Category Archives: State Government

COVID-19 Update: School Quarantine Guidance Change, Curfew Extension, Bar and Restaurant Grants Still Available

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO VACCINES

Ohio is expected to receive more than 238,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next week. Governor DeWine encouraged those administering the vaccine to do so with urgency. 

“Although we’ll never know whose lives have been saved, we do know that these vaccines are saving lives,” said Governor DeWine. “We all have a moral responsibility to get the vaccine out to those who choose to receive it as quickly as we possibly can.”

Governor DeWine also encouraged citizens who wish to be vaccinated to act with urgency when offered the vaccine. Because the vaccine is currently scarce, Governor DeWine warned that those who decline to receive a vaccine at the first opportunity may not immediately receive another chance. 

SCHOOL QUARANTINE GUIDANCE CHANGE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is changing its guidance regarding quarantines following an in-classroom exposure in K-12 schools. Moving forward, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom setting and all students/teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols.

The change follows an evaluation of virus spread in Ohio schools conducted by researchers with the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation Team. Preliminary results of the evaluation found no discernable difference in the risk of contracting the coronavirus between those in close contact with a COVID-positive person in the classroom and those who were farther away.  

“This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio’s classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working,” said Governor DeWine.

Schools should continue to require quarantines for exposed students in situations where masking and distancing protocols were not followed. The updated quarantine guidance does not apply to after-school activities, including sports. 

CURFEW EXTENSION

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 23, 2021. The extension is necessary until Ohio can determine if it will see a post-holiday case surge that impacts hospitals.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.

BAR & RESTAURANT GRANTS STILL AVAILABLE

More than 5,100 eligible on-premises liquor permit holders have not yet applied for state assistance through Ohio’s Bar & Restaurant Grant Program. Of the $38.7 million allotted to support liquor permit holders, more than $12 million remains unclaimed.

Each active on-premises liquor permit (as of 10.23.20) is eligible for $2,500 per location. The funding is not competitive, and the money does not have to be repaid. 

Although the program is referred to as the Bar & Restaurant Assistance Fund, more than just bars and restaurants have eligible liquor permits.  Movie theaters, bowling alleys, sports and concert venues, and even some hair salons are eligible for this funding.

Permit holders who have not yet claimed their funds should visit businesshelp.ohio.gov to apply. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 690,748 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,855 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 38,002 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,837 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

COVID-19 Update: Thanksgiving Mobility, Upcoming Holidays, Ohio National Guard Waiver

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO EXCEEDS 8,000 DEATHS

On Saturday, Ohio surpassed 8,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. As of today, 8,122 people infected with the coronavirus have died since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In the past 24 hours, 6,548 new cases and 301 new hospitalizations were reported. A total of 17 counties have a case rate over 1,000, meaning that at least 1 percent of people in these counties either have or recently had the virus and are at risk of spreading it to others.

THANKSGIVING MOBILITY & UPCOMING HOLIDAYS

Ohio is not experiencing a drastic surge in cases related to Thanksgiving gatherings which is attributable to the fact that Ohioans greatly reduced their contacts and travel over the holiday. According to anonymized data published in the New York Timesthere was a 60 to 70 percent reduction in contacts over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“If we can get through Christmas and New Year’s without a significant surge, we will be much better positioned to start 2021 against this virus,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s critical that we keep up the work we started over Thanksgiving for the next several weeks to prevent another surge in January.”

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff stressed the need for citizens to continue following the Stay Safe Ohio Protocol to help prevent Ohio hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. 

“Up to and through Thanksgiving, Ohioans took important steps to avoid letting COVID-19 overwhelm our hospitals, but in spite of this, our hospitals remain extremely busy,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “Adding a post-holiday spike would create a terrible situation, so we can’t let ourselves be lulled into a sense of complacency as we move into the next two-week period, the biggest holiday season on our calendar.”

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD WAIVER

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Ohio National Guard received a waiver that will allow them to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine. The waiver gives the Ohio National Guard the flexibility to fully utilize National Guard medical personnel trained in administering the vaccine.

The Ohio National Guard has approximately 600 members who are medical personnel, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and medics. Ohio is working to determine how it will best utilize Guard medical personnel without adversely affecting Ohio health care systems’ critical medical resources by removing Guard members from their civilian medical positions.

PHONE NUMBERS

Governor DeWine reminded doctors and others performing COVID-19 testing to collect complete information from patients including telephone numbers. This is vital information for local health departments conducting case investigations and contact tracing.

IMAP

Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans about the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program, or IMAP, which is a program available to Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed to earn a tech-focused credential for free. There are 11 IMAP training providers and 54 eligible credentials available, and 37 of these credentials can be completed 100 percent online. Those interested should visit IMAP.Development.Ohio.govto apply.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 629,354 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 8,122 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 35,048 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,537 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

First Vaccines Administered to Ohio Nursing Facility Residents and Caregivers

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted visited Ohio nursing facilities across the state today to watch the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the nation in long-term care facilities as part of a new partnership. The vaccines, which were given to residents and staff who chose to receive them, were given as part of the early scaling up of the federal Pharmacy Long-Term Care Partnership program.

First Vaccine in Columbus

“It’s an incredible day in Ohio’s history. The rolling out of these vaccines mark a turning point in this pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. 

“I am honored that Ohio was selected as one of the first states where nursing home residents and staff could begin receiving these vaccinations. Residents at our nursing and assisted living facilities and their caregivers have been some of the hardest hit by this pandemic. This historic day allows us to offer a new level of protection for some of our most vulnerable Ohioans. It also brings us one step closer to moving past this virus.”

Governor and Mrs. DeWine joined Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Walgreen’s President John Standley, and Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy at Crown Pointe Care in Columbus to watch a resident receive the first vaccine in the country administered as part of this program. Crown Pointe Care is one of 10 locations across the state, paired with the four pharmacy partners, Absolute Pharmacy, CVS, PharmScript, and Walgreen’s that are participating in the scale up. The full program will launch on Monday across the nation.

Following the visit in Columbus, Governor and Mrs. DeWine traveled to Pleasantview Care Center in Parma to join Parma Mayor Timothy DeGeeter, Parma Fire Chief Mike Laskey, PharmScript Executive Vice President Mindy Ferris and Legacy Health Services Chief Executive Officer Eliav Sharvit to watch the administration of the first vaccine there.


Vaccinators Preparing in Parma, Ohio
Lt. Governor in Georgetown for vaccinations

Lt. Governor Husted traveled to the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown to watch residents there receive the COVID-19 vaccine. “It was truly special to be there at Georgetown Veterans Home this morning as residents received their COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Lt. Governor Husted. 

“These are individuals who bravely served our country, and they deserve to be among the first to receive it. It’s an exciting day for not only this facility, and its staff and residents, but also for all Ohioans.”

Finally, Governor and Mrs. DeWine traveled to the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Sandusky and joined Ohio Department of Veterans Services Superintendent Terry Prince to watch more residents and staff get vaccinated.Residents of nursing facilities are part of the group, referred to as Phase 1A, who if they choose to, may receive the COVID-19 vaccine first.When the program fully launches, the four pharmacy partners will schedule vaccine clinics with the vast majority of Ohio’s nursing facilities. Those facilities that did not sign up with the program will work with their local health departments to receive vaccinations.  

COVID-19 Update: Vaccines, New Advisory System Map, Nurses Share Message

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows sustained severe exposure and spread (Purple Level 4) in Richland County. Medina, Portage, Stark, and Summit counties all moved from Purple Level 4 to Red Level 3 this week. Governor DeWine cautioned that a decrease from Level 4 to Level 3 does not indicate that the situation in these counties is improving, but rather that healthcare indicators, such as hospitalizations, are plateauing at a very critical level. 

“Red and purple are not all that different,” said Governor DeWine. “They both mean that a county has a very high level of cases and a very high level of COVID activity in the healthcare system. Purple simply indicates counties where things are worsening noticeably, but red counties are also at very worrisome and unsustainable levels.”

Advisory Map

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

When seeking to determine the level of risk in each county, Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to look more closely at the chart below which shows the number of positive cases per 1,000 residents. All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence. The top 20 counties show rates of nine to 13 times the high-incidence level. 

88 County Chart

VACCINE UPDATE

Tomorrow, as part of the federal program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff, facilities in Ohio will be among the first in the nation to receive vaccines through Walgreen’s, CVS, PharmScript, and Absolute Pharmacy. Ohio was invited by the CDC to participate in the scaling up of the federal program.

NEW PSA FEATURING OHIO NURSES

Governor DeWine unveiled a new public service announcement featuring four of Ohio’s frontline nurses. The nurses describe what it’s like taking care of COVID patients in Ohio’s hospitals.

The featured nurses are Erin Russo of Memorial Hospital in Marysville, Dara Pence of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Jasmine Shavers of Miami Valley Hospital, and Lisa Burich of St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 596,178 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,894 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 33,745 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,382 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations Continue in Ohio, Local Health Department Vaccination Guidance

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Watch Governor DeWine’s News Conference here.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATIONS CONTINUE IN OHIO

Seven hospitals in Ohio received their first vaccine shipments today, bringing the total number of vaccine doses delivered to Ohio over the past two days to 98,475.

Governor and First Lady DeWine were present this morning for the delivery of the vaccine shipment to Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center and Lt. Governor Jon Husted visited OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus as they received their first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to the two aforementioned hospitals, COVID-19 vaccine shipments of 975 doses apiece were also delivered to:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

An additional 975-dose shipment was delivered today to OhioHealth Riverside Hospital for use at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens. 

Although vaccine supplies are currently limited, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has advised that Ohio will continue to receive vaccinations throughout the month of December. Next week, Ohio is expected to receive 123,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as 201,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine. During the week of New Year’s, Ohio is expected to receive an additional 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and an additional 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. 

A number of healthcare workers who received vaccinations today joined today’s public briefing to discuss their experiences, including Kasi Gardner, RN, of Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center who received her vaccine during the news conference.

Dr. Jennifer Wall Forrester, associate chief medical officer at UC Health, also discussed when citizens should call their doctors or go to the hospital if they develop COVID-19 symptoms

HOSPITALIZATIONS 

Ohioans continue to be hospitalized at record numbers. As of today, 5,296 patients are hospitalized throughout the state and 1,311 of those patients are in intensive care units. Ohio currently has more patients in the ICU than it had total for all COVID-19 hospitalized patients during the previous peak last summer.  There are currently 863 patients who need a ventilator, as compared to 360 patients on ventilators a month ago.

“While there is good reason to be optimistic about Ohioans receiving the vaccine, we have our work cut out for us to slow the spread of the virus until enough Ohioans can be vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine. “We must continue rallying together to prevent overwhelming our hospitals.”

LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT VACCINATION GUIDANCE

Next week, local health departments in Ohio that registered as providers are expected to begin receiving vaccines.  Today, Governor DeWine outlined guidance on individuals who should be prioritized by health departments during Phase 1A.

Local health departments should coordinate the vaccinations of congregate care residents and staff, such as those at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who are not enrolled in the federal long-term care pharmacy programs or are not registered as providers themselves. This includes people with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, as well as staff.

In addition, local health departments should prioritize vaccinating other healthcare providers who are not being vaccinated by hospitals and health systems and are not enrolled as providers themselves.  These providers could include:

  • Home health workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Emergency medical services responders
  • Primary care practitioners
  • Free-standing emergency department, urgent care, pharmacy, and dialysis center providers not vaccinated by hospitals or healthcare systems
  • Dental providers
  • Public health employees who are at risk of exposure or transmission, such as vaccinators
  • Mobile unit practitioners
  • Federally-qualified health center providers
  • High-risk ancillary health care staff members

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 579,357 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,654 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,878 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,283 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations Begin in Ohio

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Watch Governor DeWine’s December 14th COVID-19 Update here.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

VACCINATIONS BEGIN IN OHIO

Governor DeWine announced today that the first COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ohio. Shipments of 975 doses were delivered this morning to both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and UC Health in Cincinnati. Several healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients immediately received vaccinations. 

“It was such a moment of hope to watch the healthcare workers begin to get vaccinated today,” said Governor DeWine. “Today is the first day of a process that will continue over the months ahead as Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated have their opportunity to receive the vaccine. However, until the vaccine is widely available for all Ohioans who choose to receive it, we must continue to use all available tools to prevent the spread of the virus, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands.”

Vaccine shipments will be delivered to eight additional hospitals in Ohio tomorrow:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Hospital, Franklin County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

All 10 hospitals were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. 

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to come to Ohio, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight Logistics business will help provide same-day delivery services. Once the vaccine is widely available, this partnership will allow Ohio to ship the vaccine to approximately 350 locations across the state.  

NURSING HOME VACCINATIONS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has invited Ohio to participate in an early scaled launch of vaccinations in nursing homes. Ohio will begin providing vaccinations in five to ten nursing homes starting this Friday, December 18. 

Ohio had previously been scheduled to start its nursing home vaccination program in partnership with pharmacy providers on Monday, December 21.

VACCINATION DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will launch a new COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard in the coming days at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The dashboard will list the number of people vaccinated in Ohio and will be sortable by demographic and by county.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 570,602 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,551 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,264 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,209 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

COVID-19 Update: Stay Safe Ohio Protocol, Curfew Extension, Sports Variance

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STAY SAFE OHIO PROTOCOL

Governor DeWine today unveiled the new Stay Safe Ohio Protocol. The protocol was developed in partnership with medical professionals across the state to inform Ohioans how to safely live with the virus.


Protocal

Governor DeWine was joined by medical professionals throughout the state to explain the importance of the protocols.  

CURFEW EXTENSION

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be extending the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until January 2, 2021.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy.  Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10 p.m.

“COVID-19 is the single greatest threat to the physical well-being of all Ohioans, the mental health of our citizens, and our economic security,” said Governor DeWine. “We must do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus.”

The decision to extend the curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic impact and health care system.

The extended order can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) showed sustained severe exposure and spread (Purple Level 4) in Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark and Summit counties. Ashland and Guernsey counties were moved to the Watch List.

Noble, Harrison and Washington counties moved to Red Level 3 for the first time since implementation of the Advisory System in April.

Ohio also had 11,738 new cases reported between yesterday and today, which is the fourth highest case court to date. A total of 452 new hospitalizations were reported, as well as 111 deaths.

Advisory Map

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

SPORTS VARIANCE

The Ohio Department of Health will issue a variance to the curfew for specific sporting events in Ohio. The start times of these games are dictated by national television contracts, and as a result, the games would not be finished until after the 10 p.m. curfew.

More information will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov in the coming days.

DINE SAFE

Lt. Governor Husted encouraged Ohioans to do what they can to support local restaurants during this time, whether it’s by carrying out a meal at least once a week or by ordering delivery. He also recommended giving out restaurant gift cards as gifts for family and friends this holiday season.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

As another update in Ohio’s economic recovery, the Lt. Governor discussed two new projects that are putting Ohio on the map as far as innovation in transportation technology.

Agility Prime: Earlier today, the Lt. Governor joined officials from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton Development Coalition, JobsOhio, City of Springfield, BETA Technologies, and Joby Aviation to participate in a virtual groundbreaking event for a new advanced urban air mobility technology simulator facility at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

The Air Force recently launched the program, which seeks to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility aircraft and create a robust domestic industry and supply chain to support their development and production.

Waymo: Last week, Waymo – one of the world leaders in autonomous driving technology – announced their plan to develop new proprietary features at TRC’s SMARTCenter to help them advance their Waymo Driver self-driving system and driverless Class 8 truck. This is a big win for Ohio as it’s the first time Waymo has established a permanent presence at a third-party test site.

The Lt. Governor underscored what these announcements mean to Ohio’s recovery and how they attract investment, new technologies and workforce development.

“This can really be an important part of the foundation for our economic recovery in 2021,” Lt. Gov. Husted said. “We really welcome these new investments from companies who are outside of Ohio – who are bringing their investments to Ohio – to start brand new innovations, brand new companies and brand new technologies that we hope will benefit Ohioans for generations to come.”

FOODBANKS

First Lady Fran DeWine encouraged Ohioans to consider donating to The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which serves all 88 counties. The Ohio National Guard has assisted foodbanks throughout the state this year in distributing more than 79 million pounds of food. 

More information about how to donate can be found at OhioFoodbanks.org/Coronavirus

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 531,850 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,298 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 31,142 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,090 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

Adena Taking Aggressive, Innovative Steps to Meet Coronavirus Challenges

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Dec. 10, 2020) – Dire circumstances often require creative responses. That’s certainly been the case for Adena Health System in the midst of its largest COVID-19 patient surge since the pandemic began in the spring.

In addition to challenges created by recent rapid and marked increases in COVID positive patient volumes, mounting hospitalizations across the region also have virtually eliminated the possibility of being able to transfer patients to other health systems when Coronavirus surge numbers exceed Adena Regional Medical Center’s (ARMC) 30-bed COVID cohort unit’s capacity.

In order to continue providing the most comprehensive care, not only for its COVID-19 patients but those utilizing other medical services in the communities served by Adena, the Health System has turned to several new initiatives and solutions for meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19.

“When we were for preparing for COVID-19 back in March, our focus was around understanding the virus and securing the proper amounts of personal protective equipment required to safely care for patients and protect our staff. Fast forward to today and it is vastly different,” said Adena President & CEO Jeff Graham. “We continue to see record numbers daily of COVID patients, as well as care for record numbers of patients through our urgent care locations. I cannot express enough my gratitude for our providers and caregivers during this time, as we have been able to safely care for the communities across our nine-county service region while also keeping a focus on tomorrow. Our ability to anticipate the challenges ahead and put creativity and innovation at the forefront to implement strategies quickly and effectively has allowed us to stay strong and provide care for the patients and families counting on us.”

Here’s a brief rundown of those efforts and what they mean to patients and their families:

  • Critical Access Hospitals: As patient surges in the COVID-19 unit at ARMC began to more frequently push toward capacity slightly less than a month ago, Adena Greenfield Medical Center (AGMC) and Adena Pike Medical Center (APMC) began working toward creating space in their hospitals for COVID-19 patients on the road to recovery who were not quite healthy enough to be sent home. The idea was to free up beds and staffing in the COVID-19 unit at Adena Regional Medical Center for the most serious Coronavirus patients. AGMC prepared an eight-room wing separate from the remainder of the hospital, outfitting it to safely handle the needs of Coronavirus patients, and opened it to its first patients a couple weeks ago. With the surge in hospitalizations, the unit most days is operating at or near capacity. Adena Pike Medical Center in Waverly, meanwhile, began accepting COVID-19 patients with a similar approach to that of AGMC last week.
  • Adena at Home: In another effort to ease the crunch on bed space and staffing, an Adena at Home initiative began this week. Using a telemedicine and tele-monitoring approach, the program identifies COVID-19 patients recovering in the COVID units who are able to care for themselves at home but still have symptoms significant enough to require monitoring. Those patients can now be sent home with self-monitoring equipment such as an iPad with messaging and video capabilities, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters to take readings they can share with medical staff who check in daily on their condition and answer questions or make any needed adjustments to medications. The initiative also offers 24/7 remote nursing support should a patient or their families experience something unexpected overnight. The program may be expanded over time to include patients who are showing symptoms at the Emergency Department or Urgent Cares that may not be serious enough to require admittance as an inpatient. Primary care offices may become part of a third phase of implementing the Adena at Home program should it become necessary. Patients will not be required to take part in the Adena at Home option, and their families will be included in the decision-making process as well as receive education on how they can help monitor the patient and what to do should an emergency arise.
  • Use of PACCAR Medical Education Center: As a way to help determine the best course of action for patients related to the COVID-19 surge, the PACCAR Medical Education Center on the Adena Regional Medical Center campus is being pressed into service the middle of this month as a respiratory surge center. Patients arriving at the Emergency Department or referred by their primary care physician with symptoms that could suggest COVID-19 will be directed to the facility for a full evaluation and possible period of monitoring to determine the best options for their care.
  • Blended and expanded staffing: Adena is aggressively pursuing additional nursing staff to help meet increasing needs brought about by the COVID-19 patient surge. In addition to conducting a recent recruitment and hiring fair to boost permanent staffing, the health system has contracted with a rapid staffing firm specializing in providing medical staff in disaster relief situations to temporarily help bolster staff levels. Many among the Health System and Adena Medical Group staff also have either volunteered to take extra shifts or to tackle other duties in order to meet staffing needs to best serve patients.
  • COVID Inpatient Placements: Adena Regional Medical Center has begun placing COVID and non-COVID patients on the same inpatient units in some trial areas. This type of blended patient placement allows for flexibility with nursing assignments and room availability, and offers more ability to match patient’s needs with provider and staff resources and skill sets throughout the system. Care teams on these units are skilled in managing a variety of other infectious disease processes such as MRSA and C-Diff in safely meeting the care needs for these patients. 

As it has been from the start, the situation surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be a fluid one. Adena officials will continue monitoring the latest in vaccine development and availability and making any other operational changes that should become necessary in the coming months in order to see that our communities navigate the crisis as effectively and safety as possible.

Meanwhile, every individual in the community plays a role in reducing COVID-19 patient surges. Please observe well-publicized public safety protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining at least six feet of social distancing, practicing frequent and rigorous hand washing for at least 20 seconds at a time and avoiding large gatherings.

Graham concluded, “Our healthcare heroes need your help. Our caregivers have been treating COVID-19 patients for over 10 months – and they are exhausted. We cannot pick and choose when we follow these safety guidelines. We have to follow them every single day if we want to beat this virus. We are all in this together.”

COVID-19 Update: Antigen Testing, K-12 Education Update, DataOhio Portal

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIO CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS

In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 9,273 new coronavirus cases, the sixth highest count reported in one day since the pandemic. 336 new hospitalizations were reported and 40 new patients are in intensive care. An additional 63 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio, surpassing 7,000 total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.   

ANTIGEN TESTING UPDATE

Governor DeWine discussed the Ohio Department of Health aligning with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current case definition. In August, the CDC changed the case definition of antigen testing to include case counts without additional verification.  Ohio has continued to manually verify an epidemiological link, such as a known positive contact, with an antigen positive test result.

Tomorrow, December 8, the department will begin including antigen tests without an epidemiological link in the total case count. This will result in a one-day spike in reported cases from pending positive antigen cases. 

“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”

Not all pending cases will be translated into new cases.  Cases will be checked and duplicate records will be removed. Cases will also be assigned to their appropriate onset date.

K-12 EDUCATION UPDATE

The Ohio Department of Education continues to report limited spread of COVID-19 in a classroom setting, but an increase of community spread from informal gatherings outside of school.

The department also tracks how many districts are hosting in-person, hybrid, or remote learning. 

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote.  Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning,” said Governor DeWine. 

Model 12-7

DATAOHIO PORTAL

Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which delivers datasets and interactive visualizations to Ohioans.  This portal delivers unprecedented access through an innovative, data-sharing platform for state agencies and their partners. 

We’ve all learned over the past year how critical data is to tackling our biggest challenges,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The IOP team has built a one-stop-shop for the state’s data, providing a secure approach to data access and displaying datasets that, in some cases, are available now for the first time. This collaboration will help Ohio make better public policy decisions so we can better serve the people of our state.”

ADDITIONAL GUESTS

During today’s briefing, Governor DeWine was joined by two nurses who discussed their experiences treating patients with coronavirus.

Lisa Burich, a registered nurse and emergency room team lead at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, discussed the conditions seen for admitted coronavirus patients and the concern of spreading COVID-19 from the hospital setting.

CJ Adams, nurse manager at TriHealth Bethesda North Hospital, discussed the challenges associated with bed and staffing capacities. Adams was a Captain in the Air Force Reserves and shared how her military experience has helped build her leadership and resiliency skills.

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 484,297 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,022 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 29,569 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,943 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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

COVID-19 Update: Phase 1 Vaccination Distribution Plan, Quarantine Guidance

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced details for Ohio’s first phase of vaccine distribution that is expected to begin on or around December 15. 

During Phase 1, vaccine supply will be limited, and Ohio will focus on vaccinating those who wish to be vaccinated in the critical Phase 1A groups outlined below. 

Vaccination Program

The federal government has advised that the Ohio Department of Health will not know the exact number of vaccines that will be shipped to Ohio until closer to each shipment date. The current shipment figures, which are subject to change, are as follows: 

  • On or around December 15, a shipment from Pfizer will include 9,750 vaccines for Ohio’s prepositioned hospital sites. An additional 88,725 vaccines will go to Walgreens and CVS for congregate care settings.
  • On or around December 22, a shipment of 201,000 vaccines is expected from Moderna. These vaccines will go to 98 hospitals for vaccination of those who are exposed to COVID patients and to 108 health departments to vaccinate other frontline workers such as those working in emergency medical services.
  • On or around December 22, another shipment is also expected from Pfizer. The tentative number of vaccines in this shipment is 123,000. These vaccines will go to Walgreens and CVS for vaccination of those in congregate care settings.
  • A few days later, Ohio expects another 148,000 vaccines from Pfizer and 89,000 vaccines from Moderna.

These vaccines will be the first dose for those in the identified critical groups. A second dose will be delivered and administered in the future. It has not been determined when members of the general public will have the option to receive vaccines. As information becomes available about the next phases of vaccine distribution, it will be made public.

QUARANTINE GUIDANCE

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff today discussed new quarantine guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for those who may have been exposed to coronavirus but are not showing symptoms. 

Following the study of emerging data and a growing confidence in testing, CDC’s new guidance has two options depending on the situation:

  • 10-day quarantine that does not require testing, provided there are no symptoms
  • 7-day quarantine if test results are negative, provided there are no symptoms

The Ohio Department of Health, however, continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine for many citizens in Ohio. 

“Staying home for 14 days after contact is still the safest way to limit possible spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “We continue to recommend this time period for people in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes; in workplaces with a large number of employees; and in other settings in which COVID-19 could spread extensively. We also recommend 14 days if you are in contact with people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.” 

For others with no symptoms, the 10-day period may be sufficient, however, Dr. Vanderhoff recommends that Ohioans consider getting tested on day eight or later to increase certainty of no infection. Quarantine can then end at the conclusion of the 10-day period.

Quarantine can be reduced further to seven days, Dr. Vanderhoff said, if an individual has no symptoms and receives a negative test on day five or later.

“In every case — whether quarantining for 14 days, or 10, or seven — maintain social distance of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when around others,” he said. “You should also keep an eye out for any symptoms for the full 14-day period. If you become sick or test positive for COVID-19, stay home and self-isolate in a separate room from others.” 

CURRENT CASE DATA

In total, there are 456,963 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 6,882 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 28,673 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,847 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

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