Thursday Update: DeWine Provides Updates on Testing, Visitation and County Fairs
COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Governor Mike DeWine along with other state leaders and health officials spoke this afternoon in Columbus, providing updates on COVID-19 in Ohio. Here is a full outline on everything that was discussed.
Update on Cases
The Ohio Department of Health’s latest report once again shows the daily death, hospitalization and ICU admission totals are above the 21-day average. Ohio has a total of 33,915 cases of COVID-19 and an overall death toll of 2,098.
5,811 Ohioans have now been hospitalized from the coronavirus; 1,516 have been admitted into the intensive care unit.
10,245 COVID-19 tested were administered in the past 24-hours throughout the Buckeye State. Overall, 357,722 Ohioans have been tested for the virus. Ohio has a positive test rate of around 9.4%.
Update on Stark County
The state’s report shows very slow activity in Stark County. Stark has just five new cases and three new hospitalizations. The report showed no new deaths in Stark. Overall, the county has a total of 705 cases, 155 hospitalizations and 91 fatalities.
Pharmacies Help Increase Testing
Governor Mike DeWine says pharmacies are critical in Ohio’s response to COVID-19. The state’s board of pharmacy has clarified rules that will allow pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests in the Buckeye State. A map will be added to the state’s coronavirus website that lists COVID-19 testing locations.
Testing Criteria Expanded
Governor Mike DeWine announced that the state will be expanding its testing criteria. Before Thursday, testing was for Ohioans who were hospitalized from the virus, those working on the front lines such as healthcare professionals or first responders, those who were high risk and those who had essential surgeries scheduled. Now, it also includes those who are symptomatic.
Outdoor Visitation at Assistant Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities that are properly prepared can begin to allow outdoor visitation in Ohio beginning on June 8th. Ohio’s decision to move forward with outdoor visitation is the culmination of several things including:
- The impact on the quality of life a prolonged loss of connection can have on an individual.
- Requests from families and residents.
- Consultation with advocates and providers.
Guidelines for visitation were jointly developed by the Academy for Senior Health Sciences, Leading Age Ohio, the Ohio Assisted Living Association, the Ohio Healthcare Association and the Ohio Medical Director’s Association.
Update on County Fairs
Governor DeWine says decisions about county and independent fairs should be made locally because each county and independent fair is unique and has different challenges.
“Conditions may change over the summer,” DeWine said. “But we are asking all fair boards to comply with all of the Ohio Department of Health orders in place and the guidelines for other sectors that would also apply to fairs, like for food service and rides.”
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is in the process of distributing all state funding available for the state’s 94 county and independent fairs.
DeWine also says the state is releasing guidelines on how county fair boards, agricultural societies and local health departments can safely allow kids to participate in limited livestock shows and other activities.
The guidelines focus on:
- social distancing
- limiting crowds
- ensuring health of those involved
- animal care and welfare
Premium Installments Deferred
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is deferring Ohio employers’ premium installments for the months of June, July, and August to help businesses keep their focus on the safety and well-being of their employees and customers.
Changes Made to TechCred Program
In order to support the changing needs of #Ohio businesses and workers during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis, the following changes have been made to the TechCred program:
- To make TechCred more flexible for upskilling new hires, employers are no longer required to list employee names when applying for TechCred. Instead, they will identify the number of current or prospective employees they will upskill.
- To account for possible staffing changes, employers who were awarded in the October 2019, January 2020, and March 2020 rounds of TechCred may now substitute employees listed in their original application.
- Employers awarded in October 2019 and January 2020, who had credential programs interrupted by the crisis, may request to extend their 18-month award eligibility timeline.
- Employees can now earn multiple credentials during each application period.
The next application period of the TechCred program will open June 1st and run through June 30th, allowing for another opportunity for companies to train current and or incoming employees.