Health officials discuss projected coronavirus peaks, efforts to flatten the curve

Health officials discuss projected coronavirus peaks, efforts to flatten the curve

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - As case numbers and hospitalizations increase, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman discussed efforts to flatten the curve and projected peaks for COVID-19.

In Ohio, there are 39 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 1,933 confirmed cases. A total of 475 have been hospitalized and 27,275 people tested, Ohio Governor DeWine said.

“As you can tell we are on the upside of the curve, remember our efforts are attempting to flatten the curve. We’re clearly heading on the upside of the curve," Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus said.

In Hamilton County, there are 101 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and so far no deaths. Of those in Hamilton County Health District, 18 have recovered.

During the briefing on Tuesday, Driehaus addresses whether there will be county furloughs and layoffs.

“The answer unfortunately is, nothing is off the table,” she said.

She pledges to keep basic services going.

County departments and other electeds are being asked to develop plans to implement a 20 percent budget reudction.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced Monday the city will furlough approximately 20 percent of its workforce, or 1,700 workers, as a precaution to halt the spread of COVID-19.

“You do not deserve this,” he said speaking to the workers affected. “You did nothing to deserve this. It is not your fault. This is only temporary. You will be back.”

Driehaus says layoffs and furloughs will be the last resort to balancing the budget for the county.

On Monday, she said they’re asking for a statewide hotline that would give more clear answers on the stay-at-home order.

According to Director of Hamilton County 911 Communications Center Andrew Knapp, the 911 center is taking steps to keep the employees healthy.

“Only essential people are allowed in the building,” he said. “We are reinforcing planning and gone through staffing levels - the goal is we are able to serve our mission. We hold weekly video conferencing to implement as many changes that are going on. Also, we are securing necessary backup equipment. We’d like to be able to serparate our workforce into two separate work groups.”

He said due to social distancing and people taking the messages seriously, the 911 center has seen a decrease in call traffic.

Monday DeWine extended the closure of all K-12 schools to May 1.

“We will re-evaluate as we get closer to that date,” he said.

DeWine requested all hospitals to send COVID-19 samples when someone is tested to a place that does quick testing or the Ohio Department of Health.

“The Ohio Department of Health can get test results back within a matter of hours,” he said. “The private labs do good work, but they are behind - ODH is not.”

The state will have a new order in the next several days.

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