DeWine addresses PPE supplies, graduations


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



Dr. Amy Acton speaks at Wednesday’s update.


The Ohio Channel

The State of Ohio reports, as of the Wednesday afternoon update, 17,303 total COVID-19 cases (including probable cases). Overall, 57 percent are males and 43 percent females, with 1,014 ICU admissions, 3,421 hospitalizations and 937 deaths.

Clinton County’s numbers as of Wednesday morning stand at 29 — 24 lab confirmed and five probable, consisting of 16 women and 13 men ages 26 to 78 — of which 23 are listed as recovered/resolved, officials said. Four are currently hospitalized, .

At Wednesday’s press conference and via Twitter, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, “When this crisis began, I told you that we were going to do everything we could to ensure that those on the front line of this crisis have the PPE (personal protection equipment) they need. I am happy to report that last week the state of Ohio shipped 4.1 million pieces of PPE to local EMAs across Ohio.

“While not the first shipment, this is the largest one-time distribution of PPE, we think, from the state of Ohio to the local EMAs in our history. PPE will be distributed locally by county EMAs to nursing homes, jails, congregate living facilities, hospitals, first responders.”

He said it includes 500,000 N95 masks, 850,000 face shields, 750,000 surgical-type masks and 2 million non-medical gloves.

DeWine added, “As we move into this reopening process and try to get Ohio businesses back moving forward, we’re going to make sure we have strong supply chains of PPE so we can continue to fight COVID-19 as we move forward.

Face masks

DeWine spoke about face masks on Tuesday, saying, “We aren’t mandating that customers wear masks in retail locations, but business owners can require it. The recommendation that masks be worn came from business owners to protect employees. They can make a decision that those coming in the door need to wear a protective covering.”

“Just because a face covering is not mandated, doesn’t mean it’s not a best practice,” added Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “I think a lot of businesses will do these things — there is just a difference between a mandate from government and a best practice. I think many businesses will go above and beyond.”

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said Tuesday, “My biggest fear is that people won’t hear what we’re saying when we say we need to respect the virus. I strongly (emphasis on strongly) suggest that we wear masks when we are out in public.” She added Wednesday, “When we all do this collectively we are protecting each other. What Ohioans did together drastically decreased our illnesses and deaths when compared to others around the world. It’s not because we ordered it. It’s because of what Ohioans did.”

DeWine also said, “In office environments that are somewhat lower risk, I still encourage those who can work at home to continue working at home. This is a difficult time and I would had to see us having to go backwards.”

Graduations

DeWine said, “I want to spend some time today clarifying. We fully understand what an important rite of passage (graduation) is.

“I asked the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health to issue guidance for local schools and health departments to follow. Here is a summary of what they recommend:

“1. Virtual graduation ceremonies (preferred) we know many schools are already doing that. 2. Drive-in ceremonies where students drive to a designated location at a designated time to get their diplomas. 3. An event with 10 people or less at a time, who are socially distanced, where a graduate can receive his or her diploma … ” For more on the recommendations, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov .

He added, “Of equal concern are graduation parties. This is tough this year, and I would ask people to remember — graduation parties can pose as much, or more, of a risk as a graduation. Our guidelines are no more than 10 people.“

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/04/web1_Response-Hub-Image-44.jpg

Dr. Amy Acton speaks at Wednesday’s update.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/04/web1_dr-acton-speaks.jpgDr. Amy Acton speaks at Wednesday’s update. The Ohio Channel

By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com