Ohio: COVID-19 deaths nearing 1,000; health providers, dentists and vets ‘full-steam ahead’ beginning Friday


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



The State of Ohio reports, as of the Thursday afternoon update, 18,027 total COVID-19 cases (including probable cases). Overall, 56 percent are males and 43 percent females, with 1,035 ICU admissions, 3,533 hospitalizations and 975 deaths.

No changes in Clinton County’s numbers have been reported from the previous day’s 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.

A reminder that beginning Friday, May 1, as per Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s order earlier this week, “All healthcare procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital can move forward. Dentists and veterinarians can also begin full steam ahead on May 1.”

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Annette Chambers Smith said via Skype during Gov. DeWine’s Thursday update that Ohio adopted a pandemic plan in 2009. “We have updated and practiced our plan. We started making PPE — hand sanitizer, face shields, masks, etc. We were the second prison in the nation to stop accepting visitors.”

Regarding prisons, DeWine said, “In Marion, there were so many people who were asymptomatic and positive. We thought there would be a small number who were positive and asymptomatic, but the science told us differently. Clinicians looked at what we found — and now we’re testing the people who were negative to see if they have turned positive, and some have. Going forward we are going to test specific individuals who are showing symptoms, who are being released, etc.

“By testing inmates on release, we can notify local health departments whether or not a person is COVID-19 positive.”

He added, “You’ve heard Dr. Amy Acton say that heroes don’t wear capes — our heroes wear gray correction officer uniforms. They are coming into prisons where they know people are COVID-19 positive, but they are still doing their jobs every day.”

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By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com