COLUMBUS (AP) — Coronavirus deaths in nursing homes continue to make up the vast majority of pandemic fatalities in Ohio, according to the most recent Health Department data.
Wednesday marked at least the fifth week in a row that seven of every 10 COVID-19 deaths have involved long-term care residents, with 1,860 nursing home residents dying since the pandemic began out of a total of 2,611 confirmed or probable deaths, according to the state data. That’s a rate of 71%.
At least 40 residents at one long-term care center in Mahoning County have died of COVID-19 since April, The Repository reported earlier this week.
As the deaths continued, the governor ordered teams of National Guard medical personnel into nursing homes to ramp up testing.
At his Thursday update, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reminded that June 22 is the day contact practice for athletics may begin, but it will be up to local sports organizers and high school leaders on when it is the best time to proceed. Training guidance will be updated soon and will be available on the http://coronavirus.ohio.gov .
He said Phase 2 involves reopening contact practice for all sports. Football, lacrosse and other contact sports can resume scrimmages and full training regiments as long as safety protocols are observed. The start date for Phase 2 will start next week, June 22.
Ohio reported on Thursday afternoon 39,973 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,149 probable ones for a total of 43,122, of which 51 percent are male and 48 are female. There have been 7,104 hospitalizations with 1,807 ICU admissions.
The state reports 2,401 confirmed deaths with 232 probable deaths for a total of 2,633. The age range continues to be under 1 to 109.
Attorney General Dave Yost accused an Athens County couple of price gouging, alleging Thursday they jacked up the price of bottles of hand sanitizer by more than 1,000% in some cases.
Lottery and schools
An Ohio state lawmaker is calling on the state lottery to get creative to help schools after Gov. Mike DeWine cut $355 million from the state education budget to balance the books.
Gov. DeWine cut $775 million in total on Tuesday, including $110 million for higher education and $210 million from the state Medicaid program.
Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Township, wrote a letter to Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald requesting that the lottery offer recommendations to maximize profits, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Coley has expressed interest in the lottery running the state’s sports betting operation and has called on them to be more vocal about the available options.
“We’ve heard very little from the lottery during this important debate on sports betting. It’s time they speak up and tell us what’s possible,” Coley said.
The two chambers are debating whether the Ohio Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery will run the new industry.
Ohio Lottery spokesperson Danielle Frizzi-Babb said the department is open to continuing conversations with the Legislature and the administration on innovation solutions to increase profits.