Governor: Ohio K-12 school buildings must remain closed until at least May 1

By Tom Barr -

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered that all K-12 school buildings in Ohio be closed at least until Friday, May 1 during his press conference Monday.

This extends his original order, which was for school buildings to be closed for three weeks.”We will reevaluate as we get closer to that date,” he said.

Clinton County remains at three confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ohio now has 1,933 confirmed cases, with 163 ICU admissions, 475 hospitalizations and 39 deaths.

“We must slow this virus down,” said DeWine. “It’s a race for time as we build out the hospital capacity. It also buys us time for new technology to come online and help us in a number of ways. Every day that we can delay this tidal wave is a day we can see technology move forward.”

DeWine said, “To all the hospitals, we request that you please send your samples to a neighboring hospital that does quick testing or send it to the Ohio Department of Health.

”I don’t think it is acceptable while we are in this crisis to wait 5-6 days,” he said via Twitter. “This is what we’re seeing in the outside, private labs

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

DeWine added, “I promised that when the National Guard had a new mission that we’d tell you. You are going to see guard members in our communities in increasing numbers. They will be liaising with local leaders to make sure we’re doing all we can to help.”

He said he is assembling a team of Ohio business leaders to work together on fighting the pandemic. “We are working closely with our civic leaders and non-profits as well. We are building an evolving plan. We will share more information as it emerges. We want to help hospitals as best we can.”

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton added, “No hospital system in this world has ever faced what we’re facing now. Our planning will go through the surge and after the surge. We are learning a lot as we go through this.”

By Tom Barr