CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said they are sending letters to judges to take a look at prisoners who might be released early due to COVID-19.
DeWine said they will be looking at elderly and non-violent offenders.
“We have 15 over the age of 60 and are approaching their release date that we believe could be released early. Again, these are not serious violent offenders,” he said. “We do have 23 women in our prison who are pregnant or have a child in prison. We will send a letter to the judge in their case to make a determination on if these women are appropriate to be released early.”
These cases do not involve anyone convicted of serious violent crimes such as, but not limited to, murder, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
As of Friday, there are 91 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 3,312 confirmed cases in Ohio. A total of 895 have been hospitalized and more than 30,000 people tested, DeWine said.
Ohio State University and the state health department will work together to make testing faster. First thing they will do is to make sure testing swab kits are produced in Ohio.
“We need more testing and we need results quicker. As far as quicker results, it’s starting b/c hospitals are no longer going to outside labs. This is important that we get the results back quickly,” DeWine said.
The National Guard will now also work to increase bed capacity for when the COVID-19 peak hits in Ohio.
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted said Batelle and Jobs Ohio will be sterilizing masks for hospitals for free for the next two weeks.
Gov. DeWine says Ohio still faces a critical shortage of PPE. Anyone with items to donate should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manufacturers that may be able to temporarily repurpose to create PPE are asked to visit repurposingproject.com.
On Thursday, DeWine announced that the Stay At Home order now in place in Ohio will be extended through May 1.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed the updated order Thursday afternoon and it goes into effect at midnight on Monday.
“We understand that this is tough - it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn’t a matter of life and death,” Governor DeWine said. “We have to keep this monster down. It’s not dead - it’s very much alive.”
Here’s a current breakdown of coronavirus cases in Greater Cincinnati counties:
- Hamilton: 220
- Butler: 49
- Clermont: 16
- Warren: 31
- Clinton: 7
- Highland: 4
- Brown: 3
- Preble: 2