Ohio’s coronavirus surge could likely result in 6K to 8K new cases a day at peak, health director says

Gov. DeWine, health officials give update on state’s coronavirus response

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Health Director Amy Acton said at the state’s coronavirus peak surge there are likely to be 6,000 to 8,000 new cases a day.

“Best projection is a May 1 timeline. Our first look into Ohio’s data... it’s looking like that,” she said. “A lot of these cases will be presumptive by case history. We will not have the testing that will be able to test every sick case. We will presume it as such."

On Thursday, Acton said they have tested about 17,000 people.

Ohio has 867 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 deaths, according to the state’s department of health.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said they are working to make sure everyone gets the healthcare they need.

“Big, big expansion in the number of beds... getting infrastructure ready to go. We need to keep practicing social distancing. It slows the spread from person to person - it is buying us time,” he said.

Acton said at this time, hospitals are at about 60 percent capacity.

“We know that we are going to either almost double what we need - we’re going to have room to use right now - but as the surge comes, we’re building out capacity. We’re going to go up above what our hospitals have as capacity," she said.

With the numbers given during the press conference, many asked about students in Ohio returning to school.

DeWine said it’s possible given Acton’s projections, that kids may not go back to school this academic year. However, he said they’re not at that point to make the decision right now.

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He also spoke about evictions with the stay-at-home order being in place.

“We want everyone to stay home, and we want everyone to have a home to stay in. The bill passed by the legislature relieves the courts’ requirement to hear criminal, civil, and administrative cases in a certain period of time,” DeWine said.

From March 9 to July 30, there is more flexibility in all cases, he said.

As far as weddings and funerals, he reminded Ohioans they aren’t prohibited but there are limitations.

“These are not prohibited, but we ask that we don’t have large gatherings. Postpone the big ceremony - get married, but the big party should be after this is over. It’s something to look forward to,” DeWine said.

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted said if you believe a business or gathering is in violation of the rules of the stay-at-home order, call your health department or local law enforcement.

Here’s of a breakdown of cases in Greater Cincinnati counties:

  • Hamilton: 53
  • Butler: 21
  • Clermont: 6
  • Warren: 10
  • Clinton: 2
  • Highland: 1

Acton said they have seen a huge spike in calls to the COVID- 19 hotline, but want to remind callers they can’t provide legal aid at 833-4-ASK-ODH, but will help you with your health questions.

“Stay home, Ohio. Stay strong. Stay together. Reach out to each other,” she said.

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