COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – This afternoon Governor Mike DeWine spoke in Columbus, providing updates on COVID-19 in Ohio. Here is a complete outline on everything that was discussed.

Update on COVID numbers in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health’s latest report on COVID-19 shows a small drop in daily reported cases. The state is up to 51,046 total cases and 2,818 total deaths.

7,746 Ohioans have been hospitalized from the virus; 1,961 have been admitted into the intensive care unit. More than 770,000 COVID-19 have been administered through out the Buckeye State. Ohio has a positive test rate of around 6%.

Update on COVID numbers in Stark County

After eclipsing the 1,000 mark over the weekend, Stark County continues to see a small jump in cases. Stark is up to 1,026 cases and 194 hospitalizations. Stark’s death toll remains at 111.

More Hospitalizations

Governor DeWine says last week was our first week of increasing COVID-19 hospital utilization after over 2 months of decreasing utilization since late April. The number of standard hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients peaked in late April/early May at about 1,000 and reached a low of 513 on 6/20.

However, just last week Ohio had about 500 to 550 total COVID-19 patients occupying beds in Ohio hospitals. Currently, the state sits at around 650. Governor DeWine says thankfully, ICU/ventilator utilization is still holding steady, but health officials are noting increases in some areas of the state.

Major Problems in Certain Areas of Ohio

Governor DeWine says the increase in COVID-19 hospital occupancy is most apparent in Regions 2, 3, and 6 (the Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas). In other regions of the state, COVID hospital occupancy had been declining but now appears to have leveled off.

In the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, the recent increase in hospital utilization includes standard beds, as well as ICU beds and ventilators.

DeWine says although COVID-19 utilization in hospitals is increasing, there is adequate overall capacity.

“No region has reached the concern threshold of 80% overall utilization for ICU beds,” DeWine said. “But we know from the lessons of recent history in New York City, Texas and Arizona that this can quickly change.”

Return to School Plan Coming Soon

The Governor says the state is continuing to work on plans to help local schools safely reopen, as well as plans to keep Ohioans healthy and safe at work and in their daily lives while the coronavirus remains present.

“We’re in the phase of learning to live with COVID19,” said DeWine. “We hope to announce more soon.”

DeWine says these plans will take the state into the next phase, a distinct and different phase of continuing to keep Ohio open as we head into the second half of 2020.

“My administration will be extending existing health orders through the week as we finalize these vital plans.”

Outdoor Visitation for Nursing Homes

Today, DeWine announced that beginning July 20th, nursing homes are permitted to begin outdoor visitation, as long as all safety standards are met. When assessing their readiness to permit outdoor visitation, the Governor says  nursing homes should consider the following:

  • Case status in community
  • Case status in nursing home
  • Staffing levels
  • Access to adequate testing for residents/staff
  • Personal protective equipment supplies
  • Hospital capacity

“We are confident that our approach provides each facility the flexibility needed to assess their readiness to safely facilitate outdoor visitation and to do so in a transparent way that keeps residents and families informed.”