

  • sex offenses, 
  • homicide-related offenses, 
  • kidnapping, 
  • abduction, 
  • ethnic intimidation, 
  • making terroristic threats, and
  • domestic violence.
  • Been denied judicial release in the past. 
  • Have had prior incarcerations in Ohio
  • Are not inter-state offenders, 
  • Have warrants or detainers, and 
  • Those who have has serious prison rule violations in the last several years.

The next steps are that DeWine is asking judges and prosecutors associated with these cases to waive the 60 days notice so that they can take these cases directly to the parole board. The parole board is prepared to meet start meeting on Friday to address these matters. 

"Prisons pose a unique issue in this pandemic. Social distancing in the general population is helping us flatten the curve, but for prison inmates and staff, social distancing becomes much more challenging," DeWine said.

Small business relief

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the creation of the Office of Small Business Relief, which will coordinate efforts for the small businesses in Ohio. This office will identify ways to provide support to Ohio's small businesses. This office will be housed within Ohio Development Services Agency, led by Lydia Mihalik, former mayor of Findlay. 

You can find more information at http://coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp. If you still have questions, there is an email address and telephone number there that you can call for additional assistance. 

Libraries

Also on Tuesday, DeWine started off the daily briefing by honoring librarians, noting that they continue to work during the coronavirus stay-at-home order. The state library of Ohio has put out a calendar of events at library.ohio.gov/publiccovid19programs that residents can access. 

FULL BRIEFING:

Monday 

New numbers

As of Monday, there were 4,450 confirmed coronavirus cases total in the state of Ohio, and 142 people have died due to COVID-19. 

Of those cases, 1,214 people are hospitalized and 371 are in intensive care units.

The age ranges are younger than 1 year old up to 101 years old. The median age is 54. Of the confirmed cases, 48% are male and 52% are female.

There are confirmed cases in 81 of Ohio's 88 counties. Data of all counties as reported by the Ohio Department of Health can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard

Dr. Amy Acton said that recovery data is difficult to come by because many people who have had COVID-19 haven't been tested and have recovered at home. 

Of the cases that were tested, Acton said 303 have been discharged from hospitals. 

"We will have new data coming soon that will give us new data from the hospitals. We do know that 303 of our cases that have been hospitalized and released, 25% of them have reached that period of recovery," she said. "Once we have widespread testing, we will have recovery information on our website, so anyone can see it."

As of Monday, 48,378 tests have been conducted in Ohio. More of the deaths are male than female, Acton said. As far as race data, Acton said less than 25% of cases don't have race listed, and 39% don't list ethnicity. "So, we know some people are opting out of providing that information. We are working to capture this data as best we can. We encourage people to fill in that data," she said. 

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

RELATED: Here's how coronavirus cases have grown in Ohio each day: Timeline

Wood County kids recognized

Gov. Mike DeWine started the press conference with photos of  Wood County 4-H youth sent in from Jennifer Morlock. She noted, "My goal is to teach our youth that we can reach out to others no matter what the obstacles might be." WATCH: 

Hospital capacity

The governor reiterated that the stay-at-home actions are "buying us time," as far as hospital capacity. 

DeWine said that hospital systems have pooled their resources to help accommodate the needs and alternative sites have been identified for when the need arises. The following sites are identified for expansion:

  • SeaGate Convention Centre, Lucas Co.
  • Case Western University’s Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga Co.
  • Dayton Convention Center, Montgomery Co.
  • Covelli Convention Ctr, Mahoning Co. 
  • Duke Energy Convention Ctr, Hamilton Co. 
  • Greater Columbus Convention Ctr, Franklin Co. 

The exact numbers of beds available for each location have not been determined yet, DeWine said. Acton said she and the governor would be presenting a more elaborate description of the expanded sites by mid-week. 

The highest acuity patients will be in brick and  mortar hospitals, she said. The auxiliary locations will be for patients that are stepping down from critical care, Acton said. 

"Our social distancing has absolutely had an impact. We are still going to have a surge, but I want people to be optimistic. The moves we are making are taking the pressure off our hospital system. We cannot let up. The second we let up, it unravels," she said. 

Guard helping federal prison in Ohio

The Ohio National Guard will be helping with a medical mission in a federal prison in Ohio for 7-10 days. Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County is a federal, not state facility. 

"We know that seven inmates have tested positive COVID-19 – but we also know that dozens more have shown symptoms – some very serious. Three have died," DeWine said. "Providing state help for this federal prison is the right thing to do." 

DeWine also urged federal judges to stop sending prisoners to the facility. 

Ohio's prisons

Five prisoners at Marion Correctional Institute have tested positive, and five prisoners in Pickaway have tested positive, DeWine said. He also noted that 27 staff members, the majority in Marion, have tested positive. 

DeWine said he will outline more steps on Tuesday regarding releasing prisoners. He and Director Annette Chambers Smith will not be releasing "dangerous" prisoners, DeWine said. The governor said they will be looking at prisoners who are in for non-violent offenses and at prisoners who are near the ends of their sentences for potential release. This is intended to free up space inside prisons. 

Dispute Resolution Commission, unemployment

As part of the extended stay-at-home order, the new Dispute Resolution Commission is in effect. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said it is for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business. More can be learned at coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp

Husted said that the commission's decisions are expected to be rendered with in 24 hours and it will be made public. 

The Paycheck Protection Programs are currently being accepted, Husted said, and small businesses are encouraged to go to their banks to put this into place. If a business does not have a banking program, he noted that Goldman Sachs is making available $20 million to aid small businesses. This information will be available under the Banking Update section of coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp

Husted brought up that jobs are available, with more than 29,000 openings right now at coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch 

Returning snowbirds

DeWine reminds people returning from other locations that they need to quarantine for 14 days. This order is regardless of age, though he notes that Ohio's Florida snowbirds generally fall in the older age group that is more susceptible to the ill effects of COVID-19. 

He also encourages family members that are welcoming snowbirds back to give them a helping hand such as delivering food to them. 

Ohio Department of Transportation

Jack Marchbanks, the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, said his department is working to keep rest areas open and clean for truck drivers, who he thanked for being vital to the supply chain. 

Marchbanks noted that ODOT crews are still working to keep roads in good repair, while maintaining good social distancing practices. 

All travelers arriving to Ohio must self-quarantine for 14 days, but he notes this does not apply to truck drivers or to people who live near borders and regularly travel across the border for grocery shopping, doctor's appointments or essential jobs. The signs that appear near borders reminding people traveling into the state of the quarantine do not refer to those border travelers, he said. 

Stay at home order

Starting Monday, Ohio's Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on May 1. The full text of the order can be read here: 

Updates to the new order include: 

  • The creation of a dispute resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business.
  • The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time.  These businesses must ensure that people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.
  • Direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care. 
  • The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
  • A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
  • The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19.  This does not apply to private residential pools. 
  • The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
  • The closure of day camps for children.
  • The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports. 
  • The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.

Full briefing: 

Sunday

New numbers

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio went up to 4,043 while 119 people have died over the disease, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

As of Saturday, 1,104 patients were hospitalized and from those, 346 were in intensive care.

Data of all counties as reported by the state health department can be found at the dashboard here.

Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context


WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit 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.