Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor DeWine noted that although COVID-19 hospital admissions in Ohio had been declining since peaking in mid-July, hospitalizations are now trending upwards with an increasing number of hospitalizations in rural Ohio.
The average age of hospitalized patients has also gone up in recent weeks. Ohioans 60 and older now account for approximately 70 percent of COVID hospital admissions as compared to 50 percent of hospitalizations in July.
"As we said earlier in August and September, spread among the young and healthy will eventually impact those who are older and more vulnerable, which is why it is so very important that younger Ohioans do all they can to prevent spread," said Governor DeWine.
Regionally, the western part of the state has been seeing an increase in hospital admissions and relatively fewer hospital admissions have been occurring in northeast and central Ohio.
All regions of the state currently have adequate hospital capacity.
NOTE: Hospital admissions are a lagging indicator. Admissions for the week of September 27th are expected to rise as new information is received.
Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to continue to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He stressed that President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis should serve as a reminder that anyone can become ill with coronavirus and that citizens should remain diligent in their efforts to prevent virus spread.
"Each of us can demonstrate our love and respect for our fellow Ohioans by wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, keeping at least 6 feet of distance from others, and frequently washing our hands. This is in our control," said Governor DeWine. "This virus is an enemy of our freedom, but by doing these things to fight back against it, we'll keep our kids in school and our economy moving forward. All of us working together will allow us to live with this virus until the time when it is gone."
Governor DeWine announced that he has authorized a study focused on school students who are quarantined due to meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
"We have heard anecdotally that most quarantined students are not getting sick, but I believe that it is important to have data and evidence before considering a change to the recommended guidance," said Governor DeWine.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY RELIEF PACKAGE
Governor DeWine announced that his administration is working closely with the Ohio General Assembly on a plan to distribute CARES Act funding to help citizens who are struggling to pay their rent, mortgage, or water and sewage utility bills. The plan will also focus on providing aid to small businesses and non-profits.
More information on the economic recovery relief package is expected to be released soon.
Lt. Governor Husted recognized Phoenix Quality Manufacturing for their work to produce N95 masks, creating 40 jobs in Jackson County. The facility will convert 23,000 square feet of the former Elemetal (Ohio Precious Metals) facility into an N95 mask manufacturing operation.
The project has received a $250,000 JobsOhio revitalization grant and a $500,000 PPE grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency. They also received support from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Appalachian Growth Capital, and various investors. Phoenix Quality Manufacturing plans to start producing masks in November for local, state, and international customers.
CURRENT COVID-19 DATA
There are 161,299 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,947 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,972 people have been hospitalized, including 3,367 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.