COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said things with COVID-19 aren’t as bad as they could’ve been, and Ohioans have made a huge difference.
“Ohioans have done a bang-up job at fighting COVID-19,” he said. “It’s not about the orders we issue it’s about what each and every one of you does and doesn’t do.”
DeWine said Ohio groups have come together and will be able to make and distribute a large amount of PPE across the state, including face shields.
“Nineteen manufacturers have partnered with three hospital groups to begin large scale production of face shields for Ohio,” he said. “They’re going to make between 750,000 to 1 million face shields over the next five weeks. Once assembled, they will be delivered to the Ohio Department of Health stockpile, inventoried, and then distributed across the state.”
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that Christ Hospital Lindner Research Center in Cincinnati has received approval from the FDA to begin treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.
The treatment protocol is the only protocol that incorporates a readily available, rapid turnaround blood test that reflects risk of dying and can identify patients before it’s too late, Husted said.
The Ohio Department of Health, ODH, announced that there are 5,512 confirmed novel coronavirus cases and 213 deaths.
About 55,000 people have been tested for COVID-19.
Deaths are going to increase and cases are going to increase even though our efforts have bought us time, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said.
“You have squashed this and stretched this curve. But please know that if you start going out, well go right back up. You have to keep doing what you’re doing,” she said. “The fear I have is when we have these silent victories people say COVID-19 was never there to begin with and there never was a threat. Please know - this battle is still ongoing. Please stay home Ohio.”
Acton said they’re seeing COVID-19 cases in all age ranges but are still struggling with a lack of testing.
“This is a hard mountain to climb. It is an arduous climb up this mountain and we have done this together. But the decent is challenging too. Every move we’re making is based on the best science, and we will not leave you as we get you through this journey,” she said.
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted said $132 million dollars in unemployment benefits have gone to 207,000 Ohioans related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Director of Ohio Jobs and Family Services Kimberly Hall said they are working to meet the needs of workers who have experienced sudden unemployment.
“I want everyone who has been unemployed to please know that all eligible Ohioans will receive their benefits and any delays in processing will not reduce the amount paid. At the end of this week, we will have nearly 1,000 employees taking calls. For those of you impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, my team won’t rest until you receive your benefits,” she said.