LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — The number of positive coronavirus cases in northwest Ohio is growing. But, medical experts know the number is greater than what is being reported.
One of the big questions Ohioans have, is how to get tested. Right now in Lucas County, tests are being reserved for medical workers, first responders and anyone with severe symptoms who gets a doctor's referral.
Drive-thru testing is no longer an option, so the number of local cases is much likely higher than what we are hearing. New data shows Ohio is behind other states in the total number of tests being allotted.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D) provided the following statement:
“We need to act quickly to boost our testing capacity and hospital capacity to ensure that everyone who needs care can get it, and get more support to our frontline healthcare workers. To that end, I’ve called on the president to invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950 to immediately ramp up American manufacturing to address widespread shortages of medical supplies, including testing materials. As of now, the State Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association are working with Ohio hospitals to increase testing capacity, but they need the help of the federal government. Not all hospitals have the capacity to test – so communities are working in partnership to figure out the testing system that works best, between the state’s public health labs, regional hospitals, and private testing companies.”
Senator Rob Portman also expressed his concern with the lack of testing being available in Ohio. Portman said it's important that Ohio's numbers are as accurate as possible. He is hopeful private labs can help with that for the time being, and that the testing capabilities will improve in the coming days.
"Within a week or two my sense is we will have much better testing in Ohio. But we're still not there, and until were there and have that data complied on a daily basis, it's hard to know the reality of what's happening," Portman said.
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.