DeWine: Testing, tracing plan to get Ohio economy open

Ohio

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expects to be able to test more than 133,000 people a week for COVID-19 by the end of May, he said during his Monday press conference while announcing the timeline and plan to reopen Ohio.

>>> Live updates on the plan to reopen Ohio’s businesses amid coronavirus pandemic <<<

During his briefing Monday, DeWine said with the testing capacity expansion is due to help from Thermo Fisher and ROE Dental, which will both produce reagent and swabs, respectively, to help boost the capacity of testing for coronavirus in Ohio.

  • Starting this Wednesday, April 29, DeWine said the state would be able to test 7,228 people per day, boosting weekly testing up to 43,368.
  • One week later, May 6, that expansion will jump to 14,275 tests per day, increasing weekly testing to 85,650.
  • On May 13, the governor believes the state will be able to perform 18,200 tests per day, with 109,200 tests per week.
  • By May 20, the state should be able to test 20,275 people per day, increasing weekly testing to 121,650 people.
  • By the last Wednesday in May, May 27, the state should be able to test 22,275 people per day, with a weekly testing capacity of 133,650.

“These are what we think we’re going to be able to achieve, but we think we have a real shot at getting those numbers and be able to come up with that capacity to test,” DeWine said. “Again, in May, a lot of interesting things are happening, things that we’ve been waiting for, things that we’ve been trying to get going. Last week, it kicked in.”

Additionally, the state has set forth a tracing plan that will better allow the state to separate those who have COVID-19 from those who don’t.

“This is something that our 113 health departments know how to do , but the challenge is they’ve never had this many to do,” DeWine said.

To help meet the amount of tracing the state expects to need, 1,750 workers to help with tracing by June 1.

As of today, there are about 685 local public health workers who, with the help of about 900 volunteers, currently conduct the tracing.

The state is looking for funding to help pay for the new positions, with the tracing expected to continue for a long time.

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