COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a briefing Saturday to discuss the latest developments on the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.
As of Saturday, there are 3,739 cases reported, leading to 1,006 hospitalizations and 102 deaths.
DeWine said Saturday that a good part of the the day so far has been spent on hospital buildout.
DeWine said an order was signed Saturday that allows Ohioans to access telehealth services without first meeting face to face.
DeWine addressed Friday’s CDC recommendation that people wear masks when out and about. He says it will not be required to wear masks, but if you see someone wearing one, look at it like they are doing a good thing. DeWine said he will be wearing one made by his wife.
Dr. Amy Acton also encouraged people to wear masks as an addition to what we are already doing, not a substitute.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted encouraged Ohioans to take advantage of WiFi hotspots in the state if they don’t have access to sufficient internet.
“This is really important. We know students are out there trying to upload or download homework assignments, or turn things in. Businesses, and people working from home may have to go somewhere to find a hotspot to be able to do their work,” said Husted.
The latest models project a mid-April-to-late-May peak for coronavirus cases in Ohio. Those models are from Ohio State University, but Cleveland Clinic models show the peak will be between mid-May and mid-June.
During Friday’s news conference, DeWine addressed the shortage of testing in the state.
“We need more testing, and we need more results quicker,” said DeWine.
He announced that the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health have teamed up to produce the items needed for tests (swabs, tubes to put swab in and liquid inside the test tube) here in Ohio.
The big announcement from DeWine, Thursday, was that he would be extending Ohio’s Stay at Home order until at least May 1.
“Everything about this lags about a couple weeks behind, and you have to make moves early,” said Dr. Acton prior to signing the order during Thursday’s news conference. “This order I’m signing is to think about you and all the sacrifices you’re making.”