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Ohio Coronavirus Update | 19,914 total cases, 1,038 deaths

The ODH reported 820 probable and 19,094 confirmed cases, 81 probable and 957 confirmed deaths on Sunday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio —

Sunday

New numbers:

As of Sunday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 19,094 confirmed and 820 probable cases of coronavirus, making 19,914 total in the state.

So far, there have been 957 confirmed and 81 probable deaths, for a total of 1,038 COVID-related deaths, per ODH data. 

To date, there have been 3,769 hospitalizations with 1,078 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, 56% of patients have been male and 44% have been female.

Saturday

New Numbers: 

As of Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 18,537 confirmed and 798 probable cases of coronavirus, making 19,335 total in the state.

So far, there have been 940 confirmed and 81 probable deaths, for a total of 1,021 COVID-related deaths, per ODH data. 

To date, there have been 3,712 hospitalizations with 1,066 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, 56% of patients have been male and 44% have been female.

Friday

New Numbers

The Ohio Department of Health reported 18,743  total cases of coronavirus in the state with 3,634 hospitalizations have increased but plateaued over this 5-day week. and 1,002 total deaths.  

ICU admissions now total 1,056 

The age range is from less than 1 year old up to 106 years old with a median age of 51.  

Cases have been 56% male and 43% female per ODH data. 

Stay Safe Ohio

What Ohioians knew to be the state's stay-at-home order has now transitioned into a new order: Stay Safe Ohio. 

Gov. Mike DeWine, said the new order is not considered a stay-at-home order, because of the new phase the state has entered, however not much has changed in what's being asked of Ohioans especially regarding health safety. 

Although the new order is set to expire May 29, DeWine said that new orders will be issued throughout the month and that it will be considered a very busy month.

Several different contributing factors will play into how the state progresses. DeWine said he number of hospitalizations will be a key indicator and taking things into account that weren't available before such as testing, will play a role as well. 

The governor said he plans to outline how testing will be used to help the fight against the coronavirus.

Large group gatherings are still to be on hold and social distancing is especially emphasized with the reopening of businesses.

Businesses remaining closed

As mentioned earlier in the week, committees of people familiar with specific industries that are still closed have been brought in to help conduct when and how to open the different businesses. 

The ways in which each business has concluded to reopen is expected to be discussed and presented next week. 

Lucas County

According the Ohio Department of Health, Lucas County is the number one county in the state for COVID-19 deaths totaling at 119, even though the county has not had the most cases. 

Dr. Amy Acton said the scientific reasoning behind this is still not clear. One of the reasons for that is because there is not consistent testing she said. 

The thought of the location of state borders is a possibility however  she explained that there is no evidence to support it. 

Campgrounds

Lieutenant Gov. Jon Husted said that all recreational campgrounds and recreational RV parks are closed with the exception of those who genuinely have no other place of residence. 

Those who have a leased facility are allowed under the new order as well with social distancing practices. 

Thursday

New numbers

As of Thursday, there were 17,285 confirmed and 742 probable cases of coronavirus for a total of 18,027 in Ohio. 

The Ohio Department of Health reported 898 confirmed and 77 probable COVID-related deaths for a total of 975.

To date, there have been 3,533 hospitalizations and 1,035 ICU admissions due to the virus.

The age range is from less than 1 year old up to 106 years old with a median age of 51. 

Cases have been 56% male and 43% female per ODH data.

PPE

When it comes to distribution of personal protective equipment, leaders have promised to send them where they are most needed, including hospitals and nursing homes. 

DeWine announced Wednesday that his team sent out $4.1 million pieces of that equipment to EMAs across the state.

However, correctional facilities are in need of this vital equipment as well. DeWine thanked the staff working at these facilities for continuing their work on the front lines.

Over the last few weeks, DeWine said, 1.1 million pieces of PPE were sent to the state's prisons to help keep staff and inmates safe. The equipment includes:

  • 108,000 N-95 masks 
  • 256,000 gloves
  • 684 procedure  masks
  • 10,00 provider gowns
  • 10,000 cloth masks

In terms of dentists and other practices opening on May 1, there is a concern about access to PPE as shortages continue.

Dr. Amy Acton said that practices that should be honest with patients about they can and cannot do and be aware that if they are unable to gain access to the equipment on May 1 they should delay reopening.

Prisons

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation Director Annette Chambers Smith said her team created their pandemic plan in 2009, during the onset of H1N1.

Smith said they have since updated and practiced that plan. They started making PPE, hand sanitizer, face shields, masks, etc. Normally, certain types of hand sanitizers and wipes are not allowed in prisons, but some of these regulations were waived in an effort to combat the spread.

Prison staff has PPE equipment that is in line with CDC and ODH guidelines. It varies according to what staff is doing and where they are working. Those working at hot spot prisons are also given the opportunity, Smith said, to go to a hotel to shower before going home or to stay overnight.

Smith said most of their planning was initially focused on keeping it out of the prisons as long as they could, and they were able to do that until the main surge hit the free world. 

Smith said that due to flu season, they already had a cleaning team operating and offering flu vaccines.

Prisoners were cohorted into their housing units and the team even began cohorting staff to limit the potential to spread.

An environmental physician has worked with Smith's team to look over prison plans and HVAC systems to make sure the plan covered all bases. 

"There literally no part of the prison system that hasn't been touched," Smith said.

According to Smith, Ohio was the first state to begin mass testing, which was done in three facilities. 

Dr. Michael Para with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that mass testing in prisons was a critical step. While he noted that a large number were positive, what was really striking was the number people who tested positive with no symptoms.

He said this means if they let a lawyer in or sent an inmate in the court, they could run into someone who has no symptoms at all but is carrying the virus.

In Marion, there were many people who were asymptomatic and positive. Smith said that medical professionals believed previously that there would be a small number of people who were positive and asymptomatic, but the science told them differently.

Clinicians looked at this information, and are no testing the people who were negative to see if they have turned positive, and some have, Smith said.

Going forward, medical personnel will test specific individuals who are showing symptoms, who are being released, etc. By testing inmates on release, they can notify local health departments of whether nor not a person is COVID-19 positive.

Para said he thinks ODRC has a good system in place. They have offered inmates masks, they do contact tracing and they have been very thorough.

Early release

Conversations began in early March to reduce the populations in prisons. Per DeWine's guidelines, ODRC leaders decided to go with a full continuum approach to begin reviewing inmates for early release.

Smith said since March 24, prison populations have decreased by 1,379 people. She said this has allowed her team to go into the prisons and allow people to live further apart and create more distance.

The team is continuing to look at people eligible for early release in an effort to keep reducing the prison population.

Reopening

Acton described what her team will be looking at as the state begins to reopen to make sure the state stays on track and moves forward in a safe way.

She said that as testing begins to ramp up over the next, we will see more case numbers. However, epidemiologists will begin to look at what's called the "positivity rate," which is the number of positive tests compared to how many tests have been administered and came back negative. This should help correct for the fact that the state is just testing more.

Her team will continue looking at hospitalizations and ICU visits as well as other flu-like illnesses among other things.

In terms of retail stores, DeWine was asked about facilities who have said they will open before the May 12 date. 

He explained that leaders are opening in phases in an effort to buy some time and avoid a spike in the curve. DeWine told retailers who planned on deviating from the state's plan that reopening too early would be a mistake.

He said he spoke with several retail stores who are preparing to make sure they can keep staff and customers safe. While many Ohioans are anxious to get going again, DeWine called for balance.

DeWine also made an additional clarification about masks as offices and retailers get ready to reopen. 

If someone is working in an office environment, they must wear a mask as they enter the building with others. However, once they get to their desk and are distanced from others, they are able to remove it.

DeWine announced earlier this week that beginning May 1, workers must wear masks unless the employer has a valid concern about safety or health. Consumers are highly encouraged to wear masks, but it is not mandated. However, businesses may require customers to wear masks in stores and reserve the right to refuse service to someone who doesn't wear one.

Stay-at-home order

DeWine did say the stay-at-home order will be extended, but this time with exceptions as certain sectors begin to reopen.

He reiterated that as we begin to get back to "normal" we must move forward carefully.

DeWine said people can still go to the grocery store, meet with their family, take walks, etc. However, Ohioans should remain social distancing, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and continue practicing good hygiene.

Wednesday

Gov. Mike DeWine began Wednesday's daily conference with a nod to Tiffin University by wearing a university tie and acknowledging the Dragons' special graduation ceremony scheduled for Saturday. 

PPE Shipment

DeWine's big "thank you" toward educators throughout the state was quickly followed by "good news" regarding supplying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers and those who are working the front lines against the virus. 

Last week the state reportedly shipped 4.1 million pieces of PPE to local EMAS across Ohio. DeWine said this is the largest shipment of PPE in Ohio's history. The shipment included half a million N-95 masks, 850,000 face shields, 750,000 surgical masks and 2 million non-medical gloves. 

Local law enforcement 

DeWine also announced that $16 million in grant funding was awarded to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services as a part of the Federal CARES Act. The OCJS is now prepared to accept grant funding applications from local law enforcement, probation and parole offices, local courts, victim service providers and adult/juvenile community correction agencies. 

Agencies are not limited to, but the funding can be used for cleaning PPE, overtime costs, new technology, virtual court hearings, inmate medical needs and supplies for COVID-19 monitoring and testing. 

The money can also be used for alternative housing for survivors of violence and abuse due to safety concerns. 

Agencies can apply for up to 12 months of funding and no local match is required. Applications are encouraged to be turned in as soon as possible before funding runs out. More information can be found here

New Numbers

The Ohio Department of Health reported 17,303  total cases of coronavirus in the state with 3,421 hospitalizations and 937 total deaths. ICU admissions now total 1,014 . Of the cases overall, 43% are female and 57% are male, with the average age being 51 years old. 

Dr. Amy Acton said over 128,00 Ohioans have been tested for the virus and that hospitalizations have trended up. She also pointed out that the death total has increased significantly but to note that deaths reported is "tricky" and that deaths reported do not necessarily occur within the last 24 hours. 

Graduation Ceremonies

All 612 school districts in the state must work with their local health department to ensure that their plans for graduation aligns with public health guidelines pertaining to COVID-19.

Virtual ceremonies are highly recommended, however a guidance created by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health on how to conduct safe and healthy graduation ceremonies can be found here.  

Businesses and face coverings

While it is only strong recommended that customers wear face masks while shopping, Lieutenant Gov. Jon Husted noted that employers and employees are required to wear face coverings while on the job with exceptions under certain conditions. 

If any exceptions apply to a business or to an employee of that business, a written justification must be provided upon request.

Watch full briefing:

Tuesday

Ohio Primary Election

Ohio's daily coronavirus update, began with Secretary of State Frank LaRose reminding Ohio voters who did not mail their ballot by the given deadline, to send in their ballots to their county's board of elections' dropbox by 7:30 p.m. 

Customer mask mandate lifted 

Gov. DeWine retracted the face covering mandate, that was announced just the day before, which required that ALL businesses require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times.

DeWine said the decision was made after listening to some Ohioans say that the mandate went one step too far and was considered offensive.

However, DeWine says business owners may still require customers to wear face coverings before entering their business and have the right to turn away customers who do not comply with the requirement. 

Plans to reopen other businesses

With the plans for phase one on reopening businesses already in motion, DeWine and Lieutenant Gov. Jon Husted, also highlighted how the state is working to plan to reopen other businesses like restaurants, barbershops and salons. 

The plan includes input from other groups that work closely and are familiar with the nature of these businesses in all sizes. 

Discussions on best practices and recommendations for these businesses will begin this week.

New Numbers

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 16,769 total cases of coronavirus in the state now throughout all 88 counties, with 3,340 hospitalizations and 799 total deaths. ICU admissions now total 1,004. Of the cases overall, 43% are female and 57% are male, with the average age being 51 years old. Healthcare workers make up 16% of all cases throughout the state.

Dr. Amy Acton mentioned the new symptoms of the coronavirus that the CDC added which include chills and shaking without fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and loss of taste and smell.

Watch full briefing

Monday

Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday announced his plan to slowly reopen Ohio's economy, saying "we are where are today ... because of what you have done."

He acknowledged while Ohioans have done much to slow the virus, it still exists and the basic tools available to slow the spread - distance and handwashing and face coverings - still exist and are essential. 

"We've got to get moving. At the same time, we've got to protect Ohioans," DeWine said. 

The governor said the state is going to follow three guiding principles: Protect the health of employees, customers and their families; support community efforts to control the spread of the virus; and lead in responsibly getting Ohio back to work. 

New orders will outline what can open when, only if the business can meet the five protocols described by the governor.

New Orders/What's Opening

On Friday, May 1, health care will start to reopen, DeWine said. All health procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital can resume.   Dentists and veterinarians can also begin "full steam ahead" on Friday, May 1. 

On Monday, May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction will be opened back up. General offices also can reopen on May 4. 

On Tuesday, May 12: Consumer retail and services can reopen.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine announces which businesses will be allowed to reopen in Ohio's first phase

RELATED: Restaurants, gyms and salons to remain closed in Ohio's first reopening phase

5 protocols for ALL businesses

  1. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if "fit for duty." 
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times - handwashing and social distancing
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout the workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Establish max capacity at 50% of fire code. And use appointment settings where possible to limit congestion.  

Industry-specific criteria can be found at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio

"There are a lot of moving parts here. This is the beginning, but to continue to move forward - without falling back and having a huge spike in cases - there are a lot of things everyone can do to decrease the impact and get people back to work," DeWine said. 

Stay-at-home still in place

Stay at home orders will still be in place, DeWine said. The order that no groups of 10 people or more can gather will still be in place. 

If a person can go to work or needs to go make essential shopping trips, that's still fine to go out and do, DeWine said.

Unemployment

Regarding unemployment benefits for people who never got their benefits, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said that people are still eligible for compensation for your time off work and they will be back paid.

"So far 446,000 Ohioans have been serviced by the Ohio unemployment program. They've paid out $1.24 billion in benefits. Benefits will be backdated for those who have not yet received their benefits," Husted said. 

The average wait time on the phone system in 14 minutes, which Husted called better but still not acceptable. 

Testing/Contact Tracing

Another key part of being able to start to reopen the state included greatly expanded testing, DeWine said, and contact tracing of individuals. The goal is to have a 1,750 contract tracking workforce in place by June 1. 

New Numbers

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 16,325 total cases of coronavirus in the state, with 3,232 hospitalizations and 753 total deaths. ICU admissions now total 978. Of the cases overall, 6,890 are female and 9,371 are male, with the gender of 64 of those cases is unknown.

Full briefing 

RELATED: New poll shows 85% approve of Gov. DeWine's handling of coronavirus, but more remain uncertain about his reopening plan

RELATED: US states chart their own reopening path as global coronavirus cases near 3 million

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.