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Ohio Coronavirus Update April 19 | ODH reports 11,602 total cases, 471 deaths

On Saturday, there were a total of 11,602 cases of coronavirus and 471 deaths reported in the state.

OHIO, USA —

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.

Saturday

New numbers

On Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 9,939 confirmed cases and 283 probable cases of coronavirus, making a total of 10,222 cases in the state. To date, there have been 434 confirmed and 17 probable COVID-related deaths, making 451 total deaths in the state.

ODH reported more than 1,000 cases in the last 24 hours.

You can check all the state data here.

Friday

New numbers

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 8,858 confirmed and 249 probable cases of coronavirus, making a total of 9,107 cases in the state. To date, there have been 401 confirmed and 17 probable COVID-related deaths, making 418 total deaths in the state. 

ODH reported 693 new cases in the last 24 hours. 

So far, there have been 2,424 hospitalizations due to the virus. Of those cases, there have been 740 admissions to intensive care units.

The age range of cases is from less than 1 year old up to 106 years old.

Cases have been split 50% female and 50% male.

Dr. Amy Acton said that as testing gets more extensive, we will begin to see case numbers rise. 

Reopening

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave Ohioans a look toward where we are going. The governor announced on Thursday that his team was looking at beginning the process of reopening the state on May 1, when the stay-at-home order is set to expire. DeWine was adamant that these changes will not happen overnight. 

Leaders are trying to get Ohioans back to work, while keeping them safe. 

The goal is to have businesses begin to open sequentially following the May 1 starting point. The goals: protect employees and protect customers.

"Ohio's plan is going to be by Ohioans for Ohioans," DeWine said.

Here is what DeWine indicated you might see when you visit a business that reopens after May 1:

  • Distancing - The 6 ft. rule is the norm, but more distance is encouraged.
  • People working there wearing masks. This should become very common in public spaces.
  • Barriers where barriers are appropriate
  • Surfaces sanitized and cleaned
  • Employees wearing gloves
  • Ample opportunities for employees to wash and sanitize their hands
  • Staggered arrivals for employees and staggered lunch breaks
  • Employees who can work from home, will work from home.
  • Checking the temperature of employees and making sure employees are not sick
  • In retail, a limit to the number of people allowed in a store

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shares how businesses may look different when economy reopens

DeWine encouraged business owners to come together and get an idea of the best practices moving forward.

DeWine said when it comes to employees who are at risk, it will be up to them to take precautions and make that decision about going back to work. DeWine said they will encourage businesses to look at whether or not that employee can work in a space that is safer for them. He said he hopes companies will be open to moving people around. 

He reiterated that those people who can work from home, should continue to do so. 

Employees will still be able to complain about poor work practices to local health departments. 

After May 1, things will change some, DeWine said, but the essential reality is that the virus will still be out there. As we enter this next phase, state leaders want to make sure that every individual has as much information as possible about their own condition and what the risks are.

"When May 1 comes, we're going to have the most thoughtful restart that we can possibly have. Coronavirus will be with us for a while, so we must learn to live with it safely," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

DeWine said that we need to assume that everyone has the virus as many times, they do not display symptoms. Anecdotally, one state prison reported to DeWine that after extensive testing, 152 prisoners tested positive, 60 of which had no symptoms.

"We have a road to travel. And this is a road that is unprecedented. It has not really been traveled before and this is that once in 100 years pandemic," Dr. Amy Acton said.

DeWine said that they will be looking at hospitalizations and the five-day average, among other data as they begin to make these decisions.

Prisoners

On Friday, DeWine granted seven prisoners early release and denied 84 prisoners for commutation. 

Credit: state of ohio

Tom Noe was among the prisoners commuted on Friday. 

Noe, a Toledoan, was serving time after he was found guilty of money laundering for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign and of theft and corruption in the "Coingate scandal" in which he allegedly skimmed about $13.7 million from the $50 million rare-coin investment fund he managed for the state. 

"We have an unprecedented situation with coronavirus. He has served, I believe 13-and-a-half years. His prison record is spotless. He will be supervised by the parole authorities. And one of the conditions is he will have to start paying restitution," DeWine said of his release.

DeWine said he committed a serious act and he has been punished for it. He said he believes Noe has served enough time.

DeWine also acknowledged Alexis Martin, who was 15-years-old when the crime was committed and 17 when she was sent to prison. 

Martin was implicated in the murder of a man who was trafficking her. That man was killed by a robber while she was raped. She was charged with murder after being accused of plotting the robbery.

Martin will be sent to a group home. 

"Spirit of Columbus" Award

On April 17, 1964, Columbus resident and Newark native Jerrie Mock landed at Port Columbus airport, ending her history-making flight as the first woman to fly solo around the world. In 2013, the Columbus Foundation created the “Spirit of Columbus Award” to honor this great achievement. 

This year’s "Spirit of Columbus Award" was awarded to Dr. Amy Acton for her role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing

DeWine said that leaders are working to increase testing every day. 

The problem lies with certain components of the testing kits. While many of the state's large hospitals have the testing capacity, there is a lack of reagents.

DeWine said he plans to work with the FDA to solve this issue.

Nursing Homes

DeWine said that they are still looking into reporting the case numbers of nursing homes. 

He said they have to be careful to protect people's identity, which has been a factor in the delay. An additional factor, is that the state does not have direct access to all of the data. 

He said that there will be a more clear answer on Monday. 

Baseball

DeWine mentioned the opening days for both the Toledo Mud Hens and the Akron Rubber Ducks which were both scheduled for today. He wore a Rubber Ducks tie, but sported a Mud Hens pin as well in support of both teams.

The Rubber Ducks will be playing virtual game at 7 p.m. DeWine will be throwing the first pitch.

The Mud Hens held their virtual home opener Thursday. 

RELATED: COVID-19: Changing Our Lives | April 14: Play ball - hopefully

RELATED: Toledo Mud Hens to hold 'Virtual' Opening Day

Thursday

Slowly returning to business

Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is looking to return back to business on May 1 - though slowly - with companies that can demonstrate they are able to conduct operations with a "new normal" of COVID-19 safeguards in place. 

"The world we're going to see is a different world. And the world for workplaces will look different. The workplace is going to change," DeWine said.

The governor clarified that this won't be an all-at-once return to business as usual, but used the May 1 date as the starting point for a slow, controlled roll-out of business that is still being finalized. 

DeWine said the Governor's Board of Economic Advisers delivered an unfinished report Thursday morning that gives a glimpse into best practices for businesses going forward after COVID-19. An example was giving by RPM International out of Medina, showing its business plan to operate with a "new normal" of safeguards including mandatory masks, limiting visitors, hygiene guidelines and self-monitoring for fever and coughs. 

The governor said a decision on the future of in-class schooling is likely to come next week, after he talks with superintendents. 

When it comes to bigger events that bring crowds of people together, like county fairs and concerts, those types of things will not open right away, DeWine said. 

"Workplace - it's easier to control," DeWine said. "It's going to be tough for bigger events." 

DeWine read a quote from Winston Churchill saying, "'No this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.' That's where we are today."

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was absent from Thursday's briefing, DeWine said, because he is tasked with nailing down solutions for small businesses. The day's briefing would be only one hour, DeWine said, because he'd be on a call at 3 p.m. with other governors and President Donald Trump. 

The governor laid out five facts that he said added up to the slow opening up of business: 

First fact: Ohioans have done a great job. You all have done a phenomenal job," social distancing, the governor said.  

Second fact: It appears Ohioans have flattened the curve. "We need more data and we want to see that continue," DeWine said. The governor said he is looking at hospital admissions to see how the curve is going. For a week, it's been relatively flat. 

Third fact: "We all must live in a state and in a country where COVID-19 is still here and is likely to be here ... until we have immunization. We don't know how long that will be," DeWine said. He said he is optimistic but knows it will be "awhile." 

Fourth fact: "This period of time living with COVID-19 is not going to last forever," the governor said. 

Fifth fact: "We must get Ohio's economy moving again. We must get people back to work. I fully understand that I'm getting calls and texts (over jobs)," DeWine said. The governor said it's important to start back to work because when the economy goes down, there are bad consequences for people to be jobless and medical consequences such as overdoses going up, addicts relapse, people have more anxiety and depression, and homelessness goes up. 

"It is essential, though, that as we start back, we do this the right way. We must do this right because the stakes are so high. If we don't do it right the consequences are horrendous," DeWine said. "We don't want to start back and have a huge spike of people who are positive (for coronavirus) and are in the hospital."  

New numbers

As of Thursday, there were 8,239 confirmed and 175 probable cases of coronavirus, making 8,414 total cases in the state. The Ohio Department of Health reported 373 confirmed and 16 probable deaths related to the virus. 

There have been 2,331 hospitalizations, with 707 ICU admissions. There are cases in 87 of Ohio's 88 counties. There have been 74,840 tests administered in the state. Long-term care residents have totaled 827 cases. 

The median age of cases is 54 years old and incidents of coronavirus have been found in children under 1 year old up to a person 104 years old. Of the cases, 49% are male and 51% are female.  

This has been a very trying time for Ohioans. Whether we've gotten sick or know someone who has. Or whether we're business owners," Dr. Amy Acton said. "While we have a long road ahead, I'm very optimistic on how we will travel this road together." 

Within the past 24 hours, there were 623 cases reported and 28 deaths, Acton said. 

There's a lot of things you can do as we go into the next phase. Great hygiene, washing your hands, coughing (responsibly). Wearing a mask become a new part of our lives, like taking our shoes off at the airport," Acton said. 

When asked if a mandatory mask order would be issued, DeWine said that right now there is not an order; he is strongly suggesting that people wear a face covering in public.  

"This is going to be part of what we do until we are done with the virus," DeWine said. 

Wednesday

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he has felt that his duty as a governor is to let Ohioans know what he knows when he knows it, and that is what he'll continue to do.

He said that he believes there is a natural inclination for people to say "let's do what we have to do and then we win." However, DeWine said it's not that easy.

"The sad truth is, we've won the battle. It appears we have flattened this curve. But, the monster is still out there loose. And will still be out there probably until we get a vaccine," DeWine said.

He said when we open back up, it's not going to look like it did before. 

DeWine told Ohioans that they have to do things carefully to make sure individuals are safe. He said it is the government's job to make things better for people and to inform them so they can make the best decisions for themselves.

New numbers

As of Wednesday, there were 7,628 confirmed and 163 probable cases of coronavirus, making 7,791 total cases in the state. The Ohio Department of Health reported 364 confirmed and 15 probable deaths related to the virus. 

There have been 2,237 hospitalizations, with 667 ICU admissions.

To date, there have been 71,552 tests administered.

There are now cases in 87 out of 88 Ohio counties.

"While these are troubling times, these are also times when we will learn tremendous things together," Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said.

PPE for first responders

The need for PPE not only impacts our front line health care workers, but also first responders Gov. Mike DeWine said.

In response, there will be an expansion of Ohio's partnership with Battelle, to extend their sanitation services to law enforcement agencies and EMS across Ohio. This service is being provided free of charge.

Beginning Friday at 8 a.m., law enforcement and EMS agencies can bring packaged N-95 masks to any Ohio State Highway Patrol post in the state, who will send it to Battelle in Columbus. Battelle will then sanitize them and OSHP will bring the masks back to each post and agencies can then go pick them up.

OSHP will be sending guidelines to agencies on Wednesday on how those masked should be packaged.

Testing

Health systems have struggled due to the critical shortage of test kits components, including swabs.

Sometimes we may have the capacity at hospitals, but people who are trying to take a sample can't do it because they don't have another component.

A rapidly assembled team of Ohio State University researchers worked overnight to create an in-house recipe to make the critical liquid transport medium.

In addition, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State’s colleges of Medicine, Engineering, and Dentistry, along with the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, Infectious Diseases Institute, and Institute for Materials Research, collaborated with a national consortium that rapidly deployed a design and testing program for 3D printed testing swabs. Ohio State is part of the academic-industry-government consortium led by Harvard, the U.S. Army, and the University of South Florida that designed the swabs. 

Ohio State teams are working with 3D Manufacturing companies, including FormLabs, Inc. in Toledo, and academic institutes across the State of Ohio to manufacture these swabs and swab kits in significant amounts for the citizens of Ohio. 

Prisons

On Tuesday, the first coronavirus-related death was announced in a state prison. The patient was an inmate at the Pickaway Correctional Institution. On Wednesday a second inmate at that facility passed who was presumed to have the virus. Test results are still pending.

Last week, the state set forth criteria for inmates they would consider for early release. They began by looking at those who were already up for release within 90 days. They eliminated violent offenders, those who have been denied judicial release in the past, have prior incarcerations in Ohio, are inter-state offenders, have warrants or detainers and those who have serious prison rule violations in the last five years. 

On Wednesday, DeWine approved the early release of 105 inmates in Ohio. Each inmate will be tested to determine if they have coronavirus before they are released.

DeWine authorized the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to continue using this criteria as more people qualify for release within 90 days to identify other inmates who may qualify for release under the limited overcrowding statute. 

DeWine also said that Ohio dropped its overall prison population by 311 inmates last week. He credited the efforts of the local courts to reduce their jail populations and to hold only critical hearings. 

Elective surgeries

DeWine clarified that the decision to postpone elective surgeries in the state was made for several reasons.

The main reason being, to conserve personal protective equipment in the hospitals.

DeWine said that we are flattening the curve and leaders are feeling more positive about hospital capacity moving forward. However, there is still the issue of a shortage in PPE.

On Wednesday, DeWine asked Ohio hospitals to develop a plan for getting back to the health care that has been delayed due to the pandemic. Health care workers are asked to be mindful of the current PPE shortage as these plans are developed.

Businesses plan to reopen

DeWine asked Wednesday that industries in the state begin to put together plans now for how they will protect employees and customers when they are able to reopen. 

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was tasked with leading the charge on this.

DeWine suggested looking at the essential businesses that have remained opening during this time for ideas on how to proceed. State leaders have asked those businesses to come up with a list of best practices for reference. 

Liquor licenses:

Unemployment

Husted said he felt the team needed to do a better job of getting more answers for Ohioans. 

The system was built in 2004. Husted said it is very outdated in terms of technology. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is working to develop a cloud-based system to make things go faster. However, that system is not yet available.

Pre-pandemic, there were 42 people working in the call center. Now, there are 1,194 people in the call center, and that still is not enough, Husted said. They are scaling up new people as fast as they can, but they have a limited number of people to train. 

For perspective, Husted said, more claims were filed in the last month, than were filed in the last two years. 

Husted said we call it a "call center" but it isn't really since we are all practicing social distancing. So, part of this process has been to develop this system with people working remotely.

Husted said he was promised that over the course of this week, the ODJFS will add a number of new options to hopefully make the process easier. Those include:

  • Text-to-speech capabilities
  • On board an additional 337 staff members
  • Interactive voice recognition system and bot technology to answer frequently asked questions.

By the end of next week, ODJFS has promised:

  • Virtual call center to speed up wait times
  • Begin processing additional $600 a week payments under CARES Act
  • Launch an online tool for self-employed 1099 workers to get in line early. NOTE: If you fall into that category, by the end of next week, the application process will be available, but they will not begin processing until May 15
  • Launch online application improvements

Husted reminded residents to enter a mass layoff number of 2000180 to speed up the process and negate the need to verify your employer.

On May 1, ODJFS expects to be able to process applications for those eligible for and additional 13 weeks of unemployment under the CARES Act.

"This process will not stop improving until everyone is served," Husted said.

He reiterated that benefits will be backdated to the point at which they were eligible to receive them.

As a reminder, if you are looking for work you can visit http://coronavirus.ohio.gov. There are 669 employers with 41,433 jobs available.

Talking about coronavirus with children

Acton said it is really important to limit the media our kids our seeing and to communicate in a calm voice. 

"Kids do pick up on what we say and how we say it," Acton said.

She acknowledged that there are days where parents will be anxious, and encouraged them to not beat themselves up over it.

Child support

Collections are still occurring and unemployment benefits are offset, so children who are benefits of those child support payments can continue to receive those.

Full briefing: 

Tuesday

New numbers

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said on Tuesday that we've hit a flat spot in the peak of COVID-19 cases in the state, but urged continued vigilance to prevent a second spike.

"We're sort of in that flat spot right now," Acton said. "We're at the flat spot of that first peak, hopefully the biggest thing we'll see. But I know it's hard to keep doing what you're doing. ... 

"This is a war. We've won the first battle, but we can't stop there," she said. 

As of Tuesday, there were 7,153 confirmed cases and 127 probable cases of COVID-19, making 7,280 total cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Of those cases, there have been 2,156 hospitalizations with 654 ICU admissions. There have also been 309 confirmed and 15 presumptive deaths, making 325 total in the state of Ohio.

There are cases in 86 of 88 Ohio counties, and 67,874 tests have been administered. 

Unemployment

When asked where the checks are for people who have filed unemployment, Gov. Mike DeWine said that unemployment is a constant discussion between Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and himself. 

"For those of you who are still waiting, I think you don't want to hear anything; you want us to fix it," DeWine said. 

"I will have a fuller answer to this tomorrow. I wanted to have it today, but I didn't feel I had sufficient answers," Husted said. "I know there are reasons, I don't want excuses. Until that happens we're not going to be satisfied." 

Reopening businesses

When asked about a growing backlash from people frustrated that businesses remain closed and even amid calls from his own Republican party desiring that the state be reopened, DeWine said that reopening must be done carefully. 

"I'm frustrated, just like every Ohioan is," DeWine said. "We have an obligation to get to a point where we can start doing some things and opening up in regard to business. But, if I stood up here right now and said, 'Go do whatever you want to do,' if people are still afraid, they're not going to go to restaurants. The vast majority would not. 

"If we want our economy to pick back up and people to be employed, we have to be as careful when we reopen. This part is much more difficult. It will not be like it was until we get a vaccine." 

DeWine said they'll watch to see if the flattened trend continues and if the number of hospitalizations goes down before things are reopened. He said the state must avoid a medical mess at the same time there is an economic mess.

"Large gatherings of  people are going to be the last thing that we check off the box," when it comes to getting the state reopened, DeWine said. He didn't hazard a guess on whether baseball games would be played this summer or if the Buckeyes would play this fall. "I wish I knew the answer to your question, but I don't," he said. 

Regionally, DeWine said, he's talked to neighboring governors about reopening and said the states around Ohio are sharing information. 

Medicaid

Waivers applications have been filed with the federal government to gain more flexibility for Medicaid patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers will allow the following once federal approval is granted: 

  • Bolster telehealth and other technology to be used to do health assessments and care planning
  • Waive signature requirements for a variety of providers to ensure safe distancing without compromising access to care
  • Ease obstacles to access nursing home care
  • Allow services to be provided at alternative locations
  • Remove staffing level requirements to give providers more flexibility.

"Once we get federal approval of this waiver, it will be retroactively applied from March 1, 2020," Gov. Mike DeWine said.

New order: Protecting first responders

With the lack of person protective equipment, DeWine said "we have to do all we can to protect our first responders." A new order is being issued that will share the names and addresses of people who are positively diagnosed with COVID-19 with dispatchers "so that first responders can be properly protected when responding to an emergency."

 

Mayors & city response

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther joined DeWine on Tuesday during the press conference. DeWine cited several efforts that Ohio cities are making to help with COVID-19 response, especially with expanded alternative care centers. 

The SeaGate Convention Centre's build-out was postponed on Tuesday, however, after it was learned that the hospital capacity in northwest Ohio is now adequate to care for coronavirus patients. Plans will continue to be developed in case the SeaGate Centre is needed as a "safety valve" site, but the physical build-out is on hold. 

RELATED: Physical build-out of SeaGate Centre as alternate coronavirus care facility is postponed

Ginther of Columbus said that it would be a victory for any city if they never had to open alternative care centers.

"Our greatest hope is that we never have to open this alternative care center, but we have to be prepared to make sure we are protecting the health and safety of Ohioans," Ginther said. 

In Columbus, the convention center has been turned into an expanded healthcare alternative site, and they've built a 1,000-bed alternative care center there. 

"I echo others who have said we must reopen Ohio gradually and thoughtfully.  We must do this the right way to avoid a second COVID-19 surge," Ginther said.

Dispute Resolution Commission

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted updated the state on the progress of the established Dispute Resolution Commission. This panel was set up to settle disputes over what are essential businesses that can operate during the state’s stay at home order.  

Since it was created, there have been 194 inquiries, and 142 did not meet the criteria of having the dispute heard by the commission and were referred to the local level, where that local health department decision stands. There are 27 cases under review.  Fifteen cases are resolved.  There are 10 cases that the commission did rule on, including CBD establishments, pet grooming and car washes. The rulings are on the Dispute Resolution Commission website. coronavirus.ohio.gov under the Resources tab, or click here to view them

The commission’s members are Ohio Development Services Agency director Lydia Mihalik, Ohio Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield and Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chair Sam Randazzo. 

Office of Small Business Relief

This office, spearheaded by Lydia Mihalik, has helped 1,300 businesses so far, Husted said. The office portal can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp 

 

Art education

Ohio State Fair and the Ohio Department of Education have partnered together to create "Crafted," like "Chopped," where kids and adults alike can participate in art projects. Ten random winners will be chosen for a VIP family four pack to attend the next Ohio State Fair. You can visit the Ohio State Fair Facebook page for more. 

Full briefing:

Monday

New numbers

As of Monday, there were 6,881 confirmed cases and 94 probable cases, making 6,975 total cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Of those cases, there have been 2,033 hospitalizations. There have also been 264 confirmed and 6 presumptive deaths, making 274 total in the state of Ohio.

The age range is less than one year old to 101 years old, with a median age of 54. The cases so far have been 52% female and 48% male.

Cases are now in 86 of 88 Ohio counties.

To date, 65,112 tests have been completed in the state.

Dr. Amy Acton said Monday that the good news is, the curve's peak is staying flat. 

When will we open back up?

Protesters were heard once again outside the statehouse during DeWine's Monday presser. There were groups of people with bullhorns and signs that read: "Show me the data."

Protesters have voiced frustration with the ongoing stay-at-home order and business closures.

RELATED: Protesters outside Statehouse disrupt Ohio coronavirus briefing

"Part of what has to happen before we really go back, is people have to have confidence they can go out," DeWine said. 

This is an area, throughout this, DeWine said he has tried to get the best advice he could. Dr. Acton started filling DeWine in back in January. They put together a group of doctors and a group of business leaders to advise them as they work to come up with a plan to get things back to "normal."

DeWine said the path to reopen is a "work in progress." He called it an Ohio plan, but said he believed the Trump administration would be supportive. 

He said we need to do this in a way that is rational and will help us prepare for a potential second wave of the virus.

Nursing homes

The governor signed an order requiring long-term care facilities notify families if a resident or a staff member becomes infected with coronavirus within 24 hours.

They will also be providing a list of long-term care facilities where a resident or staff member tests positive. That list will be provided on the Ohio Department of Health website when it has been completed.

DeWine said if you are thinking about moving into or sending a loved one into a nursing home, you have every right to know what the situation is there.

Testing in the private sector

A number of companies have begun to purchase antibody testing for staff and - in some instances - customers. DeWine cautioned that companies make sure that what they are purchasing is approved by the FDA. Without that approval, there is no way of knowing if that testing will be valid.

Companies should ask for a letter of authorization from the FDA on their antibody testing kit.

Prisons

The National Guard is still at the federal facility at Elkton to help as they combat the spread of coronavirus.

Testing has begun at the facility in Pickaway. National Guard members will also be heading to Pickaway, as more than a dozen health workers are now out sick. 

Their role will be in triage support, taking temperatures and helping with non-coronavirus cases. 

Additionally, an inmate at the Pickaway facility has died. DeWine confirmed that this inmate did have underlying conditions. This inmate had tested positive for the virus, marking the first COVID-related death of an Ohio prisoner.

DeWine said they will continue to look at what prisoners can be released under the Emergency Release provision. 

"Strive for Five" challenge

Ohio Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services director Lori Criss is asking everyone to reach out to five people over the next 30 days during a time where we have to stay home and stay safe.

By encouraging people to reach out, it decreases feelings of isolation and those personal connections can reduce stress and anxiety.

Liquor stores

In compliance with ODH orders and to reduce the spread of coronavirus, in-person sale of liquor will be prohibited to anyone who does not have an Ohio license in the following counties:

  • Ashtabula
  • Trumbull
  • Mahoning
  • Jefferson
  • Belmont
  • Columbiana

Sale of liquor in those counties will be restricted to those who live in the state of Ohio.

The governor received complaints about people in this area coming across from Pennsylvania, as the state closed its liquor stores. The move has pushed people into Ohio counties. 

A person with a valid license from outside of the state must provide proof that they reside in Ohio, like a piece of mail, to purchase liquor in those counties.

The governor will continue to monitor this situation.

Food banks

DeWine signed an executive order giving $5 million in emergency funding to support Ohio's 12 "Feeding America" food banks and statewide hunger relief efforts.

This will help food banks from running out of food and supplies for families in need.

Additionally, $1 million is earmarked in this fund for the agricultural clearance program. The Ohio Association of Food Banks will purchase local commodities, like milk, to give to food banks. 

The move is an effort to help people, like dairy farmers, who have found hardship amid the coronavirus. This should help connect the resources they've been developing with the people who need them.

Also within this order is funding to help homeless shelters so they can purchase cleaning supplies and provide a safe and sanitary environment.

Unemployment

In the coming days, Lt. Jon Husted said he would provide a list of actions they are taking to identify ways to give people more certainty and better customer service as they apply for unemployment benefits.

Husted said the additional $600 for those who receive unemployment benefits through the CARES Act should be ready to go by the end of next week. 

As of Monday, there were still a number of employers with a need there are over 40,000 jobs now posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch. 

Voting

Two weeks from Monday is when you need to have your absentee ballot postmarked, which is the day before the new election day.

Voteohio.gov is where you can go to request your absentee ballot. Once you request your absentee ballot, you can go back to the website to track that ballot to make sure it was received and to ensure it was counted.

There is no in-person voting in Ohio for the 2020 primary election. 

RELATED: How to vote in Ohio's primary election postponed by coronavirus

FULL BRIEFING:

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 were 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

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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.

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