Pandemic Response Week In Review


Throughout the past week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state initiatives.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine endorsed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and the surrounding Dayton region as the ideal location for the new United States Space Command headquarters.

"Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton region would be excellent hosts for the U.S. Space Command's new headquarters," said Governor DeWine. "This area is already home to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and Air Force Material Command. It's a powerful combination and a synergy that you can't find anywhere else."

In a letter sent to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Governor DeWine endorsed the nomination submitted by Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone. A letter signed by 22 area mayors and four county commission presidents was also submitted expressing mutual support for the Dayton region to be considered for the permanent U.S. Space Command headquarters.

The Department of the Air Force, in coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, announced in May that it would accept nominations for the headquarters' location based on specific criteria. WPAFB and the Dayton region met all of the screening requirements.

If selected, the new headquarters could bring up to 1,400 personnel to Ohio.

Copies of the letters sent can be found at governor.ohio.gov.

Also on Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced two public awareness campaigns aimed at spreading awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures that impact the well-being of Ohioans and the Ohio economy.

“The messages of these ads are clear,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohioans, by continuing to practice good prevention, can do two things at once, help stop the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly and safely get back to work.”

The first campaign, called “I Believe,” focuses on real Ohioans and the prevention measures they take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These 15-second ads, provided by the Ohio Department of Health, will air for three weeks on broadcast, cable, and social media across the state. The PSAs feature two Ohio healthcare professionals.

I Believe (1)

Dr. Kevin Sharrett, MD, is a primary care physician with Cedarville and Jamestown Family Practice. He is the Medical Director for the Greene County Health Department and the Medical Director for Rural Health for the Kettering Health Network. He has served as the Greene County Coroner since 1997. A graduate of Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Sharrett also is a farmer and has dedicated his career to serving rural Ohioans.

I Believe (2)

Shareece Mashiska, RN, has been caring for patients in the Youngstown/Warren communities for more than 15 years. A nurse manager at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Shareece began her career in the intermediate unit at Mercy Health – St. Joseph Warren Hospital before becoming an intensive care nurse working both in-patient and on Mercy Health’s mobile intensive care unit. Currently residing in the Mahoning Valley, Shareece believes social distancing remains a critical piece of keeping our communities safe, which includes her own husband and three children.

Up to All of Us

The second campaign, called “Up to All of Us,” focuses on the importance of taking proper preventative precautions, such as maintaining social distance and washing hands, to get Ohioans back to work and Ohio's economy working again.  The ad, provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, will air for three weeks on broadcast and cable television and features an emergency room physician and a local restaurant owner and operator.

Laura Espy-Bell, MD, MHA, FACEP is a board-certified Emergency physician and a native of Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2003. Dr. Espy-Bell received her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Dr. Espy-Bell graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2011. Dr. Espy-Bell has been an active member of the OhioHealth medical staff for the past 6 years as an Emergency Medicine attending physician with Mid-Ohio Emergency Services (MOES) and has provided quality health care in several OhioHealth emergency departments.

Gary Callicoat is the president of Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, which he first opened in 2002. Reflecting a long record of giving back to the hospitality industry, Callicoat serves on the board of the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) and is equally committed to supporting charitable causes of the communities in which he does business. He is also on the board of the ORA’s Education Foundation.

FIREWORKS

Lt. Governor Husted noted that Independence Day fireworks shows can proceed, but large gatherings are still prohibited at this time. He encouraged any community that plans on holding a fireworks event to do so safely. Spectators are encouraged to find ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in small groups, such as by watching displays from their porches, backyards, or cars.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE GRANTS

Governor DeWine announced the first round of funding being distributed to local criminal justice entities as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant.

Approximately $2.1 million will be awarded to a total of 65 local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement, probation/parole offices, corrections agencies, courts, and victim service providers. 

The funding can be used toward COVID-19 expenses such as cleaning supplies, PPE, and medical supplies like thermometers. The funding will also be used to pay for technology upgrades that are needed for teleworking or other virtual services.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

A total of nearly $16 million was awarded to Ohio's Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) for this program as part of the CARES Act. OCJS continues to process other grant applications they’ve already received and are still accepting new applications from agencies that have not yet requested funding.

More information on how to apply can be found at www.ocjs.ohio.gov.

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Husted visited Lordstown Motors for a first look at the 2020 Endurance All-Electric Pickup Truck.

On Thursday, Governor DeWine invited President and CEO of UC Health Richard P. Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP to give an update on the status of COVID-19 in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas.

The effective reproductive ratio, also known as R naught, measures how many people will be infected by a sick individual. The R naught had reached 2.4 in that region in April. In recent weeks, the R naught had declined to below one. However, in the last 10 days, the R naught has doubled over the last 10 days in the Cincinnati region.

Dr. Lofgren explained that the increase in cases is not only due to the tests being performed, but the increase shows there is a greater presence of the COVID-19 in the area, and it is spreading in the community. He said it serves as a reminder about the importance of wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and keeping social distance.

OHIO 2-1-1

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will continue funding for the valuable 2-1-1 service as Ohio enters into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2-1-1 is a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, food and meals, housing, transportation, mental health, and legal services.

At the beginning of the year, the service was available in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties. When the pandemic began, Ohio EMA asked Ohio AIRS, the non-profit that governs Ohio 2-1-1, to provide service to the remaining 37 counties in Ohio, which happened in March.

Ohioans can also dial 877-721-8476 to get connected to 2-1-1.

Also on Thursday, Governor DeWine made several appointments to various boards and commissions, as well as two judicial appointments.

CURRENT OHIO DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 48,638 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,788 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,570 people have been hospitalized, including 1,904 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.